Trying Typekit

Intruder Alert! That’s the name of the font currently gracing the title (Changing Way) at the top of this blog.

I chose that particular font to check whether I could get Typekit working here at WordPress.com. It’s hardly a subtle change from Tahoma, the main heading font for this blog, and it looks nothing like Georgia, the workhouse here. For this testing, I wanted an intrusive font, and was amused when I found one appropriate in name as well as in appearance.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried Typekit, or posted about it. In my earlier post, I recommended that Typekit be available at WordPress.com, and linked it to the CSS upgrade.

Typekit has since arrived at WordPress.com, but doesn’t require the CSS upgrade. Well, in a way it does. Consider the following barriers to changing the CSS on a WordPress.com blog: (1) it costs money; (2) it requires knowledge of CSS; (3) it requires knowledge of the way CSS is used in the blog’s particular theme.

I find the third and last of these barriers to be the highest. What heading level does a WordPress theme use for the blog title? for the tagline? for the post title? for headings in the sidebar? And what other selectors (besides h1, h2, etc.) are used, and how are they used? The answer varies between themes.

The theme I’m currently using, Simpla, uses h1 for the blog title. So to test Typekit, I used its kit editor to associate h1 with the distinctive Intruder Alert. That font was for some reason applied to the blog’s tagline (rather than to its title).

I emailed Typekit support over the weekend, and today received a response. I needed to use the selector #header h1. At a more general level, I need to be aware of CSS selector specificity.

My point, and I do have one, and I am getting to it, is similar to this one. Getting TypeKit to work on your blog can be frustrating especially if you are not familiar with CSS. That’s a quote from (and a link to) a guide to using Typekit at WordPress.com. The guide is good, but the quote could be more specific. You need to be familiar with the CSS of the theme.

My CSS isn’t terrible. I’ve tweaked a few themes, including Simpla for this blog. I found Typekit it harder to apply Typekit to that CSS than I did to tune the CSS itself.

I suspect that using Typekit is trickier than editing CSS. I’m generalizing, not only from my own experience, but from what others have written (in, for example, a post in the WordPress.com forums).

So, although Typekit has lower financial barriers to use than the CSS upgrade, it has higher overall barriers to use. I have concerns about this. One is that it’ll cause frustration for WordPress.com bloggers who see that they can try Typekit for free. The other is that Typekit support may be swamped. Anyway, time to email thanks to the Typekitter who supported me.

9 thoughts on “Trying Typekit”

  1. I have a blog in WordPress, but I have not been able to sign in. I tried several times to get my password, but to no avail. I wanted to make another blog here for a book I have written, but I just cannot sign in. My email address could be sand63@gmail.com. I don’t know which I used.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    I’m using wordpress.com for now and I have a typekit ID which is active and running on my blogs, but no typekit editor opens up. I’ve gone through the troubleshooting at Typekit.com to no avail. Have you heard of this problem?

    Thanks!

  3. Michelle,
    Hi and thanks for your comment.

    When you write that you are at WordPress.com, and that no Typekit editor opens up, it sounds as though you are expecting the Typekit editor to open up there in WordPress.com. It doesn’t work like that.

    You access the kit editor through your Typekit account. Then you go to WordPress.com to give it the kit id.

    Please let me know if that helps, either here in comments or by email (andrew at changingway dot org).

    1. thanks andrew! this makes a lot more sense now haha. i was able to change the body text but i’m still trying to figure out the code for the widgets and other things…slowly but surely!

    2. sure – i’m at untappedparis.wordpress.com. i have a series of city-based blogs (untappednewyork.com, untappeddetroit.com), but they all use the structure theme. i was able to change the text in the widgets, and the text in the body of the post, but none of the san serif fonts or the large headline.

      thanks so much!!

Leave a Reply to Sandra Davis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *