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A List Apart: Better Reading Through CSS

Jeffrey Zeldman's alistapart.com 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 alistapart.com.

Zeldman is an outspoken evangelist for Cascading Style Sheets and their ability to more legibly render browser-generated text. At alistapart.com, 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 alistapart.com (level 2).

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