Design deals for the week

Post pobrano z: Design deals for the week

Every week, we’ll give you an overview of the best deals for designers, make sure you don’t miss any by subscribing to our deals feed. You can also follow the recently launched website Type Deals if you are looking for free fonts or font deals.

The Delightful Bundle Vol II

Jam packed with 25 fonts from 20 different font families, this amazing font bundle comes in at JUST $0.80 per font.

$19 instead of $299 – Get it now!

5 Fabulous Handmade Script Fonts

Fonts make all the difference in your designs. Sure, what you say is important, but how you say it is just as powerful! Be sure to hurry and grab this Mini-Font collection sporting 5 fantastic handmade script fonts! Whether you’re working on invitations or mugs, these professional typefaces can be molded to suit your style thanks to the many OpenType Features they include.

$9 instead of $75 – Get it now!

UX Web Tiles for Flow Diagrams and Sitemaps

This Mighty Deal features a total of 150 unique Web Tiles from Firetuts, that can easily be used to create Flow Diagrams and Sitemaps for your clients. Simple to edit and highly customizable, these Tiles are compatible with popular editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks and Omnigraffle. This deal has been brought back for another run, by popular demand. Jump on it now and you could save 91% off the regular price! And for just $9 more, you can also get the iOS Mobile UX Tiles collection.

$15 instead of $74 – Get it now!

250 Feminine-Style Branding Logos & 20 Bonus Textures

If you’re looking to add a feminine touch to your latest project, this Mighty Deal is for you! A huge collection of 250 feminine-style logos, this ultimate branding pack features colorful and fully editable logo templates. Plus as a bonus, you’ll get 20 hi-res textures! There are even video tutorials included that explain how to add the textures in both Photoshop and Illustrator.

$9 instead of $19 – Get it now!

Feel the Love: Valentine’s Day Bundle of 100+ Vectors

Ahhh… Love… what a wonderful, magical feeling. The butterflies in your stomach, the ongoing daydreaming about your significant other, the fulfilling feeling of passion and excitement of just thinking of your beloved one. This bundle is just about that. Love…pure simple passionate love. Please take a peak of this beautiful new Valentine’s Day Bundle. We’re sure that you will find something suitable for your own love life and to show the love on your websites. Happy Valentines Day!

$9 instead of $200 – Get it now!

An anatomic armchair by Jade T. Cho

Post pobrano z: An anatomic armchair by Jade T. Cho

On Designer Daily, we have already featured the anatomy of gadgets or the evolution of type, two projects that revealed a supposed anatomy or evolution of objects and type. Obviously, we were delighted upon discovering the anatomic armchair by Jade T. Cho. The young designer from Korea took a vintage armchair and exposed some bones and gory details using various material for building it.

Thoughts on designing user interfaces in 2018

Post pobrano z: Thoughts on designing user interfaces in 2018

Many elements of website design have become over-familiar and even generic over the past few years.  Full-screen images, videos, and hamburger menus are so common that they are seen absolutely everywhere.

Flat design has become a trend and many designers use responsive menus.  Creative designers in the industry are beginning to ask, ‘What next?’

What risks are designers willing to take, and how can original and creative ideas be incorporated into UI design? User Interface design involves creativity.  By communicating with a client and imagining a new product or goal, a web designer aims to create a unique product.

Here are some new and creative ideas which are beginning to emerge in website design.

The importance of new design

As a designer, it is very easy to try to improve on old patterns and trends.  However, truly innovative design often changes the way a user engages with a product.  When Henry Ford created his first car he completely transformed the transport industry.

However, even small changes can make a big difference.  Adding a digital element to the household thermostat has made it simple and easy to use.  Homeowners can now control the temperatures in their homes from their smartphones.  There are no longer complicated keypads to contend with.

Working innovatively while keeping user experience in mind is important within web design too.  This is how designers create transformative experiences for their viewers.

The role of wearable technology

Wearable technology often comes in the form of wrist wear such as a smartwatch, jewelry or even a pair of eyeglasses.  Product designers have created an attractive product which appeals to gadget lovers.

Users enjoy this technology and as it starts to become more popular, it is becoming more affordable to a great many people.

As a web/UI designer, wearable technology brings applications and websites not just to smartphones but to watches and other easily accessible devices.  Brands will want their sites to be accessible through these products.

Wearable technology means designs need to be as simple and functional as possible, cutting out any superfluous material.

Users love simplicity

When designing a site or web app, keep in mind that a user will often form an opinion in the blink of an eye.  As a result, your layout should be simple and clear.

