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Typography Heaven: 43 Free Serif Fonts to Dream of

13 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Designers never own too many fonts. Serif fonts are the most popular when it comes to print projects. So why not stack up a decent stock? I have carefully selected a bunch of the prettiest types I could find. If you need support for other languages than English, most of these will have your back. Before using one of the more vaguely licenced fonts in commercial projects, make sure to recheck licence conditions. Now have fun with these 43 Serif fonts from typography heaven.

1 – Butler

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

2 – Fakedes

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

3 – Forum

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

4 – Athene

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

5 – Poly

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

6 – Barbaro

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

7 – Le Super Serif

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

8 – Firefly 2015

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

9 – Fénix

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

10 – Akura Popo

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

11 – Rancho

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

12 – Bariol Serif

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

13 – Lovato Light

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

14 – Yeseva One

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

15 – Luthier

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

16 – Cormorant

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

17 – Ledger

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

18 – Marta

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

19 – The Tryst

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

20 – Blnc Round

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

21 – Hagin

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

22 – Brela Regular

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

23 – Modum Regular

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

24 – Zorus Serif

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

25 – Seriffic

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

26 – Atletico

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

27 – Foglighten

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

28 – Artifika

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

29 – Arctic

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

30 – Bobber

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

31 – Superlative

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: TTF – only uppercase characters
International Support: No, only English

32 – Musket

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

33 – Ponsi

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

34 – Silverfake

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

35 – Corduroy Slab

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

36 – Weston

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

37 – Korneuburg Slab

Licence: free for private use only
Format: OTF + TTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

38 – Corki V.02

Licence: declared as “free”, no proper licence given
Format: OTF
International Support: No, only English

39 – Aleo

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

40 – Dirty Slab

Licence: free for private use only
Format: TTF
International Support: No, only English

41 – Bree

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

42 – Sreda

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF + OTF
International Support: Yes, Western language characters, including German, check for more

43 – Unna

Licence: Free for private and commercial use
Format: TTF + OTF
International Support: No, only English

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

The Most Beautiful Layer Fonts and How to Use Them in Web Design

12 avril, 2016 - 12:00

Multi-colored text is no invention of digital typography. In the 19th century already, there were some fonts that were divided into two or more cuts so that they can be printed above each other in different colors. The OpenType Format provides these so-called layer fonts for digital use as well. Especially for 3D and shadow effects, plenty of fonts that allow for multi-colored display are available. Thanks to these web fonts, you can even use the multi-colored texts in web design.

What Exactly Are Layer Fonts?

Layer fonts are special types of fonts for which the cuts are designed in a way that they can be overlapped. Often, decorative elements like shadows, contours or three-dimensional pages can be combined this way. When you assign a color to each of the font layers, this creates flashy headings and striking texts.

Drawing and desktop publishing programs like Illustrator and InDesign offer simple ways of using layer fonts. Later, I’ll explain how to use layer fonts in web design using CSS3. First, I’ll present some of the most beautiful and exciting multi-colored fonts that are available as web fonts.

Three Dimensional Fonts

Multi-colored display is especially useful for fonts with a three-dimensional appearance. The “Core Circus” is certainly one of the most interesting layer fonts for that reason. There are 20 different cuts that can be combined in a variety of ways. There are some that simulate three-dimensionality. These can be combined with one of the plethoras of flat cuts which can be used as the front of the 3D font, for example. Apart from lines and hatching, there are dotted cuts as well. Last but not least, there are several shadows you can add.

“Mrs. Onion”, which is structured similarly to “Core Circus”, offers a couple more cuts – 38 in total. Here, however, you have the option to display the individual sides of the three-dimensional font in different colors. There are separate cuts for the lower and the right sides. Additionally, shaded and dotted cuts are available for the front side.

You can combine up to six cuts without any problems, and thus, you receive very detailed multi-colored texts which are a perfect fit for spacious headings.

“Epilepsja” comes with a slightly different 3D look. The font plays with the illusion of three-dimensionality. This creates the impression of a 3D effect here and there. At some point, however, the font appears to be two-dimensional again.

There are three cuts which display contour, filling, and background. The “Epilepsja” is flashy in any way and is certain to create some confusion here and there.

Historical Fonts

Alongside interesting 3D effects, layer fonts are always fitting to rehash historical fonts. Especially in times before digital typography, many typographic effects were created with large amounts of manual effort. Thanks to layer fonts, these effects can now be created in no time.

“Brim Narrow,” for example, is a font that orientates itself towards classic fonts of the 18th century. It reminds the user of detailed and delicately drawn fonts that you know from money bills and other valuable documents.

The “Core Deco” resembles the fonts of Art Déco. The font has the large curves and strict geometric alignment, which were typical for this style of typography. Hatching, shadows, and 3D effects are all available as own cuts so that they can be displayed in separate colors.

“Whisky” goes to prove that even fractured fonts can be interpreted in a contemporary way. There are different types of bold surface cuts that you combine with various strengths of contour cuts. This creates unusual effects which you can use to play around with the classic perception of fractured fonts.

Handwriting

Handwritten or drawn texts are always very popular, both playful and with an elegant typography. Here, I’ll show you some layer fonts that shine with special effects.

