Typography Matters, Too, & The Sad State of My Portfolio

This week’s readings focused on the importance of color, typography, and footnotes. I found the Errol Morris New York Times piece the most fascinating out of all of our readings this week. The idea that typography can influence how people view the credibility  of information found online closely ties in to the article about the Stanford Credibility Project as well as “Attractive Things Work Better,” both of which we read last week. The latter articles revealed that appearance is a factor in determining the truthfulness of information found online, while Morris argues, rather persuasively, that typography also influences our perception of the truth. Apparently I should write all of my papers – and even my dissertation – using Baskerville. Since the article was published in August of 2012, I’m curious as to whether more scientific studies have been done on the topic.

In addition to Morris’ article, Type on Screen and The Non-Designer’s Design Handbook provided more in-depth analyses of typography. After reading the section on the Sans Serif font family I think Antique, Folio, or Olive would easily translate to a webpage. I also found it interesting that it is acceptable, even encouraged, to have two contrasting types of fonts. This same premise does not apply to color, however.

Alan Jacobs’ The Technology of a Better Footnote highlighted a problem I have had in the past. I have a Kindle and absolutely love reading on it, and in many ways I prefer it to a physical book. But this is not the case for nonfiction, particularly history books I’m assigned to read for school. As a historian, I find it absolutely necessary to be able to easily reference foot/endnotes, but when I read a history text several years ago in an ebook format I ended up being very frustrated. Does anyone who uses a Kindle still have a problem with accessible footnotes?

I enjoyed the short section in White Space in Not Your Enemy that discussed color theory. I found the rest of the chapter helpful for me in understanding colors: what is complementary, what contrasts, and which colors to pair together to make a website stand out. I’m still not sure how much of an eye I have for design, especially color. I’ve found that deciding what colors to use on my portfolio as my background and in the wrapper have taken much longer than I bargained for. Nothing looks exactly right, and nothing appears on screen the way I had imagined it to be.

Speaking of my portfolio, I have chosen to make it live even though it is still under construction. It looks pitiful. In addition to fixing the background and wrapper colors, I need to add text to the body, and play with the CSS so I can figure out what is going on with the bolded words in my unordered lists. My heading and sub-headings did not come out the way I had planned, so those need some work. I’ve been having trouble with the XHTML validation also – has anyone else run into problems with it?

My comment on Ellen’s post

My comment on Jordan’s post


One Comment

  1. I’ve been frustrated at using eReaders for history texts as well, so much so that I’ve abandoned reading any footnoted materials unless it’s in print. Looking at Jacobs’ article and Professor Petrik’s take on footnoting technology gives me some measure of hope though. I haven’t fully jumped back into eReaders for anything other than fiction, but perhaps I’ll give it another try if footnotes became much more accessible.

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