Viewers need to understand the next step to take.  As a designer, your goal is to focus your user’s attention immediately.  This could mean placing one button instead of four in your layout.

The easier an app or website is to use, the more intuitive it will feel to your viewer.  Give your viewers all the information they need without confusing them.  Design with the average viewer in mind.  You can always add extra content or additional options at a later stage.  Keep your pages simple and clutter free.

Think of dashboard design as an experiment. What do the most popular dashboards have in common? Simplicity. It should perform the needed tasks for the users, and nothing more.

Balance creativity with convention

Although your goal as a designer is to create a unique design, there are times when it is best to remain traditional.

When you’re creating a digital user interface, it is important to speak your viewer’s language.  Your call to action button needs to be easily identifiable.

Likewise, shopping carts and navigation menus need to be familiar to a viewer.  Otherwise, your viewer will simply not be able to interact with your site.

Keep responsive design aesthetic

As smartphones and tablets have become increasingly popular, designers have been using responsive design to create websites which adjust to smaller screens.

Responsive design has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years.  Research proves that it makes a massive difference to viewers.

However, designing a responsive website means taking into account the size of text along with the focus on imagery.  If your site simply shrinks in size, it often becomes complicated and difficult to navigate for viewers.  Your site might not give the visual message you are aiming for if your imagery is not proportional.

With screen size changing constantly and the increasing popularity of wearable technology, you will want your site to look good in many different screen sizes.

As a designer, your goal is not simply to create a responsive site.  It is to create a responsive site which maintains your aesthetic.  Check your designs on multiple screen sizes and ask yourself whether it still maintains the image of your brand.

Incorporate animation

 

An animation is a quick display of images which have been shaped into a sequence.  It is commonly used in the form of a film or video.  When designers use animation, they increase a viewer’s interaction with the site.  Animation gives a fluid sense of life to a site.  It attracts users attention as they watch shapes change and evolve.

An animation is an effective way to create interest in any site.  As an additional benefit, it does not take a great deal of time to incorporate.  Animation enables a designer to bring a message to life.  It is, however, not widely incorporated across websites.

Animation can be used in the form of GIF images or saved in CSS or SVG format.  You can create anything from a simple underlining of important keywords in a text to a full video or evolving logo which shapes its way across a page.

Adding animation to a website takes very little time.  However, your digital interface design will immediately feel less like a website and more like an application.

Make it easy for your user to navigate your web or mobile app

As a UI designer, you need to ensure that your user can engage with your app.  This prevents your user from getting lost.

Ensure your app speaks your user’s language and feels intuitive.  Navigation should be easily accessible.  Your user should be able to do any false actions or find the way home when lost.

If you keep your app design clear, simple and easy to use, this will ensure your users will use it again and again.

Let your user scan your content

Users are often impatient.  In order to have your viewers interact and explore your site, you need to make content easy to understand.  Your users won’t want to wade through a long and involved story in order to find what they are looking for.  Break information up into small chunks.  Create headings and subheadings so that your user can see what is on each page.

Place the most important content at the top of your page.  An interested user might scroll down to the bottom of a page to read minor details, but you will need to place your crucial content at the top.

Users will only switch from scanning to reading copy when the content helps them to focus on areas of interest.  Make your subheadings clear.  This way your users can pick and choose what they would like to read.

Many sites use illustrations in order to give quick and easy messages which don’t demand too much of site visitors.

Variable Fonts with Jason Pamental

Post pobrano z: Variable Fonts with Jason Pamental

We’ve already hit you with a one-two punch of variable fonts today. Robin shared Richard Rutter’s post on real-world usage of them. Ollie Williams introduced us to the in’s-and-out’s of using them on the web.

I figured we’d make it a trifecta and link up our discussion about variable fonts with Jason Pamental. Dave and I talk with Jason for an entire hour digging into the real story, possibilities, and future of all this variable fonts business. Don’t miss his or Mandy Michael’s demo Collections either.

Direct Link to ArticlePermalink


Variable Fonts with Jason Pamental is a post from CSS-Tricks

One File, Many Options: Using Variable Fonts on the Web

Post pobrano z: One File, Many Options: Using Variable Fonts on the Web

In 2016, an important development in web typography was jointly announced by representatives from Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Version 1.8 of the OpenType font format introduced variable fonts. With so many big names involved, it’s unsurprising that all browsers are on-board and racing ahead with implementation.

Font weights can be far more than just bold and normal—most professionally designed typefaces are available in variants ranging from a thin hairline ultralight to a black extra-heavy bold. To make use of all those weights, we would need a separate file for each. While a design is unlikely to need every font-weight, a wider variety than bold and normal adds visual hierarchy and interest to a page.

