I Published a Book on Web Typography

I am thrilled to introduce the launching of my book titled Professional Web Typography. It’s a web-based book written part as an independent study for my MA in graphic design program, and part as an experiment in using web as a self-publishing platform. It is also an opportunity for me to share what I have learned about typesetting for the web.

When I set out to write this book, I have a specific audience in mind: web designers who want to step up their type game and print designers who want to step up their web game. The combination of the rich history of typography and the evolving of the web technology can be intimidating for beginners; therefore, I wanted to make the book as succinct and as approachable as possible.

My goal is to show that typesetting on the web is fun and rewarding—not intimidating. I begin the book showing various methods of delivering web fonts. Second, I break down font features and characteristics to look for when selecting body text. Third, I demonstrate the important of setting typeface in the browser. Forth, I examine the crucial elements when picking type for user interface. Fifth, I present ways of seeing typographic details. Finally, I encourage the practice of typography with various real-design examples.

Although the purpose of this book is to get a good grade for my independent study, I wanted to take it beyond the academic boundary. After all, with most of the projects I have done as a graduate student, I try to apply real-world use cases to them. This book is no exception, but I wanted to take it step further with an experiment in taking the web as a self-publishing platform. I wanted to deliver a quality level of writing that is the best from my ability and deliver a reading experience that is the best the web could offer at this time.

I spent every night, after my wife and kids went to bed, in the past three months researching and writing the content; I secured the domain name and paid for the hosting; I built the website and made all the illustrations; I hired a friend to do copyediting; I consulted acquaintances in the industry to look over the technical details; I reached out to a few people I admired in the web community for feedback.

I take on this project with deep passion and serious intention. I wanted you to enjoy reading the book and learning from it. If you find this book useful, consider paying for it. Although $5 to $10 is suggested, the price is up to you. You can support the book based on the value you think it deserves. Your contribution will help sustain the effort, allow me to update the content (especially the constant evolving CSS techniques), and let me do more independent projects like this in the future with resources to invest in copyediting and technical editing.

Writing this book was quite a learning experience and I would have not accomplished it without the help and support from family members, friends, and the web community. Many thanks to professor Don Starr for his support and counsel of writing this book as an independent study for my MA program in graphic design at the George Mason School of Art. I want to thank Linh Nguyen for her exceptional copyediting, Raymond Schwartz for his meticulous technical and editorial review, and Jim Van Meer for making my words clearer and stronger. My deep gratitude goes to Matthew Butterick for inspiring me to use the web as a book-publishing medium. My appreciation goes to the following prerelease readers: Tim Brown, Jeremy Keith, Chris Silverman, and Khoi Vinh. Special thanks to my wife Dana Nguyen for her love and encouragement. She booked an all-inclusive trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic so we could spend the days with the kids and I could write this book during the nights.

Although I don’t know how well this book will receive, I am very exciting to share it with you. I hope you can join me in a journey to explore this craft.