For many design students, educators, and practitioners, typography and web design exist in parallel universes. We teach and learn typography without ever touching a CSS property while an introduction to web design rarely covers typographic principles in meaningful ways. The differences between print and web typography are self-evident; we can point to shifts from static to variable contexts (such as browsers, devices or screen resolution), as well as changes in typographic tools (from WYSIWYG software to markup languages). What happens if we embrace web design as an integral part of a typography education and typography as fundamental to learning web design? Let’s put on our wizard hats, slay some dragons, and demystify web typography’s magic spells.
Amy Papaelias is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the State University of New York at New Paltz. She has written for The Recorder, Typographica, Type Network, and co-edited a special issue of Visible Language. Her work has been presented at the Type Directors Club, TypeCon, Face Forward Dublin, Theorizing the Web, and the College Art Association. She helps keep the lights on at Alphabettes.org, a network that promotes and supports the work of women in type-related fields.