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Win a Copy of ‘On Web Typography’

on Wednesday 27th of August 2014

On Web Typography cover
We like to help designers create stunning typography for the web. Sometimes that’s through our app, and sometimes it’s just by sharing resources and advice. This week, we’re giving you the chance to win Jason Santa Maria’s wonderful new book On Web Typography. Here’s a nice little extract to whet your appetite.

Punctuation is a system. That’s why proper quotation marks and apostrophes look like they’re part of the same family as commas, periods, colons, semicolons, and more, whereas straight quotes don’t.

Straight quotes stem from the time of typewriters when keyboard real estate was at a premium, so reducing open and closing quotes to one key was economical. Unfortunately, this same choice of economy was copied to the computer keyboard and proliferated in the days of desktop publishing. Unless the software you’re using corrects them, the default result when typing a quotation mark from your keyboard may be straight quotes. On the web, due to lazy implementations or force of habit, we’re still plagued with dumb quotes.

Smart quote image from book interior

Figure 3.19: Proper quotation marks are usually curly or sloped.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get proper [curly] quotes and apostrophes on your web pages, by either using the raw characters and specifying UTF-8 encoding or using HTML entities. Better still, use one of the many CMS plugins out there to automatically convert dumb quotes to proper quotation marks. Any of those methods is better than resorting to a claw-handed key combination to type them out.

I made a single-serving site called Smart Quotes for Smart People to show how easy it can be. For more info on quotes and dashes, check out Jessica Hische’s excellent site Quotes and Accents.

Primes image

Figure 3.20: Primes bear a resemblance to quotation and apostrophe marks, but are unique marks in their own right.

One last thing to note in the realm of quotation marks: primes. Primes look like italicized straight quotes and signify things like feet and inches, minutes and seconds, and coordinates on a map. Primes are not the same as dumb quotes; they’re a different set of punctuation marks altogether (FIG 3.20).

Win your free copy!

On Monday we’ll be giving away 20 free copies of Jason’s book. Each winner will receive one ebook copy and one paperback copy.

Type On Screen
To enter our prize draw, all you need to do is Send This Tweet to help us spread the word about our Type On Screen collection—our monthly series of beautiful and legible web font recommendations.

Everyone who tweets the complete, unedited tweet with full URL will be entered into the sweepstakes draw. We’ll pick the winners at random on Monday September 1st at 10am BST. Please see the official rules for more details, and good luck!

UPDATE 1 Sept @10:30am BST: The 20 winners have now been selected and notified, and the contest is now officially closed. A big thank you to everyone who entered and helped us get the word out about Type on Screen!

Thank you to Jason Santa Maria and A Book Apart for permitting us to share this excerpt. Read more or order a copy over on the A Book Apart website.

Type on Screen

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