Death to typewriters

Part III.
Punctuation binds the words together

A great typeface doesn’t matter much when joined together by bad punctuation. We make sure that punctuation in Medium stories is on par with the words surrounding it:

Bullet points. Most bullet points are ugly. Seriously. We hope ours is not — we put together custom bullet points that are sized somewhere in between mid dots (interpuncts) and actual fat bullet points.

Hyphenation in text.

Image for post
Image for post

We enable hyphenation on Safari, on smaller devices only. The latter point is important because the ragged right edge is much more prominent on small screens. Safari is one the few browsers so far offering the right knobs to fine-tune hyphenation (tip of the hat to Internet Explorer as well); fortunately it also happens to be the most popular small-screen browser.

We make sure to be explicit about what’s the language of the story — hyphenating according to rules of a wrong language is worse than not hyphenating at all.

Underlines. We designed custom underlines that strike the right balance between communicating something clickable, and being a possible distraction from reading.

Pilcrows. When we streamline/inline paragraphs, we use pilcrows (paragraph marks with interesting history) to separate them, instead of just allow them to blend together like a one long paragraph from hell.

Designer/typographer · Writing a book on the history of keyboards:

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