“Festivo Letters” simulates a pen-drawn font. Letters are partially shaded, partially outlined by dots, and hand-colored. The combination of different cuts allows you to integrate colors. This supports the playful character of the font.

“Le Havre Hand” also simulates a hand-drawn font. Here, even a 3D look is available. Shading of different strengths is combined with contour drawings and creates massive letters which still have a playful look.

If you prefer a more filigree look, you might like the “Weingut.” The elegant font is decorated with floral elements and appears quite noble yet playful. For an individual look, there is a decorative cut which you can use to add floral elements in a different color.

Using Layer Fonts in Webdesign

If you want to use layer fonts on your website, the respective cuts of the font are needed as a web font first. Now, of course you have the option to draw and overlay multiple elements with the same text. However, this variant is not recommendable as the same text would be present multiple times. Thus, the combination of the pseudo elements “::before” and “::after” with a data attribute are preferrable.

For that, the text set in the layer font is marked with just one element. This element receives an HTML5 data attribute which contains another copy of the text.

1 <p data-text="Noupe Magazine">Noupe Magazine</p>

Semantically, the value of the attribute “data-text” is irrelevant. It’s only required as you need to have access to the attribute’s content via CSS. Now, everything else is also done via CSS. Assign the cut that you want to display in the background to the “<p>” element using CSS.

1 2 3 4 p { font-family: "LayerFont 1"; color: blue; }

Then, make sure that the pseudo element “::after” gives out the content of the data attribute. The placement is absolute, so that it lies above the actual “<p>” element. Additionally, assign the font for the background and a different color to “::after”.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 p::after { font-family: "LayerFont 2"; color: red; content: attr(data-text); position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; }

If you want to add a third cut, additionally integrate “::before” and proceed according to how you did for “::after”. Then, your impressive web font is ready for prime time!

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

No Nonsense: What Really Accelerates WordPress Websites – [#1]

11 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Have you ever asked yourself, why there are websites with a ton of pictures on the landing page that still load in significantly less than a second? You read that correctly. Considerably less than a second. That’s possible, however, it requires a lot of expertise and, above all else, effort. For example, you can’t use a theme that updates automatically. A child theme is not an option either, as too many changes would have to be made. The effort is worth it, though, as the high speed is a real reason for Google to rank the website higher. Thus, this small series isn’t about the 100 out of 100 points for Google Page Speed but deals with the question how to make websites really fast.

Making Your Websites Extremely Fast

Typically, you’d set up a test page for a series like the one that started with this article. However, a test page can easily be optimized, as there are barely any plugins installed, few CSS and JavaScript files are loaded, and there are very few images implemented in the landing page. That’s why we wanted to prove that it is entirely possible to make a website load rapidly, even when it’s a live site with 28 images, some of them being in large format. The site I’m talking about is my Democratic Post. By the way, the final speed of your website often is diligent work, as many – sometimes even small – optimizations interlock.

First Test:

Second Test:

Why We Don’t Consider Google Page Speed

Google Page Speed Insights is undoubtedly a really good tool for website speed optimization. Nonetheless, some rules are not only questionable, but even limit further speed potential. Especially the CSS, which Google likes to see as Inline CSS (the part of the CSS that is responsible for the display of the visible area), prevents faster loading times for some themes. A linked CSS file that can be cached perfectly, is generally faster, even when it’s only the case when accessing another website. Google also likes to nag about their own files, as they can only be cached for a short amount of time. That’s why we’ll focus on pure speed, measurable performance.

High-Speed Tip #1 – Choosing the Right Hoster

Choosing the right web host and a suitable solution for the hosting is critical, as the speed already starts there. WordPress already runs on affordable shared hosting packages, but that is the wrong choice when speed is what you want. On these web-hosting packages, a virtual server is sometimes shared by more than 100 websites. You’ll feel when other sites on the server have a lot of traffic. Thus, you need a proper solution which only costs a few bucks more. I’ll now briefly introduce you to two recommendable, affordable, paid solutions.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Raidboxes offers premium WordPress hosting from Germany. The hosting is a managed WordPress hosting. That means, you don’t need to take care of anything. Starting from the package “Starter”, your own virtual server that you won’t have to share with anyone is included. When choosing the right host, it’s important to know whether it saves the websites on SSDs or regular HDDs. For more speed, your choice always has to be SSD. Raidboxes generally only offers SSDs. The “Starter Package” costs 17,85 Euro a month, including added value tax. For that money, you’ll also receive good support that will move your website for you for free. You can test the Managed WordPress Hosting for free for 14 days at Radiboxes. This type of hosting is the right choice when you don’t know much about server configuration.

Managed Root Cloud Server by hostNET

The Managed Root Cloud Server by the German company hostNET. Is my choice. hostNET takes care of everything related to security and general server configuration. When additional things need to be installed, you’ll have to do that yourself. The root cloud server provides an SSD that is displayed in a RAID5 system with hot-spare and additional HA-failover-cluster. This causes a real performance boost. In addition to that, you get your own IP adress, as a small extra service. The really interesting thing about this hosting option however, is that it grows alongside your website and the requirements. You can increase and decrease the storage space, the CPU amount, as well as the internal memory when needed. The calculations are done accurate to the second. The Root-Cloud server starts at  14,88 Euro, including added value tax, a month. The server can be tested for free for seven days. We’ve already presented the service in-depth at our German sister Dr. Web.

