Completely redesigned, the new website offers prominent illustrations and typefaces.
For the new edition, I decided to turn this online book into a rich visual experience. Completely redesigned, the new website offers prominent illustrations and typefaces. Using CSS Grid, the design is structured in a four-column fluid layout, which is fully responsive from small devices to large screens.
The typography is entirely reset in Fern, an elegant Venetian text face designed by David Jonathan Ross specifically for the screen. I had the pleasure of working with David on expanding Fern to support Vietnamese. I offered him my advice and he drew all the diacritical marks. In addition to Fern, Roslindale, also by David, is used for headers. Subheads and captions are set in Retina, designed by Tobias Frere-Jones. Quotes are set in Exchange, also by Tobias. More than 40 typefaces are featured throughout the site.
For the content, the history of Vietnamese writing has been expanded to include more information on the development of Quốc ngữ, the Romanization of the Vietnamese writing system. The second edition includes new material on đồng (the official currency of Vietnam), kerning horns, and pairing horns. The chapter on type recommendations has been completely revised. A five-star rating system is introduced to evaluate the design of the diacritics.
The chapter on samples has been eliminate. Because of the rich expansion of the second edition, I don’t feel the samples are still useful. The print edition is also discontinued. I have thought of turning the second edition into a coffee table–worthy book, but the cost for printing is too expensive. Furthermore, I was not satisfied with self-publishing platforms such as Blurb and Lulu. As a result, I just focus on the website.
For editing, I did not enlist any help because of the budget constraint. For the first edition, I asked a few close friends to help out and they were generous with their time. I would love to hire an editor, but I did not get much financial support. If you find this book useful, please contribute what you can to sustain the effort.Support Now