Typography Fail


I so appreciate your nerdly passion about typography, Mary.
I'm sorry, but the 500,000 Americans using the iPad just plain don't care.

Meanwhile, the EU has to wait an extra month while we enjoy it's awesomeness.

By the way, who the frack decided to use Cabiri as a font for some online games - I mean, seriously, what's up with THAT?
At least this can be fixed with a software patch.

For a lot of users (eg the disabled), things like "embeddable fonts" aren't great or desirable if they override user options, though. Designers hate this, but users often want information, not an experience. (I've had arguments with my user experience/design expert sister about things like flash. I'm all "it makes it slow and a pain in the ass to find the information I need, like address and opening hours - why would a business ever want me to have to hunt for that?" and her response is something like "but it's not about information, it's about immersing the client in the brand experience as long as possible." FTS.)

I personally get twitchy that Kindle displays some books in a sans font and some in a serif one. What's with that? Why can't I decide? I should be able to put them in any font and size I want, or read it aloud in Kindle-robot-voice if so desired.
OH, if only they would have used papyrus for all the fonts.

I papyrus... it just leaves me feeling like a natural woman.
@3, really? Every book I've seen on my Kindle is the same font. It's not a terrible font (Caecilia), but it's implemented horribly, for the reasons the blog mentions, and others besides. I find it a generally piss-poor reading experience.

I'm sorry to see the iPad fail in this same way, and I'm shocked to see Apple's famous attention to typography disappear.

Will, you're wrong, again. People DO care, just not overtly. Even morons like you are susceptible to typographical effects (though it matters less for people like you who don't read books, obviously). If the typography is shit, they will put the device away after a while, even if they can't articulate why. The experience on the iPad had a chance to be better than the Kindle, but they blew it.
We should all just standardize on Comic Sans and be done with it.
Actually my mistake - it's not serif vs. nonserif, it's two different serif fonts. For some reason a few books appear in the other font - download a sample of "How I Became a Famous Novelist" to see it (I know, I know, but it seems like only embarrassing books are published with the other font). Though arguably it'd be a nicer font if the tracking were tighter, it's also displayed larger than the Caecilia (?), so it messes up your type size settings. I'm just baffled by it.
lol, and as of last night, they've sold more iPads than there are Kindles ...

you must love being wrong, Fnarf.

Suck on it.
@7: For what it's worth, I've noticed that font difference, too. I only find it mildly annoying, though, and I really, really love reading on my Kindle. I so appreciate that it isn't backlit and that it isn't trying to be anything other than a damn book. When reading on my Kindle I get lost in the reading and don't even consciously register that it's a device.
@8, http://labs.chitika.com/ipad/

You're so full of shit your eyes are brown.

But of course iPad vs. Kindle doesn't matter, no matter how much you keep insisting it does, since they are different markets. iPad sales will inevitably surpass Kindles within a few months. What matters, unless you actually work for Apple, is e-book sales. And, like it or not, shitty implementations of book display are going to hurt sales in the long run. For all their advantages, e-readers -- ALL e-readers -- still look much worse than books.
@10 ... market share, babe. All your market share is belong to Apple. Try watching the international business news sometimes and get a frackin life.

"Help, I'm a Kindle, and I've fallen!"
@11, you don't know what the phrase "market share" means, do you, Will? "Market share, babe". What are you, the Fonz? "Market share" does not explain away your erroneous "facts", like the iPad selling more units than the Kindle, which simply is not true. It will, soon, but it has not yet. If that's what you saw on Bloomberg, you misunderstood. Which surprises me not at all. But I don't think you misunderstood; I think you lied. Piece of shit.
Good, I hope it continues to suck. Makes my cranky stance on avoiding all e-readers (due to the effects of pixillation on my waning eyesight) that much easier to maintain.
@12 - of course I don't. It's not like my first degree was in Business.

Enjoy your Betamax, Fnarf.
The typography posts are probably my favorite thing on Slog. Keep up the great work, Mary!
@14, thank you for confirming that you are exactly the kind of shithead who capitalizes Business. It shows off just how fabulously smart and important you and your brain-dead degree are.

Your insistence on squeezing every single story about this range of subjects into some kind of Clash of the Titans script about this bitter war to the death between Bezos and Jobs just shows how little you understand. Every time you write "all your iPad are belong to us" or whatever tired, ancient meme you're rubbing your sticky fingers over this week, you move further away from understanding, and the world grows stupider.

Seriously, Will: read the fucking post. It's good. Read the fucking links. They're interesting. Try to grasp what they are about. Think hard before you post. You can do it. You CAN make sense if you really try. Can't you?