High-Speed Tipp #2 – Pay Attention to HTTP/2 When Choosing the Hoster

HTTP/2 is the future of the internet. This protocol – the successor of HTTP 1.1 – was developed for today’s modern and complex websites. The advantages are, that the new protocol allows the browser to load different files at the same time, and not after each other like it was the case for HTTP 1.1. HTTP 1.1 had to open a connection for each request, while the browser can load multiple resources at the same time on a TCP connection when using HTTP 2.2. This creates a large speed advantage. While Raidboxes still works with the “precursor” SPDY 3.1, hostNET already uses HTTP/2. This online tool allows you to test, which website already uses HTTP2.

Info: The advantages of HTTP/2 can only be used with an HTTPS certificate, as most browsers require this.

High-Speed Tipp #3 – Mucking Out the Plugins

Most people have way too many plugins activated. Every added plugin slows down the website. Thus, clean out the dung and only keep the ones that are necessary activated and installed. Even plugins that you only use from time to time that are deactivated can still slow down your website, so delete them.

The plugin P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) can quickly determine which plugins are performance eaters. These definitely need to be kicked out. Yoast SEO is one of the candidates that make a website slow. The fastest SEO plugin is wpSEO, by the way. However, it is not available for free. It starts at 23,79 Euro, including tax, and only one payment is required. You won’t get around using premium plugins when your website’s speed matters to you.

Checking Your Website’s Source Code

To be able to decide which plugins to throw out, take a look at your website’s HTML source code. This way, you can find out which plugins load how much additional CSS and JavaScript. Once again, less is more. If there are plugins that you need to keep at all costs, write them down. Later, I’ll show you how the files are only loaded where they need to be loaded.

High Speed Tipp #4 – Clearing Out Code in the WordPress Theme

Depending on which theme you’re using, it was either programmed well or poorly. Many themes carry an overhead of source code which slows them down. At this point, diligent work is needed, as you need to remove the unnecessary source code, and clean out the dung. To do that, you can check all templates of the theme, and see what’s needed and what can be deleted. Especially the expensive premium themes often carry unnecessary amounts of code, which is why you might want to switch to a very well developed, free theme. For example, Automattic and Anders Norén both provide very high code quality and usage.

High-Speed Tipp #5 – Cleaning Up the WordPress Header

Back then, there were few links in the WordPress header, now there is a broad array of them which are displayed depending on the website. There’s also added code for the emojis, a type of smileys. Since WordPress 4.2, these emojis are anchored in the core. Their scripts are delivered in both backend and frontend on every site access. It’s irrelevant if the emojis are used or not. Thus, this code also needs to be deactivated, as all it does is drain performance.

One Click Opens the Gist at GitHub

Conclusion of the First Part

When you considered every aspect, especially the one dealing with clearing out your plugins, your website should be considerably faster already. When I switched from a shared hoster to hostNET, my website was already as fast as my old optimized one, without any optimizations. Maybe you’re not entirely sure why you should pay attention to the small things like cleaning up HTML source code and clearing out the header. But I assure you, these many small optimizations add up and contribute a lot to your loading speed. All the work interlocks in the end.

Related Links

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Securityheaders.io: How Safe is Your Web Space?

10 avril, 2016 - 10:00

Security is often neglected by website owners. Everything is cared for, new features are implemented and a neat design is created. Then one day, your website gets hacked. To prevent this unpleasant scenario, a strategy and some effort is necessary. If you happen to own your own server, that’s just another reason to take care of security. In many cases, this is rather simple. To help you protect your website, I’ll now introduce you to the online tool securityheaders.io, which shows you the weaknesses of your server or shared space, and provides advice on how to remove them.

Securityheaders.io – Analysis of the HTTP Headers

Securityheaders.io is the name of the online service that can determine how safe your server is, judging by the sent HTTP response headers. Of course, there are many services that can analyse HTTP response headers. But the unique thing about securityheaders is its rating system, into which it sorts the results. The system orders the results in an area from A to F. Here; A is a perfectly protected server while F is given out for destitute protection.

The service and its operator Scott Helme want to contribute to more safety on the internet. Not only does it analyze the response headers, but it also gives solid advice on how to remove the security issues. Sending the right HTTP response headers leads to much better safety and should thus be looked into. This takes relatively little time. However, the potential increase in security is tremendous.

Many Servers are Potentially Unsafe

If you play around with the online tool for a bit, you should quickly notice that the majority of the tested servers are potentially endangered. No matter which domain I entered and checked, the shown result was always F. Even for my own websites. Until now I assumed that a managed server or a managed WordPress hosting was secure and that you didn’t need to take care of that area. Now I know that managed doesn’t automatically mean safe. Shared hosting systems are not any safer, as I got an F there as well.

A potentially poor security is not only marked with an F but also colored in red to visualize the safety breach. Very safe servers are colored green, as shown in this scan of the securityheaders website.

Good Explanations of the Results and Tips on Improvements

Every (bad) scan result shows exactly which HTTP response headers are missing. A short description tells you, why these headers are necessary, and what can happen if they are missing.


