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blog of developer & bookworm benjamin read

Updated Typeface: Introducing Skybird

So a few weeks' ago I discovered a very small but excellently designed typeface from a Phitra Design called Skybird. I decided almost at once that I would use it on deliciousreverie, and replace the old typeface, Vollkorn from Google Fonts.

Straight away I felt that I identified with the typeface—it really spoke to my aesthetic: rustic, Victorian, with a hint of Edith Holden's Country Diary. I must admit to becoming more confident in this aesthetic recently. Even though it's not perhaps what's in vogue right now, I would much rather choose something for my personal site that represents me, and is a little bit more offbeat.
I love Skybird very much, I'm sure it's going to be popping up on other sites I design, as long as I can justify it.

Switching from Vollkorn.

Vollkorn is a nice font, bold, rounded, with a hint of Cooper Black (another one of my favourites) — but there were a few downsides to using it here. As well as what I've said above about aesthetic, the font had to be retrieved from Google's Content Delivery Network to be used, which sometimes added long delays to the site.

Performance Benefits

As a result of switching to Skybird, I have gained a 100% performance rating from Google's PageSpeed Insights:

I also test my sites with Pingdom's Tools, which gave some further insights:

The grand total of 3 requests demonstrates that it's very possible today to design and build lightweight sites that still look good and are much more easily accessible by people in areas where there's not so good internet connections (read: anywhere but the western world!).

If you're looking for some excellently crafted, unusual fonts, please check out Phitra Design, there are some lovely alternatives to the overused classics on this site.

UPDATE: Some of my friends mentioned today that Skybird as a body font doesn't work so well, and were having trouble reading my posts. I'm grateful that they called me out on that, and as a result I now have PT Sans (from Google fonts) as the body copy. The performance rating is down to 89%, which isn't quite as good as it was before, but there has to be a trade off between legibility and performance.