Good enough is good enough

I was commenting on a thread on Typophile entitled “Typography/Layout help please,” and as I’m in such a shit mood lately it got a little ranty towards the end. I thought it best to delete it, but before I did , I thought I might as well let it out, in a more controlled fashion, so I copied and pasted it here. I could have re-worked the content but I’m tired, lazy, and grumpy. It also allows me to conduct an experiment I have been thinking of. Recently people have been finding and contacting me, and it appears as though my Typophile activity attracts more than my activity here. This may help me analyze my analytics data. Here goes:

@riccard0: Actually I think the use of additional space is well thought out. A spatial hierarchy such as this helps visually “chunk” the content into groups. In my opinion, using space to establish hierarchy in this fashion is one of the most basic and overlooked details in setting passages of text.

@matsaukeo: I am in by no means a website designer, but you might need to let your baseline grid go. In print-land this is considered good practice but to my knowledge in web-land there is no way to technically control this across browsers and devices. But chances are you know more about this part then I do.

If however, you can control this, then you may wish to try reducing the size of your third heading and increasing the weight to compensate for the smaller type. The introduction of weight to establish hierarchy may then influence your secondary heading, asking for an increase of weight as well.

But from a standpoint of the law of diminishing returns and time = money, I’d say your done, go for sign-off, and move on to the next project. More often than designers care to admit, their egos tend to get in their ways and stop them from accepting the simple fact that nine times out of ten, good enough is good enough. Sometimes, there are more important things in life than baseline grids.

In the time it took me to write this I could have watered my plants and prepared breakfast for my partner.

3 Responses to Good enough is good enough
  1. Updates: 06.09.2011 | Read the type
    September 6, 2011 | 10:52

    [...] some new pictures to the Look at the type section taken in Chicago where I was presenting my “In search of the Font Effect” paper at The Fourth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices. If anyone can [...]

  2. matsaukeo
    October 25, 2011 | 05:53

    Hi there – quite randomly came across this today!

    Kind of glad you deleted the rant, especially if it was going to aimed in my direction!

    Your comment/advice above doesn’t seem too ranty so perhaps you weren’t in such a bad mood when you wrote it or you changed the tone. Either way – thanks for it.

    As I said in the post this isn’t my strongest area at the moment and I was feeling quite brave in sharing. – I was inviting advice and that’s what you gave so thanks for that. – Just wished I’d had the chance to reply and seen this sooner!

    I take on board what you are saying. I’m glad I went through the process on this website. It gave me a feel for how far I can push it on other projects and what actually makes a difference. I’ll take your advice that good enough is good enough. It was great to open this up to be critiqued by people who are really into type and for it not to get flamed. Hopefully this means I’m doing something right!

    One thing I did learn from this was that I don’t have to make arbitrary decisions on placement which feels good. Even if the final code doesn’t work out that way. As for the final code. It is possible, but you are right – it’s hard. I do find in general though that if I can get things right once, its easier and quicker to apply that going forward.

    Thanks again

    • Christopher Dean
      October 25, 2011 | 10:14

      Thanks for the positive feedback. Kind words that put a smile on my face on what started out as a bit of a rough day.

      Just curious, do you have a url for the final design, or a current draft? I’d love to see it.

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