Things Still Missing From CSS
Fine control remains elusive – kerning, character spacing – controlling these aspects are both difficult to specify for numerous reasons. This is frustrating to designers who love typography and want to have that finer control.
Huzzah! I couldn’t agree more. As web designers, now that our type options have drastically expanded, we want the same level of control over them that print designers do. That includes kerning as well as more interesting & intricate typographic arrangements. The key here is specificity. If we can target letters and words with CSS the sky is the limit. For further reading here are some posts that my friends and I have written on the topic:
- Controlling Web Typography: An older post I wrote summing up Lettering.js and explaining why we hope CSS makes it obsolete
- A Call for ::nth-Everything: This is Chris Coyier’s take, but much more comprehensive and clearly reasoned than mine.
- Lettering.js: I like to think of the gallery as a series of case studies for how enhanced selectors would be useful.
- Dave Rupert’s original Lettering.js post: A great introduction to how Lettering.js came about and how to implement it.
One interesting potential issue with finer control could be what happens if we target specific letters or words on a multi-lingual site. Something as detailed as this might make no sense, or break visually in another language. This was a point Christian Heilmann raised last summer at ConvergeSE, and something I don’t yet have a good answer for.
Overall, I think that the fewer situations where web designers have to resort to image replacement for text the better.