The Google Fonts GUI makes clear: the more weights you choose, the slower your site

There’s more than various weights to consider. CSS3 introduced the font-stretch property, with values from ultra-condensed to ultra-expanded. Until now, these values only worked if you provided a separate file for each width. If you wanted every combination of weight and width in both normal and italic, you would need dozens of files.

The popular Gotham font, available in many width and weight combinations

With variable fonts, we can get all this variety with a single file.

The OpenType spec lists five standard axes of variation—all labeled by a four-character string. These are aspects of the typeface that we have control over.

  • wght – Weight is controlled by the CSS font-weight property. The value can be anything from 1 to 999. This will allow for a more granular level of control.
  • wdth – Width is controlled by the CSS font-stretch property. It can take a keyword or a percentage value. While it’s long been possible to use a transform to scaleX or scaleY, that distorts the font in ugly ways unintended by the typographer. The width axis is defined by the font designer to expand or condense elegantly.
  • opsz – Optical sizing can be turned on or off using the new font-optical-sizing property. (I’ll explain what optical sizing is later on.)
  • ital – Italicization is achieved by setting the CSS font-style property to italic
  • slnt– Slant is controlled by setting the CSS font-style property set to oblique. It will default to a 20 degree slant but it can also accept a specified degree between -90deg and 90deg.

Unfortunately, not every variable font will necessarily make use of all five axes. It’s entirely dependent on the creator of the particular typeface. After testing every variable font I could get my hands on, by far the most commonly implemented is weight, followed closely by width. Much of the time you will need two files: one for italic and one for regular, as the ital axis isn’t always implemented. As Frank Grießhammer of Adobe told me:

Italic and Roman styles have (often radically) different construction principles, therefore point structures may not always be compatible.

The browser can make any non-italic font emulate italics, but this is typographically ill-advised.

Typographers can define named instances within their variable font. A named instance is a preset—a particular variation the font is capable of accessing with a name (e.g. „Extra Light”) rather than with numbers alone. In the current CSS spec, however, there is no way to access these named instances. It’s important to note that when you use a value like extra-condensed or semi-expanded for font-stretch, the value maps to a percentage predefined in the CSS spec—not to any named instance chosen by the font creator. For font-weight, the bold value maps to 700 and normal to 400. As the spec puts it, „a font might internally provide its own mappings, but those mappings within the font are disregarded.”

The CSS Fonts Module Level 4 spec introduces the new font-variation-settings property to control variable font options. The following two CSS declarations are equivalent:

h1 {
  font-weight: 850;
  font-style: italic;
  font-stretch: normal;
}

h1 {
  font-variation-settings: "wght" 850, "wdth" 100, "ital" 1;
}

The spec strongly prefers using font-optical-sizing, font-style, font-weight and font-stretch over font-variation-settings for controlling any of the five standard axes. As Myles Maxfield kindly explained to me:

font-variation-settings is not identical to the other variation-aware properties, because with these other properties, the browser has insight into the meaning of the variations, and can therefore do things like applying them to other font file formats, or creating synthesized versions if the font file doesn’t support the axis.

Microsoft will register more standard axes tags over time. As new axes are added, we can also expect new CSS properties to control them. Font creators are also free to invent their own axes. This is why font-variation-settings was added to CSS—it is the only way to control custom axes. Lab DJR and Decovar are two typeface made with the express intention of demonstrating just how malleable a single variable font can be. Lab DJR, for example, offers four custom axes:

h1 {
  font-variation-settings: 'SIZE' 100, 'QUAD' 80, 'BEVL' 950, 'OVAL' 210;
}
Courtesy of David Jonathan Ross. David is by the typographer of Lab DJR and already has several variable fonts to his name.

These foundry-defined custom axes must use uppercase letters while the standardized axes always use lower case. With unique and unstandardized options, CSS authors must count on font developers to properly document their work.

The versatility of Decovar is the perfect showcase for the power of variable fonts being more than just a saved HTTP request

Performance

You might download a variable font in TTF format rather than as a pre-compressed file. You’ll definitely want to convert it into .woff2. Google offer a command line tool predictably named woff2 to make it easy. If you cd into the folder containing your font while in the command line, you can type:

woff2_compress examplefont.ttf

We’ve established that we’ll only need one HTTP request per typeface (or possibly two to separate Roman and Italic styles). Because they’re doing so much work, you might expect the file size of a variable font to be far larger than a typical font file. Let’s have a (not entirely scientific) look.

