My review of the book Design for Hackers

The author recommends Georgia as an excellent alternative to Garamond for use on the web. 

I like the font Adobe Caslon, and Garamond is what I prefer for its replacement. I enjoyed the author's explanation of font choices. He helps his readers understand where typeface comes from and the technologies and mediums that influenced their forms. 

Typography is bound to the properties of the medium in which the typography is created. I have more notes on typography on another page.

Creating for the web means using fonts created with the web's limitations in mind. Here is a list of tips he suggested:

  • Learn about the different types of typefaces, paying particular attention to who designed them and how technology influenced the design.
  • On today's screens (about 100 PPI to 150 PPI), stick with web-standard fonts at sizes below 30 px.
  • Feel free to use custom fonts from Typekit, Cufón, or other technologies at sizes above 30 px, but be sure that you understand the font and how best to pair it. 
  • Avoid using fonts designed for the screen in print applications. 
Design – more specifically, the design of typography – has always been about the conveyance of information. Ensuring that the right audience gets that information is part of the responsibilities of the designer.
  • Typography exists to communicate language. Anything that hinders or interferes with this communication is undesirable.
  • The typographic form is derived from a mixture of medium and language. The inherent qualities of the medium should always be considered when making typographic decisions.
  • A typeface aims to allow the inherent qualities of the individual letters to shine through, sometimes while conveying a particular mood. Letterforms should be in harmony with one another, and no specific letter should have qualities that cause it to stand out from its brothers and sisters.
  • The design of a typeface should be respected. Creating beautiful typefaces takes a lifetime of dedication and careful craftsmanship. Anything that alters the qualities of a typeface compromises its ability to communicate clearly.
  • An even texture is the aim of any block of body text. Body text is made to be consumed easily, and an evenness of texture is the most direct route to this goal.
  • Visual differentiation between pieces of information should be appropriate to how it is consumed. In many cases, minimal typographic differentiation is adequate to establish a hierarchy of information. For example, a header and a body may be the same typeface, while the header is simply a different size or weight and has white space above and below it. Body copy should have minimal typographic differentiation to facilitate the rapid consumption of information. 

Good Advice

He recommends ranking highly for your target keywords, though we may not know precisely how to achieve this goal.

What we do know is that the content of a page, how the page is coded, and the authority of other pages that link to a page – especially for the topic in question – are the most powerful dictators of how well a page ranks on search engines.

Generate valuable and compelling content that others want to read.

Here is something I did not know

The most misleading and often referenced example of the golden ratio found in nature is the nautilus shell supposedly composed of a golden ratio spiral. 

Although the logarithmic spiral in the nautilus shell is undoubtedly lovely, it is not a golden ratio spiral. 

By: David Kadavy

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Pub. Date: September 6, 2011
Print ISBN: 978-1-119-99895-2
Web ISBN: 1-119-99895-6
Pages in Print Edition: 352 

These are notes I made after reading this book. See more book notes

Just to let you know, this page was last updated Tuesday, May 28 24