Design Systems expert Nathan Curtis* tweeted this the other day:
This got me thinking – anecdotally, those three typefaces have been the ones primarily used on every project that I’ve worked on for maybe the last four or five years. This very blog is (currently) set in Source Sans Pro. It’s impossible to compile statistics on this (or is it?), but it his statement rings true in my experience.
Why do those three typefaces – Proxima Nova, Open Sans, our Source Sans Pro – seem to rule the web? What are there any pitfalls of using them? What do they have in common? What should we look for in alternatives? What are some example alternatives we can consider?
I’ve always been focused on strong typography when it comes to design. As I’ve evolved into a front end developer, I still focus a lot on the typography of a project. As I’ve written about before, if the design is up to me, I even start with setting the paragraph.
However, what can you do to set yourself up for success when it comes to coding a design and it’s typography? I’ve done this – a lot – and I’ve come to some conclusions.
After a long, long delay, I’ve finally launched a redesign to this site. I’ve been gradually picking away at it for several months, and I’m thrilled to finally have it up.
The overall feel I was going for was “eclectic”, without being messy. I wanted to have some energy in the design, while still allowing a user to focus on the writing (it is a blog, after all).
This design was meant from the get-go to be responsive, so it changes with the context of the device that you are viewing it on. Responsive design is a big buzz word in the web design community, but I personally a fan of the approach.