When I decided to abandon Tumblr, that meant abandoning my Tumblr theme, too. I'm no designer, though. My friend Ren offered plenty of design suggestions over the weekend, which improved my homegrown look from "crappy" to "far less crappy." (Thanks, Ren!)
One of Ren's suggestions was to embed a custom font-face on the new blog. The "Lex, Briefly" header and post titles now employ a wonderful font called Qlassik. I got the font from Font Squirrel.
The world of embedded fonts on the web has improved dramatically. Font Squirrel offers downloads for each font it provides that include multiple versions for broader browser compatibility. There are TrueType fonts, which Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome like; EOT fonts for Internet Explorer; WOFF fonts for Firefox 3.6+, Internet Explorer 9+, and Chrome 5+, and SVG fonts for iOS devices. The idea is, you provide references to each filetype in your site's stylesheet, and browsers pick the font file that works best for them.
That means that whatever web browser you're using, the header on Lex, Briefly should look like this:
Without my doing any extra work, Safari automatically uses a custom kerning pair for the "f" and "l" in "Briefly"; you can see the letters connect at the top for typographical charm.
On the iPhone, the font is again kerned properly and automatically by Mobile Safari; check out "flawed" in this headline:
The iPad, which you might think would work nearly identically to the iPhone in this regard, surprisingly does not. Instead, it makes me look like an especially poor speller:
Safari on the iPad gets the "fl"" kerning pair, but still throws a standalone "l" immediately afterwards.
I'm not serving any custom content to the iPad, though I do feed the iPhone an iPhone-optimized version of the site. But the iPad is receiving precisely the same HTML and CSS that Safari on the Mac gets, and precisely the same font file that the iPhone gets.
Without abandoning the custom font — which works great elsewhere and on iPhones and iPods touch and other browsers — there's no way for me to fix this on the iPad. So here's hoping that Apple will, and soon.