Leading-Trim destroying traditional typography seems a strange way to start an article on typography. But for the sake of Web developers, who are commonly typographic illiterates, they are toying with changing the historic basis of paragraph spacing, and all line spacing. What set me off is an article I read this morning in Medium, a magazine with which I was unfamiliar.
The true title should be: Let’s toss out traditional typography and do what we want.I don’t want to overstate this, but the article says that what is being proposed for CSS is a new CSS property. You can see below what is proposed. However, there’s a major error in their statement. The truth is: Leading-trim seeks to change the standard we’ve been using for well over 650 years.
“Leading-trim seeks to change the standard we’ve been using for 24 years.
“Leading-trim is a new CSS property that the CSS Working Group is introducing. Just as the name suggests, it works like a text box scissor. You can trim off all the extra space from reference points of your choice with just two lines of CSS.”
Leading-Trim is destroying traditional typography by making CSS something other than that
This is no small thing. This means that Word and InDesign, and presumeably all word processors and page layout software, will be on a different system entirely. The article says they are just changing one little rule. Balderdash! That one little rule eliminates the basis of spacing in typography, standard leading—from the top of the ascender to the bottom of the descender, plus the built-in leading added by the font designer.
This means that traditional typographic design knowledge no longer works on the Web
Now I know this is a hugely complex system where everyone does what they think is right in their own eyes. But this one little new CSS property overthrows all of that.