My Website’s Missing Response Headers

There are links for each result, which are providing additional substantial articles on each of the areas. This way, you can learn a lot about the respective headers. Afterwards, you’ll know exactly what to do and especially, why you should do it. Behind the missing header »Content-Security-Police«, you’ll find the article “Content Security Policy – An Introduction.” Additionally, there are good explanations on this area in other languages.

How HTTP Response Headers Increase Our Server’s Safety

The »Content-Security-Police-Header« is a good protection against the problem called cross-site scripting. So-called XSS or cross-site scripting attacks are some of the biggest security threats for web applications. Here, protection against code brought into the website from outside is required. The »Content-Security-Police« header allows you to determine which scripts can be accessed from outside. The default setting only allows for the execution of scripts that are on the local server. Additionally, define all scripts which have to be accessed. Google Adsense and Google Analytics Code, for example. Every other – external – code is ignored, and thus, not executed.

This is the case for images, frames and videos as well. Meaning all things that are not on your own server. Setting the exceptions is tedious. However, you’ll be rewarded with a tremendous increase in safety.

Other Response Headers

The scan of my personal website resulted in four missing HTTP response headers. Among others, the already mentioned »Content-Security-Header«, the »X-Frame-Options-Header«, the »X-XSS-Protection-Header«, and the »X-Content-Type-Options-Header«.

The »X-Frame-Options-Header« protects your website from being executed in a frame. There are people on the web that like to adorn themselves with borrowed plumes. These people create like to integrate other websites via iFrames. This way, they provide good content without writing it themselves.

The »X-XSS-Protection-Header« configures the internal “Cross-Site-Scripting-Filter”, which is integrated into most browsers already. The recommended configuration “X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block” protects your visitors from attacks on their computers. The following browsers support the filter: Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari (Webkit).

The »X-Content-Type-Options-Header« can only set the value “nosniff”. It prevents Internet Explorer and Google Chrome from searching for MIME types different from the ones defined by the declared content type (text/HTML for example). Google Chrome is also prevented from downloading extensions. Thus, so-called drive-by download attacks are not possible anymore. Your computer can not be infected with malicious code. Of course, this only applies to the website that set this response header.

Conclusion

The online service securityheaders can increase the security significantly. Not only were we able to secure our own server by using the appropriate HTTP response header, but we also improved our visitor’s safety. The online tool shows exactly where the security issues are and how they can be fixed.

Related Links:

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Comparison: Font Subscription Services for the Web

8 avril, 2016 - 16:00

Subscriptions are becoming more and more popular when it comes to digital content and applications. Whether it’s about music, software or fonts: Instead of buying or licensing once, offers are provided as some flat monthly rate. When it comes to web fonts, providers have been using a subscription model since the beginning, mainly to prevent font data from loading on foreign servers. By now, more and more font providers extend their subscription model to classic desktop fonts as well. Are these subscription services worth it? And where are the differences between the offers?

The First of Its Kind: Typekit

Typekit is one of the first and largest of its kind. Being a subscription service from the very beginning, it was at first limited to web fonts. After Adobe took over Typekit, and the gearing between Typekit and the Creative Cloud was created, desktop fonts became a part of Typekit’s supply.


Typekit

As a Creative Cloud subscriber, you automatically gain access to the Typekit Portfolio plan, which would usually cost 49.99 Dollar a year. It contains about 2,500 desktop fonts, as well as over 5,000 web fonts. The installation of desktop fonts is different from the usual way, as it’s done via the Creative Cloud application. That’s because the fonts are only meant to be available to you as long as you keep your subscription alive.

However, the installed fonts are not only available in Adobe applications, but in all other programs as well, Microsoft Office applications, for instance. Using the portfolio plan, you can synchronize up to 100 fonts at the same time.

Things get more complicated when it comes to web fonts. You need to set up a so-called kit for each domain. Add all fonts that you want to use on the domain to said kit. After that, integrate a JavaScript, and use the fonts as usual via stylesheets.

The Largest of Its Kind: Monotype

Monotype is one of the largest font providers worldwide. The portal MyFonts, which offers both desktop and web fonts belongs to the company. In contrast to Typekit, both classic and web fonts are not only available in a subscription model. To be able to host them yourself, you’ll receive all of the MyFonts’ web fonts as files.


MyFonts

While desktop fonts are usually licensed according to the amount of installations on different computers, the licensing of web fonts usually depends on estimated site views.

Thus, for some foundries, you have to accept automatic view counts and their transferral to the provider. This way, they can check whether the beforehand agreed on page views were reached or not. However, many foundries forgo this control.

Aside from MyFonts, Monotype also runs the portal fonts.com, specifically for web fonts. In the basic plan, you receive access to 3,000 fonts, which is 500 more than Typekit, for 60 dollars a year. In return, its price is 10 dollars higher.

Web designers that manage web fonts for their customers should use the standard plan for 120 dollars a year. Here, an unlimited amount of web projects is available, similar to Typekit. You also gain access to more than 40,000 fonts. The integration of fonts is not restricted to JavaScript anymore. Alternatively, you can host the fonts yourself.


Some of the Fonts That Come With the “Monotype Library Subscription.”

