Richard Fink

Richard Fink is a web developer, writer, and consulting font technologist. Rich’s involvement with type grew out of his interest in the topic of readability and the move from text fixed in print to text displayed on the networked screen. He’s also had a lifelong love affair with advertising and branding. He began blogging about web fonts and readability at Readable Web but more recently, in keeping with the general move away from dedicated blogging sites, he’s begun aggregating and commenting on Medium and Facebook under the column name Font Friday.
Rich was an active voice early on in the debates over web font formats on the W3C mailing lists, and he helped move along the early adoption of web fonts in a number of ways. First, with his development of EOTFAST, a tool for producing true compressed Embedded Open Type fonts in a way that avoided copyright or patent infringement – a problem that most in the industry at the time assumed was insurmountable. Second, Rich collaborated with Ethan Dunham of Fontspring to develop the backward-compatible “#iefix” @font-face syntax that’s still used in hundreds of millions of web pages viewed by people every day. And then, as Font Director at Kernest/Konstellations he helped propel a project that, early on, made extensive use of open source web fonts in a context of HTML design templates.

More recently, Rich has been involved with quality control efforts at Google Web Fonts with a focus on best practices, the development of advanced HTML web font test pages, and font character sets.

Rich was a featured speaker at designer Garrick Van Buren’s FontConf in St. Paul Minnesota, as well as the annual ATYPI conference held in Dublin, Ireland, with a talk titled Destination Web. He’s a frequent contributor to Typedrawers, and the Google Web Fonts Forum, Rich has also written for the long-running online publication A List Apart. First, with the article Web Fonts At The Crossing and later, The Look That Says Book — an analysis of the state of hyphenation and justification in web text.

He used to blog regularly about web fonts and readability at Readable Web but more recently, in keeping with the general move away from dedicated blogging sites, he’s begun aggregating font-related links with added commentary on Medium and Facebook under the column name Font Friday.

Note that Rich is a trained musician and not a designer and considers the “not a designer” part of that a key to his effectiveness. The day he fully understands what the phrase, “humanist geometric sans-serif” means is the day his carefully guarded ignorance will have been compromised and if so, with his vantage point as an outsider gone, he’s pledged to stop working on fonts entirely.

Well, maybe.