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Responsive Web Typography

The Life of <p>

Typographic design has been evolving and improving for centuries, but it’s only been in the past few years that we’ve been able to bring that design sensibility to the web in a meaningful way. We’ll look at design from the content out—starting with the smallest chunk of content: the paragraph. Even inside this smallest component, there is a whole world to explore: paragraph styles over time, link styles, heading relationships, pull quotes and more.

We’ll explore the varying ways the lowly <p> has been designed in print—from the earliest printed works on through today—and look at how those styles can be implemented in clean, repeatable, reusable CSS that looks good and requires little-to-no manual intervention from your content editors. The best design for the web has to be in a system that can move, scale and adapt to any screen: from wearables to phones to laptops and beyond. Great typography is the most secure foundation, so it pays to get it right. Making sure that your design remains usable, fast, consistent and compelling as content changes and scales is critical to its success.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step—and every great story starts with a single <p>.

[This also appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of PRINT Magazine in article form]

  • Life of <p> at FITC Toronto