Recently released, the “Monotype Library Subscription” is a new subscription offer for desktop fonts. For the price of 119.99 Euro per year, you receive up to 9,000 fonts from 2,200 families for your desktop. Just like Typekit, the installation of the fonts is not done directly but via an application. In Monotype’s case, the app is SkyFonts.

The subscription’s offer includes modern classics like “DIN Next”, “Avenir Next”, “Neue Helvetica”, “Univers”, and “Gill Sans”. The service is rather expensive when comparing it to Typekit. But if you don’t want to forgo these classics, the “Monotype Library Subscription” is the way to go. They are not available in Typekit.

Font Subscriptions: Which Service is Worthwhile For Whom?

Of course, there’s a significant number of competing providers aside from Typekit and Monotype. Despite the steadily growing market, the comparison of the two largest suppliers should do for now. Deciding for one of them takes quite some pain out of the process. The services we presented are unlikely to be shut down shortly as was the case for the service WebINK, ran by Extensis, for example.

You can generally say that Typekit is a good fit for everyone that is looking for a broad array of fonts, but doesn’t mind not having access to classics. Typekit is probably the obvious choice for many web and graphic designers anyways, due to it being a part of the Creative Cloud.

The “Monotype Library Subscription” is the right choice for everyone that wants to have access to many modern, but also older font classics. In many cases, especially standard fonts are not available in Typekit, as they either have to be licensed one by one or can be added via the “Monotype Library Subscription.”

Licensing fonts individually will often be cheaper than receiving a larger supply via subscription. Thus, you should thoroughly consider whether you want to pay more than 100 dollars a year for a subscription or have this font permanently available for 20 to 60 dollar. Also, all fonts disappear from the computer after canceling the subscription. Those that you bought are yours forever.

(dpe)

Catégories: News dév web

Adobe XD: What Can You Expect?

7 avril, 2016 - 16:00

Last year, Adobe announced what might be its most ambitious venture till date: Project Comet, an end to end prototyping, user experience and design tool that claims to be capable enough to solve all your designing needs. Under steady development, Project Comet is finally ready, and it is now known as Adobe Experience Design, or Adobe XD. That said, what exactly is Adobe XD all about? Furthermore, irrespective of the buzz surrounding it, will Adobe XD be able to live up to the hype?

What is Adobe XD fka Project Comet?

To begin with, let us first discuss what Adobe XD is all about. Here is how Adobe likes to describe it (note that this description was how Adobe first introduced it as Project Comet):

Project Comet is the latest offering from Adobe and it’s got its aims set high, promising an all-in-one tool to handle everything from wire-framing to visual design and rapid prototyping for all devices from within a single app.

Take your UX designs from start to finish with the cross-platform app that lets you do it all — wireframing, visual design, interaction design, prototyping, previewing and sharing. And because it’s built from the ground up, Comet delivers innovative tools and breakthrough performance to help you design in record time.

Or, you can watch this slightly dated but still relevant video about this:

In a nutshell, Experience Design strives to be an all-in-one tool that lets you create wireframes, mockups, prototypes, as well as work with UX design and interaction design. Naturally, this is not a minnow tool, but more of a mammoth multipurpose offering.

With XD, Adobe is trying to target the UX design and wireframing segment to the fullest.

Major Features

And what all does Experience Design bring to the table? Here is a brief run-down:

  • Tools for drawing, combining, editing and working with shapes and paths, as well as working with gradients and shadows and styling text
  • Ability to copy and paste vector content from apps such as Illustrator
  • Ability to import formats such as SVG, PNG, JPG, GIF and bitmap
  • Interactive prototyping tools
  • UI elements meant especially for designing mobile apps
  • Desktop-based previews for your prototypes
  • Ability to add team members as well as clients to your projects
  • Export content and assets to Web, iOS or Android

Furthermore, Adobe Experience Design also allows you to work with layers, share content and assets via Creative Cloud, and make changes in real-time on mobile devices. Plus, you can also extend it via JavaScript APIs, install plugins and custom workflows, and work on responsive design as well as CSS code and documents.

Sounds too much already? Eventually, going beyond prototypes, Adobe XD intends to help you work with animations and transitions right from the native interface itself, in addition to tighter integration with Illustrator and Photoshop.

Naturally, as we can see, Adobe is trying real hard and has truly big plans for its latest offering. It is not yet another tool that will be a part of Creative Cloud Suite — instead, it is *the* tool that Adobe is counting on.

Question is: will the newly-released Adobe Experience Design deliver or has Adobe taken one risk too many?

Appraisal

The design community, so far, has given mixed reactions to Adobe XD. Some are truly impressed, especially because there is a lot that it can do — it can serve as both a design app that lets you work with wireframes, and a prototyping app that helps you build interactive prototypes and animations.

On the other hand, there are many who are not too impressed by Adobe XD so far — at the very least, there are genuine fears of Adobe ruining its most ambitious project simply by offering “integration” with its other products. Chances are high that Adobe might make XD as just another tool that lets you import vector X from Illustrator and export PNG Y to Photoshop, and if that happens, there will not be much to be happy about.

As of now, the design community uses a varied level of tools for the tasks that Adobe XD is trying to help you with — we have Sketch, Proto.io, UXPin and InVision, to name just a few of them. Each of these tools has a distinct modus operandi, and a clearly-defined purpose in a designer’s arsenal.

