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Tip: GIF Your Type Right

Date:2005-08-29 07:56:16| News|Browse: 2|Source: The FontFeed|Author: Stephen Coles
IntroductionIt would be great if we could use any font we wanted in designs f

It would be great if we could use any font we wanted in designs for the web. But since we're limited to what's installed on everyone else's machines, creating an image is the only way to make non-standard fonts viewable online. Here are a few tips for creating a web graphic in which type is the main subject:

When setting antialiased type in PhotoShop, experiment with the antialiasing settings. The best technique is dependent on the font, size, and colors involved, but I find"Crisp" or "Sharp" usually work best. "strong" is bad news — it usually fattens the character shapes and you lose definition.Save as GIF or PNG.For images with flat colors, the JPEG format can create unsightly halos and noise, all at the cost of a larger file size.Use Flash only when necessary.Yeah, you can do some crazy wack animation in Flash, but save it for those jobs that really require intense motion and scripting. Type almost always looks better as a GIF. (Though I hear the latest version of Flash (8) has improved antialiasing.)

Ok, what about sIFR? Now that I've finished railing on Flash, I better mention that there's a new technology that allows you to replace text elements with custom-styled Flash elements on the fly. It's a pretty exciting concept with just a couple of caveats: the user must have JavaScript enabled and the Flash plugin installed. Also, I feel like sites that use sIFR take just a tad longer to load — but I'll let you be the judge of that.

Update:Rudy of FontShop Benelux reminds me that Flash can be an excellent medium for displaying type — if it's done right. His proof: the incredible OurType.com by Flash masters group94.

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