From SNDS Magazine 3|2013
A web-based book about typography – for print and web. Typographer-turned-lawyer Matthew Butterick, who has been at the forefront of developing both type and web design (see for instance typo.la/bitg) created Butterick’s Practical Typography as an experiment in taking the web seriously as a book-publishing medium. The book is actually an online version of a book that will never exist in print – but with a level of writing and design quality that you’d find in a printed book.
And it’s really a pleasant experience to read the book – designed as it is with plenty of white space, beautiful typography, and excellent illustrations – showing examples of bad typography and then the better alternative, and by giving firm advice on how to help people like you and me become better typographers.
Butterick is not one to compromise – for instance, in the chapter Font recommendations, he gives us a comprehensive and very useful list of alternatives to system fonts like Calibri and Verdana. He won’t even mention the name of Comic Sans, and as for Arial, he says:
“I try to keep the litmus tests to a minimum, but this must be one: you cannot create good typography with Arial.”
The book is free, but if you like what you see, you’re asked to contribute. Butterick lists seven ways you can help keep the book online and ad-free – including buying his fonts on the site, or simply sending him some money. But, you’re granted the right to read the book first. Do it!
Butterick’s Practical Typography: