The standard QWERTY keyboard, like its predecessor the typewriter, has a single key for opening and closing both single and double quotes (and for the apostrophe which is the same as a closed single quotation mark). From this we get ‘straight quotes,’ or ‘dumb quotes’ which at arm’s length and squinting, might pass for proper apostrophes and typographic quotation marks, or as I call them here, curly quotes.
To conclude my Adventures in Space series, I would like to take a look at the different kinds of spaces. While Spacing, Kerning, and Tracking focused on the space between characters, this last episode examines the spaces outside the words. There is quite a bit more than just the word space – if you select the Insert White Space fly-out from the Type menu in Adobe® InDesign® for example, you discover a dozen different space characters. And when you are designing for the web, Unicode provides several different space entities for online use. Using the right kind of space can make your life easier, and it will definitely help you improve your typesetting.
When hosting your own webfonts, reducing their number and size to only what you need can make a huge difference in your site’s performance. In fact, depending on how your site is set up, webfonts can even go so far as to block the browser’s page rendering process—meaning that until they’re completely finished downloading, no text is displayed at all.
Fonts generally work as designed, but occasionally you get really odd behavior out of them. Especially when that unusual behavior is present in one of your design apps but not the others, it’s evidence that there’s an application font cache problem. It happened to me, and here’s how I fixed it.