The Twitter co-founders’ latest venture is another sign that professional typography on the web is the new norm.
Contributed by Florian Hardwig on Dec 11th, 2012. Artwork published in
10 Comments on “Medium.com (2012)”
I don’t love it, because these “twisted ideas of readability,” for the most part, don’t actually exist. They’re just urban legends handed down from one set of lawyers to another, and lazily invoked as a substitute for independent research and judgment.
If you’re curious, here’s a longer discussion about caps in legal typography. And to disprove the premise that caps are required in contractual provisions like these: The Mozilla Public License doesn’t use caps. Nor does the WordPress terms of service.
Yet caps vs. lowercase is a small issue. What I really dislike here is the way Medium is trying to turn its reliance on “excruciating lawyerly patois” into some kind of hip, ironic branding device. In truth, if they wanted a “human-readable” contract, they could have one. But they don’t want one. So they don’t have one. But they also don’t want to seem like the kind of people who don’t want one. So they’ve added a whole paragraph explaining why they didn’t want something that they plainly did want.
And this is emblematic of the Medium experience as a whole: an impressively slick, clean typographic experience wrapped around the usual grubby insincerity and smugness. “The ethos behind Medium is one of openness and democracy…” Oh god, make it stop. It’s a blogging platform. It looks nice. It’s intended to make money for a guy who already has quite a lot of money. I’m glad Medium has discovered typography. Maybe next they can discover that insincerity and dishonesty are downer attitudes favored by egocentrics.
“Do not put up with ego-centric personalities or downer attitudes.” OK Medium, if you say so.
Well said, Matthew.
Mmm, it’s unfair but Myriad for me is a no-no. It’s just too Adobe.
Too Adobe? What about Apple, Microsoft and now American Airlines, who all use a variation on Frutiger/Myriad/Segoe? Myriad is everywhere right now.
It’s like saying the color blue is too HP when a quick scan of recent brands shows that blue is everywhere.
Matthew, thank you for providing these links, I hadn’t looked at it from that angle. I see your point.
In the meantime, Medium has dismissed FF Meta Serif plus Myriad and switched to FF Tisa plus Freight Sans.
It’s helpful to note that Medium is using the CSS font-smoothing property to achieve its precise effect. Simply copying font size, weight, and typeface will not get you there.
Over on Quora, designer Leigh Taylor elaborates on the reasons for the move from Meta Serif to Tisa.
The FF Tisa/Freight Sans combo is history, too. Medium reconsidered again. Now it is JAF Bernino Sans and Freight Text.
Fonts in Use needs a “billionaires” tag.
The 2013 and 2015 Medium redesigns.