Saturday, October 6, 2018

Layered Fonts with CSS and JavaScript

The established ways of using layered fonts on the Web all have problems, so I tried to come up with something new.

Layered fonts are typefaces designed to be overprinted, so that you get a colour effect. Here's an example from Tom Chalky’s Rivina font family:

If you look closely at the word “Chapter” you can see the letters are blue with a greyish outline. I've magnified some of it in the inset circle. The way this works is that there are two separate fonts: TC Outline just draws the outer edges of the font and TC Fill draws the inside of the letters; the text is repeated at the same location, once in each font, to create the effect.

More complex fonts can include many more “layers” than the two I’ve used here (and in fact Rivina includes more variants than I’ve shown).

This technique was invented in the 19th century and has been used in every medium to make a simple coloured printing of headlines.

To use fonts like this on the Web and not be ashamed of ourselves we need: ...

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