Experience Design, on the other hand, is looking to be a “master” app in its league, that plans to do everything that any of the above tools can do, and a bit more as well. This can probably work in XD’s favor, as any new designer might be tempted to try out the bigger app and not bother with two smaller apps. But chances are higher that it might go against Adobe XD in general — for prototypes, wireframes, UX and everything similar, folks prefer tools that are low on cholesterol, do not consume a lot of resources and try not to do everything and beyond. You’d want your wireframing app to create wireframes for you, nothing more. Adobe XD, on the other hand, is trying to do a lot many things, and this lack of laser-focus might not bear well with many designers.

Adobe XD is still barely a month old, and whether or not it will turn out to be a huge success is yet to be seen. What are your thoughts about XD? Share your views in the comments below!

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404: How to Create the Perfect Error Page

6 avril, 2016 - 16:00

When the server doesn’t find a requested page, it displays the error 404. It’s only a matter of time until this error pops up, as it’s the most popular error message on the internet. A single typo in the URL can already cause a 404. However, many websites forget about this important page and have the server default sight be displayed instead. Unfortunately, you are likely to lose visitors due to this bland page. To avoid that, we’ll show you what to consider when it comes to designing the perfect 404 error page.

In Which Situations do 404 Errors Occur?

404 errors always occur when the visitor made a typing error. Or when Google and other websites that link to one or more of your subpages try to connect to an outdated page which has been renamed, moved or deleted.

However, your visitor is to blame for most 404 errors, as typos happen quite often. A single letter swap is enough to cause the error. Your visitor will assume that he didn’t do anything wrong, though. That’s simply human.

Thus, it is important to support the user in this situation with important links and details, to stop his anger, and help him find what he’s looking for after all.

404: Three Types of Error Pages

In total, there are three main types of error pages. Number one has a very complex design, but it’s easy to use as it only presents a button that directs you to the landing page. This type may be pretty, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Number two is also graphically complex. However, it provides a lot more ways of orientating oneself. That’s what a proper 404 error page looks like. The user receives a couple of links that may help him to find what he’s looking for.

Version number three is kept very simple but provides all the important information. We will go into detail on that later on. If you prefer this one or the well-designed version is up to you.

Assistance for the Visitor: Important Elements of a 404 Page

The idea behind a really good 404 error page is assisting your website’s visitors. Oftentimes, they don’t know why they didn’t find what they were looking for. Thus, we need to support them with information and additional features, so that they are motivated to stay on our website and start a new search. That means that a good 404 error page helps the user orientate, and provides information on top of that.

Important Elements of a 404 Error Page

The following list will help you build your 404 error page. If you go through it step by step, you’ll end up with all the important elements of your error page.

1 – The 404 Error Message

“404 – Page Not Found” should pop up in every case on all the versions. That is a crucial start for the visitor’s orientation. It’s what tells them that something went wrong.

2 – A Linked Logo and a Slogan

Your error page should definitely be visually connected to your website. This includes a logo that links to the landing page as well as the website’s slogan. For Noupe, for example, the logo, as well as a slogan such as »Noupe – The Curious Side of The Web« would be placed. This way, the visitor instantly knows what website he’s on.

3 – The Search Function

This is an error page’s most important element. The immediate access to the search function has to be possible, directly visible, and usable without a link.

4 – Link to the Sitemap and to the Archives

A good 404 error page should always contain a link to a sitemap for visitors. By that, I don’t mean the Sitemap.xml for Google, but a sitemap specifically created for visitors, which contains the most important links. A link to the archives is appropriate as well, preferably to monthly archives. Both pages offer a couple of ways for the user to still find what he was looking for.

5 – A Hint at a Potential Typo

Typos can happen rather quickly when manually typing and accessing a URL. For this case, it is helpful to display a small, friendly hint at a potential typing error should it be a really common one.

6 – Name Ways to Contact You

Some of the visitors might want to help you, and forward the error to the website’s admin. To allow that to be done fast and easily, a way of contacting you should be mentioned. This can be done with a contact form or a linked email address.

Creating a 404 is This Easy

Today, most websites are running on Apache servers. Creating and displaying an error page isn’t all that difficult. Simply create a file named 404.php. You can then design this file the way you want to. However, please make sure that all important elements are located in this file. It’s up to you whether you want a simple and clean, or a complex design.

1 – Usage Without WordPress

After you’ve completed the file, it should be loaded into your server’s root index. Afterwards, you need to edit the .htaccess file. This is the file that controls the server. If the server is unable to immediately find a certain file, it will check the .htaccess, and, in our case, find the file.

The following code needs to be put in there:

ErrorDocument 404 /404.php

The .htaccess file also needs to be uploaded to the root index of the server. Every faulty access to your website should now end with the display of your 404.php file.

2 – Usage With WordPress

Here, a 404.php is created and designed the way you want it to be as well. You can either take a theme file, in which case the 404 page will look like the one in example number three, or you pick a graphically more complex version. After completion, the file goes into the root folder of your active theme. The .htaccess file doesn’t need to be altered. WordPress takes care of the display automatically.

