Let me be honest. I never felt invited to be a designer. Without an official top-tier design education, most design-y contexts leave me feeling like an out-of-the-loop impostor. Much like my participation in music, I am quickly bogged down by theory and equipment and instead opt for intuition. This is why I am extremely pleased with Jason Santa Maria’s recent contribution to the excellent A Book Apart series, On Web Typography. Why? Because he speaks plainly, and leaves room for anyone to access and make use of of typographic principles.
A self described “blue collar designer,” Jason Santa Maria brings a refreshingly brief and useful perspective to the topic of typography. Rather than prescribing the weight of typographic design history, the author gives the reader permission to look straight at the anatomy of typography and encourages a cultivation of pattern recognition. Santa Maria reduces the principles to an easily digestible minimum which simultaneously provides a basic overview and immediately applicable directions on how to choose, size, compose, and pair typefaces, with special attention to what works on the screen.
For anyone working on the visual side of web sites or applications, it’s a book to be read straight through and used as a desk reference.
This image going above my desk right now: