Google commissioned a new font for its ereader app, and that font is really, really nice.
Shitty typography in ereaders is my pet hate, and it’s the main reason I a) don’t use Kindle, and b) do use calbre to reformat most of my ebook downloads. It’s not like I’m asking much. Just, yanno:
- fonts that don’t suck
- variable, or at least decently generous, line heights1
- no justified fucking text2
Basically, stop formatting ebooks like they’re books and start formatting them like they’re webpapges. Which they are literally are (ereaders use an HTML variant for markup).
- This one bugs me a lot. Super-compressed line heights in printed books are there to save paper and reduce the costs of printing. You’ll note this is not a problem that exists for ebooks, and yet you wouldn’t know it from glancing at the type alone. Guh.↩
- Seriously. What are we all? 17 year old girls forming cliques around blog design choices? Because that’s literally the last time I had this argument. For the record, I was vehemently for justified text at the time and I was wrong. Super, super wrong.↩
Really interesting talk from Matthew Carter, who you may know better as the guy who designed Verdana and Georgia.
I remember back in Ye Oldene Dayes of CRT monitors and Internet Explorer 4, everyone used
<font face="verdana" size="1">. “Size 1” Verdana is something like 10px-ish in modern definitions, and everyone used it because, on screens without anti-aliasing, it made beautiful, clean, easily-distinguishable letters. All these years later, listening to Carter talk here, I realise why.
A lot of effort went into designing those typefaces. And a lot of people appreciated it, even if they didn’t really realise why.