Old Pronghorn Antelope, Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, Vernal UT

Old Pronghorn Antelope Buck Lost in Thought, Ouray NWR, Vernal UT

April 29, 2022

Oliver Reichenstein on Responsive Typography

Oliver Reichenstein and the Information Architects team faced some interesting challenges in building iA Writer, their highly acclaimed suite of applications noted for their uncluttered, distraction free, writing environments for the Apple macOS desktop and iOS mobile platforms.

“When we built websites we usually started by defining the body text. The body text definition dictates how wide your main column is, the rest used to follow almost by itself. Used to. Until recently, screen resolution was more or less homogenous. Today we deal with a variation of screen sizes and resolutions. This makes things much more complicated.”

— Oliver Reichenstein, Responsive Typography: The Basics, Information Architects, June 1, 2012

Using these applications it all looks and feels so simple. They are such clean, elegant, minimalist design masterpieces it's hard to remember how difficult such simplicity is to pull off. The attention to detail is pretty much hidden to the casual user - it all just feels right in that "I know it when I see it" sort of way.

In his article, Reichenstein lays out an excellent overview of the issues and challenges the team faced designing the typography for the three iA Writer apps and how the team addressed them. Some of the typography design principals he outlines have influenced me in designing this website. Cool stuff. Check it out.