Oh, no, that's right. You're Will Affleck-Asch, asshole of the universe.
@ 15- me as well.
mary, i'll keep supplying you with the best faces if you promise to step up the designer-centric posts. abuse your power!
i read them. i used to hand code font typefaces back when you were mewling over your autographs from Generalissimo Franco. heck, I used to typeset the frickin Trail Daily Times when you were wanking off in the shower, @16. my dad and my stepdad sold high end books when you were in diapers.
Oh, well, the Trail Daily Times, my god. That's different. I didn't realize. You obviously know what you're talking about, then. I wasn't aware that you have a PEE AITCH DEE in fucking Chartpak.

As usual, when you start bragging about how learned and important you are, the immediate question arises: if you did in fact "hand code font typefaces" back in the days when computers ran on coal, WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID NOW? How could you possibly have been participating in font discussions for thirty years without learning A SINGLE SOLITARY THING ABOUT THEM?

The answer, of course, is that you didn't. You fucked around with Fontographer that one time, just like everybody else. Really, really big deal. What your daddy used to do isn't really germane; I imagine it mostly involved holding his head in his hands and softly weeping whenever he looked at you.
I don't really have a problem with Helvetica on the iPhone, but the Notes app font is indeed atrocious.

Aside from the font bundling issues it seems like a lot this is just criticisms of the apps, not the iPad itself.
@20, the apps are the iPad. This is what you get when you read on the iPad. This is an official Apple app, iBooks, we're talking about. And the biggest problem, the lack of hyphenation, is a biggie. All of these flaws (and a few others) are on the Kindle as well, of course.

I think the biggest problem is that the powers that be don't see it as a problem; they don't care. Apple used to care, or pretended to.
There are lots of apps for the iPad. By the way, you'll never need more than 640k of memory for your computers.
You two — yes, you know who — get a room.
@13: Hey emma's bee! I feel your pixilated pain, and that's precisely why I like the Kindle. The screen really doesn't look like a screen at all. It honest-to-pete is like reading a page, plus you can get a book almost instantly, and and and! The best part? The dictionary. You can just look up any ole weird word as you're reading, and you don't even have to get off the sofa to grab the hurkin' dictionary to do it. I read Dickens's "Bleak House" recently, and got all kinds of weird, 19th century vocabulary words from it.
@21 but there are other options. Kindle has been updated to work well on the iPad, and surely Stanza will be updated for the iPad in time.

Personally, I read books on my iPhone all the time and I love Stanza. Not only does it have more font and color options than Kindle and iBooks, it also gives you full control over line spacing, font size (slider from small to huge rather than discrete steps), paragraph indentation, and more. It also does proper hyphenation on line-wrap to avoid weird spacing issues.

The most important thing? Stanza reads ePub, and both Amazon and Apple sell books in ePub format. You do have to break some DRM (Amazon's has been broken, and though it takes a few steps I've successfully pulled all of my Kindle purchases into Stanza; iBooks uses FairPlay which has been broken in the past and will surely be broken again soon enough), but for a superior ebook experience it's totally worth it.

Buy in Kindle. Crack and read in Stanza. Forget that iBooks even exists.
@26, here's someone who disagrees with your appreciation of Stanza's hyphenation: http://itp.indiamos.com/blog/2010/04/01/…
Thanks for the info, TV Dinner. Maybe I'll test-drive one and see how my eyes hold up. How's the little sprout?
@27 Stanza's hyphenation isn't perfect, but given the choice between hyphenating correctly 95% of the time and not hyphenating at all I'll take the former. I'd much rather read "some-

than read "a spaced sentence"

And to be honest, I've very rarely noticed crazy out of place hyphenation.

As a generic free e-reader that can load a number of different formats, Stanza is pretty much the best out there. Kindle on iPhone and iBooks (not yet on iPhone, though it appears to be coming this summer with OS 4) are barebones in coparison, and my previous preference of eReader has limited format support (you have to convert everything to pdb, which is a relatively limited format compared to ePub, Mobi/AZW, or even Microsoft's old LIT format).

There are book apps (Classics, Eucalyptus) with better layout and rendering, but they're focused on a very specific subset of books and can optimize for those. Eucalyptus is optimized for Gutenberg text formats, for example, and also costs $10 vs. Stanza's price of $0. Besides, I'd much rather have one reader app with all of my books in it than have to switch between multiple apps (Kindle, iBooks, Classics, Eucalyptus, etc) each with their own subset of my library.
Bah. slog stripped out my extra spaces in "a __________ spaced ___________ sentence".