From Shady Characters


Shady Characters is powered by WordPress. It uses a modified version of Austin Sweeney’s Civil Footnotes plugin to display footnotes and a custom plugin called Bibcite (available on Github) to display references. References are managed by Mendeley and synchronised with Dropbox.

Shady Characters uses Sindre Bremnes’ Satyr and Faunus typefaces for body text and headings respectively. Find out more at, or learn about the new characters Sindre added to Faunus for Shady Characters.

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8 comments on “Colophon

  1. Comment posted by Mark on

    As a fan of fine typography, you should probably look into using webfonts in order to control the fonts used for your site more precisely. Essentially, you can specify a font file in the stylesheet which the browser downloads, so the page is set in *exactly* the font you want, rather than trying several in sequence. Many browsers support them these days. I think will have information for you.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve used @font-face before, and it’s only really time constraints which have prevented me from doing so here. In the end, I used one of the font stacks described by Amrinder Sandhu. I’ll keep web fonts in mind for a future update!

    2. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Mark,

      I thought you might like to know that I turned to web fonts for my second interrobang post. In the absence of any web safe blackletter fonts, I’ve embedded Cloister Black from Font Squirrel so that I can render a single percontation mark appropriately, thus: ?

      It does rather have the feel of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut — why isn’t there a generic ‘blackletter’ CSS font family, I wonder? — but it has worked perfectly. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Comment posted by Adam J. Blust on

    Did you design the WP theme your site uses? It’s gorgeous – like an online version of “Elements of Typographic Style.”

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks! I’m glad you like the theme. It’s based on Sandbox, although I’ve played around with the PHP a little to get it to do exactly what I want, and obviously the CSS is custom too.

      You’re absolutely right when you mention The Elements of Typographic Style — that was the main inspiration (and guide), although I took some other ideas from Detail in typography by Jost Hochuli.

      I keep on meaning to clean up the theme so that it meets WP’s theme review guidelines, but I never seem to have the time!

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