Example: a 404 for Use With WordPress

I’ll link the most important, inner part of my own 404 error page as a Gist at GitHub. One click on the graphic opens the file. You can orientate yourself towards this file a little.

404 – Some Graphic Inspiration

If you want your error page to be more graphically complex, you’ll find some inspiration here. However, to make your 404 page good and user-friendly, you should still follow the above-mentioned advice.

Yieldmo

Urban Influence

TinyCarrier

BrandCrowd

(dpe)

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Inspiration: 20 Websites with Great Typography

5 avril, 2016 - 15:00

Being a webdesigner is a creative and amazing profession. We create and build and invent on a daily basis. To achieve this we need a solid base of knowledge but even more so a never-ending flow of inspiration. Dipping one’s toe in the flow of other people’s work is one of the better and easier variants of gaining new insights and inspiration. In the following article we will have you do just that ;-)

1 – BigDrop

2 – University of Sydney

3 – Gelateria del Biondo

4 – Oribe

5 – Benjamin Guedj Designer

6 – True Digital

7 – EVS

8 – Le 28

9 – Because Recollection

10 – Formula1Data

11 – Webflow

12 – Olympic Story

13 – Space Needle

14 – Ante Meridiem

15 – HLK

16 – Paul Woods

17 – Lander

18 – Brand Aid

19 – Visage

20 – We Are Nation

(dpe)

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11 Minimal JavaScript Frameworks You Need To Know

4 avril, 2016 - 10:00

JavaScript is extremely popular nowadays, and with the right set of tools and expertise, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Speaking of tools, JavaScript frameworks are really handy and useful for developers, as they can lessen the burden and make the development process easy. Some of the JavaScript frameworks are truly popular, such as AngularJS, React, and so on. However, there are many out there which are not so popular, but still powerful and useful. In this roundup, we take a look at some minimal, nimble and lightweight JavaScript frameworks.

11 Minimal JavaScript Frameworks You Need To Know 1. min.js

min.js is minimalism personified, at least in the world of JavaScript frameworks. It is an extremely tiny JavaScript library that lets you execute simple DOM queries and hook event listeners. Min.js also lets you work with raw DOM nodes directly by using HTML5.

2. AuraJS

AuraJS is a component framework that lets you build fully functional web applications with ease. In AuraJS, everything is a component — “An Aura component represents a unit of a page. An independent block of reusable code, wrapped up so that it works well on its own or together with other components.”

 

AuraJS comes with its own custom set of extensions as well. You can use it in assonance with other popular MVC frameworks, such as AngularJS.

3. Kraken

Kraken is ideally meant for front-end developers working with JavaScript. It is a lightweight boilerplate, with full support for mobile-friendly design and development. Kraken is style agnostic, and comes with a responsive grid and a fluid typographic scale.

Kraken is powered by Gulp.js and is both flexible and modular.

4. Stapes.js

Stapes.js is a lightweight and extremely nimble JavaScript framework meant ideally for developers looking to build mobile applications. It is style agnostic, works with MVC frameworks, and supports custom events and data methods.

Stapes.js is just 2 KB when minified and barely 600 lines of code.

5. Spine

Spine, as a JavaScript framework, likes to keep it simple with its tagline — “build awesome JavaScript MVC applications”. There is not much else to talk about this framework — it is simple and lightweight, and comes with support for CSS grid systems, responsive handles, CSS shortcuts and can be extended by means of custom plugins.

Spine has also been well-documented, and is backed by screencasts to help you get a better idea of its working.

6. Skel

Skel is a lightweight JavaScript framework that lets you build responsive and mobile-friendly websites or applications. It has zero dependencies, and you can extend its powers by means of DOM or MVC.

Skel is flexible, and also has an SASS based implementation of itself.

7. Responsive

The name speaks for itself — Responsive is a framework that you will use for building, well, responsive websites. It is accessible, flexible, and can be extended to suit your needs and requirements.

Responsive is simple and lightweight — the final minified file is just 23 KB in size, and it is not bloated like many other frameworks out there. Responsive, as a framework, gives you a skeleton-approach to your projects, with all the bloated fluff removed and leaving you with a no-nonsense framework.

8. scaleApp

scaleApp is a JavaScript framework meant purely for building scalable single-page applications. It is free from dependencies, is barely 8 KB when minified, framework agnostic, and can be extended by means of plugins.

scaleApp also supports server-side scripts such as Node.js

9. Chibi

Chibi is a tiny JavaScript micro-framework that lets you work with essential elements. It is just 7 KB when minified, and supports all the major web browsers, including Internet Explorer 6 and even Firefox 3.5 and as such, this is one library that you should turn to if you really want your code to work across old and obsolete as well as modern web browsers.

Chibi is not something you might be able to use for complex projects, such as animations (though you can make it work in assonance with CSS transitions).

10. Sammy.js

Sammy.js is a RESTful and extendable JavaScript framework that is 16 KB when compressed. It supports classes, events and custom plugins, and follows a modular approach.

11. Tupai.js

Tupai.js is a JavaScript MVC framework. It is flexible, minimal and can be used for building for complex and simple applications.

Tupai.js supports packages, functions, variables and classes, and comes with an MIT License.

Got any JavaScript framework that I missed? Share it in the comments below!

