Typography Take Two


After finishing this week’s lynda.com videos, I have mixed feelings (as usual). James Williamson gives us an in-depth look at typography with his videos, Web Fonts First Look. My duel emotions come from the confusion that I am coming to expect from this class when so much foreign information is thrown at me at once. Some of the information he gave us was a bit over my head. Conversely, I enjoyed the videos as they gave a brief history of webfonts, a wealth of new vocabulary terms, and detailed “how-to” instructions.

I understand that last week’s videos were a basic overview and this week we had a more in-depth look at web fonts specifically, but I feel like I may have had an easier time with Williamson last week over Franz. Perhaps it is because Franz took so much longer in her videos, therefor, giving me even more information that is hard to take in. Possibly Williamson was just easier to follow. It is hard to say.

Regardless, I was encouraged to note that liveview viewing of your fonts does not guarantee that it will look the same as the final product on the web. Indeed, I had assumed that I was doing something wrong  last week when I was struggling to embed fonts into my portfolio and they kept disappearing in Dreamweaver. Of course, it is still quite possible that I was doing something wrong but now there’s a chance that this isn’t the case, something that is always reassuring. I also took several notes of things I would like to play around with both in a basic layout and on my portfolio page.


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3 responses to “Typography Take Two

  1. I agree that this week’s tutorial was easier to follow than previous versions and this could be due to many factors. Like you, I enjoyed the cadence of the voice and the pace of information from Williamson’s lectures. He designed the lessons well to accommodate multiple styles of learning and made the effort to reiterate his main points – great for sifting out the “so what” of the lesson. Also, since I am a little more familiar with more of the terms, I didn’t have as many “huh?” moments when unfamiliar terms created stopping points in the flow of information. One thing that teachers monitor is the comprehension level of students – how many words they can process in a page compared to the total number of words. If the unknown terms overwhelm the known terms, students slip from comprehension into frustration. I did feel that even though the terminology was challenging, it was scaffolded or supported by explanation and pauses in the information flow. Again, this is another technique designed to increase comprehension. Maybe the difference rested in my own self in that I have had a couple weeks of intense immersion therapy into digital-speak and now I’m able to understand (or at least identify) more of those new terms.

    All-in-all, having a tutorial balanced between theory, explanation, and instruction paced at a cadence that was not too fast helped make this tutorial much more enjoyable than frustrating. Like you, I appreciated the chance to catch my breath, recognize more terms and concepts, and feel as if I could better connect to the information. I also think that by returning to earlier tutorials (something I do anyway to review coding strategies) I now would have a better sense of WHY things are worded as they are and how to check to see the standards. This is very much a step forward, step back kind of intellectual dance.

  2. I also found Williamson way more engaging than I previous instructors on lynda.com. One of the things I immediately saw was that we spoke with his entire body which gave his lesson much more energy. The passion also can through in his cadence and inflection. Watching and listening to instructors is difficult in person, often when that’s translated to a screen it makes it more difficult. I think Williamson understood this the best out of the three. Also, as Sheri pointed out, I found that as the weeks progress I have a larger foundational knowledge so these topics become easier to follow.

  3. johngarnett100

    I am also struggling with some formatting and font issues. In fact, last week my site was formatted properly, but I went in and played around after the videos and somehow messed it up so that in Firefox my heading no longer fits. However in IE and Chrome it does. Pretty frustrating!

    One thing that helped me out was that while doing the videos I played around in a random site in order to test out how I can or cannot mess things up. Another good thing I am learning is to code my changes directly and avoid reliance on highlighting text in Dreamweaver and right-clicking in order to change the font or italicize or what not. It’s shorter, but in the longrun I think it is creating “bad code.”

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