Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Typography On The Web

GoogleLogoGoogle has apparently changed their logo over the last weekend. Check out the difference. Oh, can’t see anything? Don’t worry, it’s not your eyesight. You see, the change is so minuscule that most people won’t be able to tell the difference even under close scrutiny. So what is the change?

The second ‘g’ has shifted a whopping one whole pixel to the right, while the ‘l’ has tumbled over one pixel down and one pixel to the right. Absolutely crazy that.

First reported on Reddit, it’s totally amazing that the change even got noticed at all. I cannot begin to imagine how much sleep the designers at Google lost over the two misplaced letters.

I’m neither a web designer nor a font designer. But I care that a webpage should look nice. Part of that requires appropriate layout, use of whitespace, and selection of fonts. I’ve mentioned about fonts in previous posts, and honestly, just this one item is a big topic on its own.

What Google has done with their logo tweaking is something known as kerning. This is a process of adjusting the spacing between individual character forms (glyphs) in a font to achieve a visually pleasing result.

Kerning tweaks are examples of what differentiates good fonts from not-so-good fonts. There’s a good reason for some fonts to cost money. Of course, why some fonts should cost many hundreds of dollars is another matter altogether.

Typography on the web has come of age. It is no longer just a matter of putting pixels on the screen. The attention to detail when it comes to publishing on the web is that much as important as it had been with print.

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