Elliot Jay Stocks: Advanced Web Typography

Web typography has come a long way since the early days of the Internet. The pace of innovation has ebbed and flowed, and according to Elliot Jay Stocks (Creative Director of Adobe Typekit) typography on the web is currently experiencing a relative state of calm. This provides a great place to reflect and build a foundation for the future. And since “web design is 95% typography,” it is critical that we do just that.

Photo by: Amber Gregory

In 2012, during a period when web typography was rapidly evolving, Elliot wrote a series of blog posts on “Tomorrow’s Web Type Today.” He covered the topics of ligatures, subsets, swashes, and stylesheets in his posts and outlined best practices for incorporating them all into web design projects.

Little did he know, those same principles would continue to form the backbone of typography on the web for the next two years (and they’re still going strong). Revising his list for 2014, Elliot has continued with a new series of posts on “Advanced Web Typography.” He noted updates on topics from the previous series (the short version: not a lot has changed) and added posts on kerning, justification and hyphenation, and responsive typography.

In his talk, Elliot discussed how to bring these concepts to life using font-feature-settings. He provided a wealth of external resources and code snippets that are too numerous to list here but, if you want to learn more about how to take control of your own web typography, all the info he presented can be found in the blog posts linked above.

If there is one thing to learn from Elliot’s talk, it’s that designers have the power (and the responsibility) to define and pave the way for the future of web typography. Elliot will soon be launching a centralized resource on web typography at advancedwebtypography.com, as well as a book on the subject. Follow @elliotjaystocks on Twitter for updates.


Elliot Jay Stocks

Elliot Jay Stocks is Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, and co-founder of Viewport Industries. His work can often be seen in books, blogs, and magazines. His client portfolio includes Virgin, Microsoft, Brooklyn Beta, Smashing Magazine, and MailChimp. He gives talks at events including An Event Apart, TYPO, South by Southwest, and Web Directions, and writes for publications such as Codex: The Journal of Typography, .Net, and Computer Arts. He lives and works in the countryside near Bristol, England, with his wife and their dog.
By Kelsey Gullickson, @CMYKelsey