Even when “communications” meant an e-mail campaign delivered to 317 readers, Journey Group of Charlottesville, VA recognized that stamps have a story to tell — and not just to collectors. Stamps are built on typography, making the web a natural place to share their rich visual heritage, and making web fonts an important part of the experience.
Though postage stamps can pass unnoticed, their typography is wonderfully playful, and the new USPS Stamps website strikes this balance with aplomb. It delights readers with its typographic grace and wit, but relies on web fonts to perform in a diverse set of circumstances, accompanying an unforeseeable collection of images, and rendering seamlessly across all the browsers used by the site’s vast audience.
For the site’s typography, Journey Group chose our Verlag and Chronicle web fonts. Instead of merely styling the site’s headlines, they implemented web fonts for all of the site’s type, using Verlag for both headlines and annotations, and Chronicle ScreenSmart for text. Using a ScreenSmart font ensured that the site’s text would maintain its visual integrity at even the smallest sizes, so that all of the site’s readers are presented with crisp, legible type.
“I’ve always admired Verlag for its modernist swagger,” said Senior Designer Seth Nickerson. “My feeling was that it could carry a page when needed, but also be objective enough to live comfortably with disparate elements, without looking out of place. Chronicle ScreenSmart seemed the obvious choice to pair with it: it has a crispness that matches Verlag, and just seemed to invite long-form reading when we looked at it in the design, which is paramount.”
The site’s typographic sophistication goes far beyond its palette. CSS transforms and subtle animations play a gentle but effective role in bringing the type to life, and the site is filled with gracious nods to philately (including our favorite, the perforated edge in the main nav.)
We’re proud to feature Journey Group’s work for the USPS as our first profile of a website using Cloud.typography. When we return, we’ll introduce you to a site that uses meticulous type and illustrations to strike the right tone for an international company. In the meantime, if you’ve made something special that uses Cloud.typography, let us know: we’re on Twitter at @HoeflerCo. —NW