I am trying to understand and write a source document that links the PT, or Movable Type to the web typography that we all know today, to be a better Designer and inspire others into Typography. Also, These origins are important not just to a better UX, Design but also Development. I am trying to understand how the decisions behind the Browsers' default CSS stylesheets, such as why they use 16px at 19.2 px line-height in Firefox, and if this is any way connected to the Metal/Wood Movable Type used in the early Print or follows a Fibonacci logic.

Is there any Web Typographic Consortiums that regulate Typography?

  • I can't answer your question, but I notice that 19.2/16 = 1.2 which is commonly used as the "standard" ratio between font size and line height. Also in for example InDesign where the default is 14.4/12 = 1.2. I can't tell you where this "convention" originates from. – Wolff Nov 22 '19 at 22:36
  • Can you provide some references to the things you're talking about? – voices Nov 24 '19 at 22:22
  • Hiya. Yes. I will get some sources over the weekend. I am just trying to make connections in-between the web typography choices since it is important to know how it is structured. So please bear with me. Cheers. – EstelaG Dec 13 '19 at 9:52

No to your first question since 19.2/16=1.2, but the Golden Ratio φ is 1.618033988749895...

No, and yes (kind of) to your second question. There is no Web Typography Consortium nor are there "regulations" governing typography. However, there is the W3C, but they aren't a regulatory body. They have created a set of international standards/guidelines that include topics such as web accessibility (WCAG - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

Here's what they say about line spacing (leading) with regard to accessibility.

. . . to ensure line spacing (leading) is at least space-and-a-half within paragraphs, and paragraph spacing is at least 1.5 times larger than the line spacing

Source: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/visual-audio-contrast-visual-presentation.html

It could be argued this value is close to φ. However I don't think it was chosen because of that. More likely because it simply makes lines of text easier to read especially for people with visual impairment.

Many applications use 1.2x line spacing as the default (or auto) setting. But this value is a basic setting to ensure lines of text don't have overlapping or touching ascenders and descenders. It's not as if it's intended to be the value that should be used.

Yes, the term "leading" often used in typography for line spacing comes from the use of thin strips of lead which were used to create spaces between lines of moveable metal type.

  • Hi, Billy thank you for your comment. That answers some of my questions. However, I will develop on this over Saturday. Do you think the fact that there is no specif Web Typography Consortium leads to bad Typography on the web? – EstelaG Dec 13 '19 at 9:56

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