On-Screen Typography

Over the summer, I finally let go of my late-nineties conception of screen typography. As I delved into the anti-aliased world of OSX and XP, I built a series of visualizations to compare different fonts and sizes in a browser rather than in Photoshop or Illustrator.

These utilities were meant for me. They were cobbled together in the Arts and Letters computer lab at MU over the course of a few days. Because of that, I didn't spend much time making the tools robust--or even taking care of niceties like linking them together. Like all my experiments, I dumped them into my "exp" directory. The subfolder paths and filenames were terrible.

Now I realize that it's ALWAYS important to pay attention to these things. You can't anticipate what's going to touch a nerve on the Net. Through a random post on 37signals, my font-comparison utility has been picked up by other blogs and is now far-and-away the largest driver for traffic to my site. After a few months of watching the hits pile up, I finally decided to correct some things.

There's not much I can do about the link (sigh), but I've fixed some cross-platform bugs and expanded the comparison functions. The biggest problem was that most people had no idea that the tool was part of a suite (why would they?), so I've built some navigation to connect the pages. It's gratifying to find designers bookmarking the utility and integrating it into their workflow.

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