Once Upon a Drop Cap (When Words Were the Experience & Letters Were Your Voice)
What we have to say has always been intimately intertwined with how we say it. Design is about communicating those ideas and influencing users’ behavior, so it follows that influence is imparted largely by how we design. For all our intellectual complexity, our brains are still wired to make near-instant judgements about the value and importance of the message we are receiving based on how that message appears.
Thankfully, most of us are still familiar enough with actual books to remember the feel of paper under our fingers, the smell of the ink, the elegant transitions from one idea to the next – all in service of the story. While pixels remain odorless, there’s much more we can do than just deliver a digital message. Practiced typography transforms that message into a compelling experience. Let’s take a journey forward through time and see where typography can take us.
We'll look at examples of ways type has been used to impact user experience throughout history, and how typography has evolved to work with varying screens and content. It's a fundamental change in what it means to practice typography, and critical to understand how it impacts how we design. We'll also explore a few of the technical considerations and capabilities available to help create better typographic systems that will work well into the future.