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Content is King: 5 Criteria of Good Content

3 avril, 2016 - 11:00

The first thing visitors of an unknown website see is the design. If it meets the visitor’s expectations after the first couple seconds, they will stay on the website for longer. But here comes the decisive factor: the design can’t compensate poor coontent. If the visitor doesn’t find what he’s looking for, he’ll soon leave the website, and that is just what you want to prevent in any case. Thus, good content is necessary, as it convinces your visitors to stay and return to your website. That way, visitors turn into customers, and increase the conversion rate. It all just proves once more: Content is King

But what exactly is good content? What sets it apart from others and how is it created? I want to try to clear up any confusion on that with the following five factors of good content.

1. Searchability

No matter how good your content is. If nobody finds it, nobody will read it. That’s why you need to consider some essential factors when it comes to the searchability of your content. Some of them being:

  • An h1 headline (including the main keyword)
  • At least two h2/3 headlines (Sub-headlines with relevant keywords)
  • Meta data (Title tag, meta description)
  • Links to related topics (internal links)
  • Alt tags for images (Alternative texts are used to describe an images and thus, support a barrier-free website)

© bakhtiarzein – Fotolia

2. Readability

Is your text well-structured and easy to read? Then you’ve done everything right. However, if you doubt it, you should first check whether your text follows the principle of the inverted pyramid. This principle is also referred to as funnel structure, and is often used in journalism. Here, the topic’s core makes up the biggest part of the text, and is presented right at the beginning. In contrast to print media, web visitors tend to jump between sources quicker if they don’t see that the text contains what they are looking for right away. Cut to the chase quickly! In the core, six questions are answered (Who did what, when, where, how, and why). Next up is the source of information (7th question = from where), as well as further details. At the end of the text, go into detail on backgrounds, causes, or connections.

After checking for the principle of the inverted pyramid, and adjusting your text if needed, you should bundle content. Content that belongs together should be summarized in one paragraph. If content is based on previous content, it is only natural that it is added right afterwards. Also make sure that you integrate enumerations, numerations or graphics to lighten your text. Nobody will read your content when it is pure text without paragraphs or other reliefs. Thus, always view from the reader’s perspective when creating your text and question the readability!

Last but not least, you need to consider the style requirements, if there are any. If you can choose them yourself, you should stick to them for future texts as well. Once you decided to be on first name terms with your readers, stick to that! Did you display your first article in justified text? Then, you should present your next article in that format as well, and so on.

In conclusion, you should consider the following for the readability:

  • Principle of the Inverted Pyramid
  • Bundle Content
  • Integrate Enumerations, Numerations, and Graphics
  • Consider Style Requirements
3. Comprehensibility and Added Value

Aside from general readability, your content also has to be comprehensible and offer the users added value. For that, first think about who you want to appeal to with your content. What is your target audience? Does it have any knowledge on what you report about? Does it know about technical terms or should you explain them?

Once you’ve answered all of these questions, and figured out your target audience, make sure that your text’s context is available. If your text is based on information from a previous text, put a link in the beginning so that the reader can connect to that information. Of course, your text should never be completely ripped out of context, as your website will never be able to cover all topics, thus, always keep the goal of your website in mind, and only write texts that fit this context!

Not only your written content, but also an integrated video that is used to loosen up your text needs to be comprehensible, and suitable. Thus, also question integrated graphics or videos. Is the connection between text and video evident? Is the video of high quality, as well as well explained? If you are unable to directly answer these questions with “yes”, you should explain the connection as well as unclear questions on the video. Generally, the following applies: Introduce videos and graphics in the text, so that the reader knows what to expect.

The added value is an important factor of good content, which is why you should always treat this aspect with high priority. Write about themes that you are interested in, or that you know a lot about, as only then, you’ll be able to make sure that you won’t bore your readers.

Always remember: A text that answers the questions of a “random” visitor in an interesting and diverting way, will be read, accessed a lot, and even shared.

4. Action Orientation

Action orientation serves the purpose to determine, whether your text is designed to allow your readers to become active or not. To turn a passive reader into an active one, it is important to directly adress him, and express your appeal to action. A comment option is also a good way of starting a conversation with the reader.

The internal links described in criteria no.1 (searchability) also serve the purpose of becoming active. That’s because there are internal links to other topics that are only briefly adressed in the current text, and provide further information. The reader will click them if he is really interested. Another option is placing social media icons below the text, which the readers can use to share the text via social networks.

In conclusion, these paths can be chosen when it comes to an action-oriented text:

  • Appeal to Action
  • Comment Option
  • Internal Links
  • Social Media Icons
5. Recommendation

Your text should not only be able to make your reader get active, but also make him recommend your article. To do so, you need to provide some good reasons, and directly ask him to share the content. This way, you remove worries of not being allowed to share it. The mentioned social media icons also serve the purpose of recommendation, as they provide an easy option to share your content.

(dpe)

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Catégories: News dév web

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Yves Bresson, ingénieur en informatique, consultant freelance, spécialisé dans la création de sites web (CMS, PHP, Ajax, jQuery, Bootstrap, HTML 5, CSS 3) et d'applications mobiles (iPhone, Android). Voir le profil de Yves Bresson sur LinkedIn