Typography :: The Distance

In an age where business magazines focus on new shiny start-ups, The Distance highlights only those businesses who are at least 25 years old. Its blend of print elements in a web reading experience is refreshing and pleasant, as a viewer. The typography includes a sans-serif, Gotham typeface used as display type for headlines, subheads, pull quotes and captions. The body text, however, is Sentinel, a sophisticated yet easy to read slab serif. It’s not often you find an elegant slab serif, especially in a large chunk of text. But here, The Distance pulls it off.

The Distance - Time and Tide Article
The beginning of an article on The Distance.

Adding to the magazine reading experience, The Distance utilizes spot color and drop caps, which help guide the reader down the page. The font size is larger, allowing for greater readability. There are ~70 characters including spaces on each line. Throughout the scrolling experience, you are never left without an element on the page – be it a new photograph or a subhead or a pull quote. It is nice as a reader, and keeps me engaged, much like a print reading experience.

scrollling on the distance
A pull quote in an article on The Distance.

The photography is a nice touch to The Distance as well. Sometimes displaying no type on the page can be just as effective – let the image tell a thousand words.

Photo on The Distance.
Immersive photography in an article on The Distance.

The hand-drawn logo and hand drawn illustrations at the top of every story add a quirky unique element to the site. This is one of my favorite “article” reading experiences because there is white space throughout. There aren’t navigation bars or stories on the side begging for me to click them. The web design and typography really serve the content and engage me in this story.

A slew of articles to be found on The Distance.
A slew of articles to be found on The Distance.

Overall, I am impressed by this clean, minimal design. Web design can make a web experience exhausting sometimes. I appreciate being able to sit back and enjoy this.

Responsive design of The Distance.
Responsive design of The Distance.

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One thought on “Typography :: The Distance

  1. I agree with you that the design of this site is elegant and uncluttered, but I am a little thrown off by the hand-drawn illustrations, which usually left me studying them instead of navigating down the page. I definitely agree they’re quirky, but I’m not sure if they’re helpful to the ambience of the site, or whether they’re just a distraction. They didn’t seem to blend well with the modern, sophisticated photos, and I was left wondering which style was indicative of the real blog. I really liked the Sentinel font- at first I noticed it because it was a huge contrast from WordPress’ font, but after scrolling a bit, I stopped noticing it altogether. It flowed as easily as the text in a glossy magazine. I think this is what the speaker was talking about in the video Thursday when he said a good typographer makes the words disappear and the information come to life. I’ll be looking for Sentinel in other websites now.

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