Hist 697: Typography, part 1.5

This week was more of a “big picture” week for me, thus the half step towards the type assignment. I focused most of my “Clio” brain power this week on website organization, on tracking down possible comparison sites for my project, on thinking about layout, and on searching for fonts. Project Canterbury is a very text heavy site and as such my choices in fonts will be particularly noticeable. This also makes my choice a bit complicated, as the font has to both go with the material, which is largely 19th-century documents, and has to be readable on-screen. Thanks to Megan’s suggestion, I am  looking at fonts from the League of Moveable Type, particularly Fanwood for more focused reading sections, and Sorts Mill Goudy. These fonts seem to strike a good balance between referencing the older type of the primary material and being readable on the screen. Now to find a good decorative font to accompany them.

In terms of sites that take on similar projects, I spent some time this week looking at the Willa Cather archive and the Walt Whitman archive. Both of these sites deal with a large amount of text and I found them helpful for organizing my thoughts about what my site needs to accomplish. While both sites have their weaknesses, particularly in terms of design, their approach to organizing the data was particularly helpful.

The resources for this week were helpful in pointing to ways CSS3 gives additional control over the appearance of the site and for pointing to resources for finding and properly calling on fonts. There seem to be a number of resources for creating a well-formatted @font-family stack. It is just a little unfortunate that the lack of standardization results in such a variety of file formats and no guarantee that what we want will appear on the screen of our users. Ah well. Graceful degradation, I believe, is the term for what we want to insure, so at least the site is useable even if IE is determined to have its own way.

On to putting these fonts to work!

Addendum: I posted on Celeste‘s blog post this week.