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A List Apart: Better Reading Through CSS

Jeffrey Zeldman's is best known for its useful and opinionated Web design articles. But like all Zeldman-designed sites, A List Apart is built with an overt emphasis on readable Web typography and a covert emphasis on fun (see Figure 9). Note the abundance of eye-catching browser-safe colors and the strong area partitions. Note the outlined, 1950s comic-book fonts and the bright, heavily tweaked stock-photo montages. All these design elements are Jeffrey Zeldman trademarks. He is able to cram a lot of color and character into a page whose fattest image is less than 12K.

Figure 9

Zeldman is an outspoken evangelist for Cascading Style Sheets and their ability to more legibly render browser-generated text. At, he practices what he preaches. Primarily using 11-pixel Verdana and judicious line leading, Zeldman's paragraphs are a pleasure to read (see Figure 10). This type of CSS font rendering should be standard practice on any site with more than two paragraphs of text.

Figure 10 (level 2).

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