In https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=246492#c24 there are two images from Chrome ‘beta’ and ‘canary’ - Canary being the most up to date ‘alpha’ quality version of Chrome.
These images and the link above are about a new feature in Chrome - and a simple idea, too:
Today, browsers download web fonts when they find that the fonts are actually used on the page. Afterall, why download web fonts if they will never be used?
Soon, starting in Chrome I guess, browsers will instead start downloading web fonts as soon as they see them linked to the page - since rarely do people link to fonts and then not use them.
These images show a page where the web fonts are fonts loading after about 250ms in the beta:
And after 100ms in canary:
With the WOFF2.0 compression bringing down the file size of web fonts further, the potential for delivering fonts ‘instantly’ to all browsers, with no Flash Of Unstyled Text, seems like it could happen in the near future.
We want to publicly thank and cheer on the efforts of the folks on the Chrome team who put this together. Great stuff!
We promised to post links shown during the recent workshop in Boston.
Here is an (incomplete) list:
A: Graphic design is very competitive. One of the primary elements of graphic design is type and typography. The surge of popularity in typography-heavy design we are experiencing means more and more designers are learning more and more about type. In turn, this means that designers with less insight into typography are at a disadvantage.
Crafting Type helps both design students and professionals to stay competitive by offering you an exposure to the deepest parts of typography - to type itself.
Zooming in to this level is still rare. Designers who attend our workshops tell us that learning how to craft their own type has carried over into an ability to think critically about the characteristics of letterforms that other people have crafted, to understand why they are the way that they are, and how they can best use them. They now really know where the personality of a type comes from.
More broadly, our workshops are valuable for people because they can better relate to their place in the history of making and sharing texts. In modern history we went through phases. First the public gained the widespread ability to read, then, the ability to be published.
The truly novel aspect of our place in history today is that literacy is more than reading and writing. We are expected to design our own documents now, too. For example, enough highly paid lawyers do so that a type designer has published a niche book for that very market, Typography for Lawyers.
Document design is a genuinely subtle and complicated task. Controlling presentation is essential because it effects the use and gestalt meaning of the text. This all leads to the conclusion that learning about typography is enhanced by insights into type design. These insights help to understand and use type better, and so you will become a more sophisticated and effective document maker.
Traditional typography classes emphasize the critical importance of “Good Type.” But this often leads to an absurd reverence for type, and a sense of impenetrability around the process of type design. This excess is an unhealthy approach because it insists on the servility of the user of type.
The user of type can be a modifier or creator of type too! Either directly, or indirectly. Crafting Type shows students that while type design is certainly rich, deep and complex, it is absolutely not impenetrable. Within a few days you will learn enough to make useful changes to fonts which respect your freedom to make changes. It is unethical to modify fonts when your license doesn’t allow you to do so. We cover font licensing in lively discussions during our classes.
Custom type is an increasingly common feature of graphic design. Even if you never design or modify type after taking the workshop, you will be in a far better position to purposefully specify the characteristics of a brief for a custom type that you commission from a full time professional type designer. You will be able to work effectively with a type designer to realize your vision.
The group dynamic at Crafting Type is also something people say is valuable afterwards. Here, design students are mixed in shoulder to shoulder with professionals with similar interests, and have the opportunity to network or even make friends.
Very occasionally someone actually want to be a type designer. This is rare - and that’s fine. We love to help students avoid the mistakes we made becoming type designers.
If you have any specific questions about the value of attending, such as to help persuade your manager to sponsor your time off (or even your ticket) please do email us.
If you would like a workshop in your city or at your company, we’d love to make it happen!
Crafting Type Chicago starts today. For those of us who can’t make it, here’s Gerry Leonidas on ‘The Newest New Typography’