Published during: October 2012

PSA: Android browser and soft hyphens

The default Android browser does not love soft hyphens (Unicode: U+00AD, HTML: ­ or ­). This means, for anyone using the good old PHP Typography tool or its WordPress plugin equivalent, wp-typography, that you’re in trouble if you have mobile viewership at all. While it’s nice to have a sensible hyphenization algorithm at play – the sort that can prevent widows – it’s a bad idea to be running anything that doesn’t support mobile these days. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Four Theses on Responsive Design

A friend and fellow web designer and developer (indeed, someone who gets to do a lot more front-end design) recently asked me,

Chris—what do you think of “responsive” layouts? I’m not a big fan. In theory, it’s a good idea. But it makes it difficult for ad placement, and in practice, I don’t know that anyone really needs five different “views” for a site based on browser width/height.

So, some thoughts from a guy who’s done a lot of reading, a lot of watching, and – alas – a lot less actual implementation than he’d like in the last year. (In other words: take these words with a grain of salt; they’re observations on watching others in the process as much as they are born of my own experience.)

I think responsive design is a great idea, but it has to be done carefully and thoughtfully, especially when considering ad placement. Read on, intrepid explorer →

Custom Fonts on Kindle

The standard typeface for the Kindle, Caecilia, works well enough: it’s a well-designed, high contrast slab serif that matches the needs of the low-contrast, low-resolution Kindle screens well. It’s also not even close to being a really great reading face. The new Kindle Paperwhite has gorgeous typography, by all accounts, but if you have an older Kindle, you don’t have to buy a new one to start getting some of the benefits of better typography.

I recently discovered that it is possible, with a fairly small amount of effort, to put whatever fonts you like on your Kindle, without jailbreaking. Here’s how. Read on, intrepid explorer →