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Stories & Novels

Fine typography, crisp black on white, and an underused typeface provide a welcome break for reading on the web.

Contributed by Indra Kupferschmid on Dec 31st, 2010. Artwork published in 2010.

Stories & Novels Index Page

Stories & Novels is a refreshingly and unobtrusively designed online source of short stories by Franz Neumann. You can read the essays on your Kindle, with iBooks, or in a web browser. The clear, no-fuzz layout by Copy & Design resembles the kind of classical book typography rarely seen on the web: splendid margins, black on white type, drop caps, indents, italics, and ligatures with fonts served via Typekit.

Aside from the composition, Stories & Novels proves that Chaparral provides a pleasant reading experience on screen. Designed in 2000 by Carol Twombly, it’s a rugged, low-contrast serif of friendly, casual tone and humanist proportions. This makes it not only suitable for classic print products but also screen applications. The family provides a very wide and versatile palette of styles (formerly available in Multiple Master format) like four optical sizes — caption, text, subhead and display — five weights, small caps, a distinct italic and pithy bolds. The perfect tool kit for fine typography.

The Stories & Novels text is set at a generous size. If it were below 16px or so, the slightly sturdier Caption version might be a better choice. A recent study at Typedia found it to be one of the better performing text webfonts for a wide variety of rendering environments.

In case Chaparral doesn’t serve all your typographic needs it is easily combinable with all kinds of sans serifs — humanist, grotesques, as well as geometric ones.


4 Comments on “Stories & Novels”

  1. Dec 31st, 2010  4:24 pm
    Edit

    The drop caps are nice, but would be nicer if they sat on the text baseline. Some could also use tighter spacing. Perhaps there’s only so much you can do to control these things without a lot of case-specific CSS massaging.

  2. Dec 31st, 2010  4:49 pm
    Edit

    That's strange, in my screenshots the drop caps do align with the baseline, see here and here.

  3. Dec 31st, 2010  5:18 pm
    Edit

    Ah! Perhaps it’s a browser issue. I’m using Chrome.

  4. Jan 1st, 2011  12:09 am
    Edit

    Fonts In Use — Thanks for the kind words. While all the novels and stories are available in .mobi and .epub formats, in addition to PDF, I have a soft spot for the HTML versions set in Chaparral. I actually prefer the text in HTML to the rather limited layout capabilities of today's e-book devices. Being New Year's Eve, I have to mention my story "Buster," a story set on December 31st at a New Year's Eve party. It's available in HTML format, set in Chaparral. Or enjoy it on your favorite e-book device. Again, thanks for the write-up, and Happy New Year!

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