I noticed some strange inconsistencies across browsers when exporting .svg’s for a recent project. Safari renders .svg’s based on coordinates, Chrome renders vectors optically. This applies to straight objects as well as curves. For example, by default if a circle is drawn on whole pixles the shape will render with hard edges. It’s become best practice to decrease the circles height and width from the center by a few half pixels to reduce the hard edge and make the shape look optically correct on 72dpi screens. In addition to Safari and Chrome, Adobe Illustrator CS6 has trouble displaying pixel results in .svg files as well. The different vector renderings make it difficult to keep consistency in Ai and cross–browser.
Although .svg’s may lack visual consistency, their strengths aren’t necessarily in pixel-perfection on 72dpi screens. As the web moves further from static images to elements that animate, we should consider .svg’s for their real advantages; interactivity.
Last weekend a few of us checked out an exhibition called Pencil to Pixel, a showcase of rare finds from the Monotype type Foundry’s archives. We were educated by a type designer currently working at Monotype about the history of the foundry, advancements in type design & reproduction over the years, and some stories about printers and type designers of the past. A few exciting points were the original “sketches” Eric Gill gave to the designers at Monotype of his now robust Gill Sans, a case of goodies by the designers at ITC including a tissue sketch by Herb Luballin, and a demonstration of some new advancements in web typography by Typecast.
Design duo Berger & Föhr state their stance on skeuomorphic design in the digital space in a blog post titled “Nobody Covets a Fake”.
A noteworthy excerpt:
“In order to create new things of new value, we must move forward in step with our technology, informed by the past, but not reliant upon it. Nostalgia has its place, but it is not in the artificial representation of natural materials and physical things (i.e., cotton, leather, steel, or wood) within a UI, or any product for that matter. The material characteristics of a product’s medium should be appreciated for their natural attributes. Similarly, we should not limit our potential in the area of UI design by responding to constraints of the physical world – nonexistent in the digital.”