Elliot Jay Stocks on 'typography out'

This article first appeared in the Summer issue (231) of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

You’ve probably heard of ‘mobile first’. You may also be familiar with ‘content first’ or ‘content out’. But did you know about ‘typography out’? If not, design guru, speaker, blogger and type expert extraordinaire Elliot Jay Stocks is here to explain all…

“The basic idea is that, rather than throwing things together in Photoshop or code or whatever, you focus on the details first and work out from there,” he explains. “So with ‘typography out’, you’re deciding on your typeface and your font size, your leading or line-height, and your measure (your width of the line) before you start to create your layout. All of these things are about proportions, and these proportions can then be taken out into other parts of the design; they inform the design as a whole.

“For years I didn’t do that at all,” he adds. “Type is almost an afterthought for a lot of people and it certainly was for me for a long time. But once you start doing it, it makes total sense.”

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