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Requirements for Careers in Web Typography

Web typography is an exciting and emerging field. Web technology has recently allowed the use of many fonts. Each user's personal font library is different, so designing a creative web page using a special, unusual font was almost impossible unless the font was converted to a graphic image. Recent advances have given web designers a new way to access font libraries and control the way fonts will look regardless of a viewer's browser or operating system. The future will bring more changes to this new field and allow for more inventive use of typefaces.

Education

For a career in web typography, education in graphic arts and web design is a must. There are many two- and four-year programs in these fields, although a bachelor's degree is preferred, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Someone interested in web typography should enroll in courses in typography and web design, but since newer technology is allowing more types of fonts to be used on the web, studying the use of typography in print media would also be useful. Courses in commercial graphics, computerized design and the principles of design are important as well. Someone who has already graduated and has a degree in graphic design could look for recent books, such as Jason Cranford Teague's Fluid Web Typography, or attend a conference, such as Ampersand, to learn about recent developments in the field. Reading websites and blogs on the topic would also be helpful.

Experience

The best experience that prepares someone for a career in web typography is experience designing websites and working with typography, either online or in print media. A job working for a web design firm, advertising agency and/or publishing company would be helpful experience. Any personal work creating a blog, website or web templates would also be useful. This is a field that changes frequently and quickly, so extensive experience and information can be gained by reading online materials.

Skills

Many skills are needed for a career in web typography. These include design skills, web programming skills and problem-solving and communication skills. The ability to learn new information by reading and seeking out the best sources is especially important, since the field of web typography is likely to be constantly changing and evolving.

Software

Currently, websites are built using a combination of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML, the original programming language of the web. Knowledge of these coding languages are critical, although web designers often use design software such as Adobe Dreamworks or InDesign. It is also important for web designers to be familiar with the use of Adobe Photoshop. Further experience using a font design software to actually create new fonts would also be useful for those interested in actually creating fonts for the web and not merely using existing fonts.



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