Here are some of the variable fonts I have hanging around my laptop, along with their file sizes:

Decovar is only 71 KB even though it has 15 axes

Let’s compare that to single instances of a non-variable version of Source Sans:

Animation

Variable fonts also mean that, for the first time, font-weight (and any other axis) can be animated. While adding type animation may sound like a superfluous embellishment a website can happily survive without, something like adding weight on focus, for example, seems like a natural and intuitive way to denote state to the user. In the past, switching from a normal to a bold weight was utterly jarring. With variable fonts it can be smooth and graceful.

One Size Fits All?

While Lab DJR and Decovar are excitingly creative, variable fonts aren’t all about avant-garde experimentalism. Optical sizing should bring a better reading experience to the web. Currently, type on the web is size agnostic; you can change the font-size and it will still look the same. Optical sizing means making size-specific optimizations for a typeface where the variation of a letter’s form at different sizes can improve readability. We don’t want larger text to look inelegant or clunky, while smaller text benefits from the removal of fine details. More open counters, the thickening of subtle serifs, and an increase in x-height, width, weight and letter-spacing all improve legibility at smaller sizes. The initial value is auto so if you are using a font that makes use of an optical sizing index, you get the benefit for free out of the box.

What Fonts Are Available?

This technology is quickly making its way into browsers. Making use of it requires you to find a variable font you actually want to use. Google Fonts Early Access has three available, with many more likely to follow. Adobe is remaking some of the most well-known families (i.e. Minion, Myriad, Acumin) to be variable. The open source fonts Source Sans and Source Serif have also been released. Monotype, one of the world’s largest typography companies, has so far introduced beta versions of Avenir Next and Kairos Sans. Some independent type foundries have also started to release variable typefaces. With variable font support now available in all major font-creation software, we can expect the availability to greatly expand over 2018.

Using Your Font

Once you’ve found your font, you need to use @font-face to include it on your site.

We don’t want any browsers to download a font they can’t use. For that reason, we should specify the format inside the @font-face rule. Depending on the file type of your variable font, you can specify woff-variations, woff2-variations, opentype-variations or truetype-variations. As already mentioned, you should always use woff2.

@font-face {
  font-family: 'source sans';
  src: url(SourceSansVariable.woff2) format("woff2-variations"),
       url(SourceSans.woff2) format("woff2"); /* for older browsers */
       font-weight: normal; font-style: normal;
}
    
@font-face {
  font-family: 'source sans';
  src: url(SourceSansVariable-italic.woff2) format("woff2-variations"),
       url(SourceSans-italic.woff2) format("woff2");
       font-weight: normal; font-style: italic;
}

A third @font-face is only necessary to provide a backup bold font for browsers that do not support variable fonts. Notice that we are using the same variable font file as for the first @font-face rule, as that file can be both bold and normal:

@font-face {
  font-family: 'source sans';
  src: url(SourceSansVariable.woff2) format("woff2-variations"),
       url(SourceSans-bold.woff2) format("woff2");
       font-weight: 700; font-style: normal;
}

If the browser supports variable fonts, SourceSansVariable.woff2 and SourceSansVariable-italic.woff2 will be downloaded and used. If not, SourceSans.woff2, SourceSans-bold.woff2 and SourceSans-italic.woff2 will be downloaded instead.

From here, we can apply the font on an element as we normally would:

html {
  font-family: 'source sans', Verdana, sans-serif;
}

San Francisco

While variable fonts bring performance benefits, „web-safe” system fonts still remain the most performant option because the font is already installed and there is nothing to download. If you want to use a variable font without the need of downloading anything, Apple’s San Francisco, perhaps the prettiest of all system fonts, is also a variable font. Using system fonts no longer requires a massive font-stack:

html {
  font-family: system-ui, -apple-system;
}

The system-ui value is the new standard to access system fonts, while -apple-system is non-standardized syntax that works on Firefox. Traditionally, system fonts have not come in a wide range of weights or widths. Hopefully more will be made available as variable fonts, bringing all the benefits of variable fonts without a single HTTP request.

Browser Support

Variable fonts have shipped in Chrome and Safari. They are already in the insider preview version of Edge and behind a flag in Firefox. At the current time, not all parts of the spec are fully implemented by Chrome. Using variable fonts in conjunction with font-style, font-stretch, font-weight and font-optical-sizing does not work in Chrome, so using font-variation-settings to control the five standard axes is necessary for the time being. Specifying the format as woff2-variations inside of @font-face also lacks support in Chrome (you can specify only woff2 and the font will still work, but then you are unable to have a non-variable woff2 fallback).


One File, Many Options: Using Variable Fonts on the Web is a post from CSS-Tricks