Friday, May 29, 2009

Magazine craft comes to the web

One of the things that distinguishes magazines as a media form from, say, newspapers is the practice and application of what has come to be know as "craft". There is a reason why so many magazines are so pleasing to pick up, look at, read and admire, and that reason likes in a combination of craft elements – the interplay of paper, space, type, illustrations and, of course, top notch content.

Web designers (very important to magazines right now) have also developed a range of craft skills to make their pages look great, and maintain usability, but there has long been a problem with specifying fonts: browsers display differently and individual computers may not be loaded with a particular typeface.

Now American company Small Batch Inc claims to have come up with a solution – basically, fonts in the cloud via an application called Typekit.

Reaction to this news has garnered 225 responses (so far) over a very short period, so it's rung some bells in the design community. Many of the comments are along "Wow, fantastic, can't wait" lines but there are also some nuanced and interesting points debated.

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