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I have always been intrigued by how thick and thin lines, angles and shapes can come together and form beautiful fonts. Just a shift of pressure on a stroke and you can get something entirely new. That’s the magic of typography.
Typography is art in its truest sense, and the web has certainly made it more mainstream. Choosing the right fonts and a theme to go with it are joined at the hip when it comes to web design. The right combination gives us a web design that spells ‘wow’.
Not all of us are graphic designers or art directors; but that shouldn’t stop us from exploring the wonderful world of typography. Typefaces and fonts are just a part of it. There are varied web applications and websites that can help perk up your interest.
Explore these ten websites…some of them are practical tools and some are just cool. In the end, I am sure you will see that fonts aren’t just print on a page.
You can also try the similaronline tool to view the active fonts on your system.
You have seen a font somewhere but can’t exactly place the name of the typeface. TypeNavigator helps you sort through the probabilities with its unique visual search system. Select the closest look from the choices on display; then work through the forms like width, angle, contour etc to narrow down your search. Think of this useful font app as a filter to jog your memory cells and get that fuzzy font you remember from somewhere.
This web app gives you two routes to get to an obscure font. Answer a series of questions or search for a font by giving part (or whole) of its name. The site says that it is the largest independent directory of typefaces on the Internet, with information about fonts from 645 publishers and 175 vendors. Click on any of the tabs to search fonts by appearance, name, similarity, or by a descriptive word.
Typechart [No longer available]
This useful font website is for the web designer who wants to compare web typography and settle on one. Typechart’s usefulness comes in because the web designer can also download the CSS for the particular font. Using the preview, font rendering for Windows and Mac can be compared against each other.
Membership to this cool type related blog is by invitation only, but that’s because the site wants to focus completely on beautiful typography from around the web. If you love typography, then the visual website is a must visit.
Typedia is a community encyclopedia of typefaces. Using the search engine on the site you can search for typefaces, designers, foundries, and other related links. Another way to look into the world of typography would be through the listings on the site (check Browse Listings). The site explains its principle as – think of it like a mix between IMDb and Wikipedia, but just for type.
Typetester as the name indicates is a very useful tool for web designers who want to compare the appearance of different fonts on the screen. You can pick the ones given in the list or also use the ones detected on your system. You can also compare each font against each other by changing the parameters like color, size, case etc.
We have looked and admired fonts. Now, if you think that it’s time to design a few fonts, you can try out this free online font-building tool. If you have ever tried your hand at designing icons on a grid editor then this tool will be familiar to you. Using simple strokes you can design fonts. It’s not difficult, but you have to be patient and creative. Fonts can be saved, shared, and downloaded for your use. Check out the gallery to see the scope of this online app.
This simple guess the font game can leave even the most well versed designer stumped. But you can discover cool new fonts while you rack up the score. There’s even an iPhone app.
Typotheque Dance Writer is a fun application that takes your letter inputs and converts them into dance movements. You can for example type in your name and make the interactive human figure move to it. There’s no useful application for this…except a bit of fun. One of its fun uses is to type in a text message and email it as dance movements to your friends.
We have seen that fonts and typography websites come in many flavors – from the practical to the fun. For more regular uses of fonts, check out some of our previous posts on fonts –
If you love typography, let us know about your favorite website.
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