platform and fonts
Interesting type on shop front. Spotted in Antwerp. 

Current platform

This site is built on the Ghost platform using the Tuuli theme from Biron themes. I mostly inherit typographic design choices from the theme, although I do make some changes uninformed by any very well-developed design knowledge.

However, I have certainly enjoyed swapping fonts in and out and I have become more interested in fonts and font choices – in a very non-initiate way – since moving to Ghost (see my discussion of Ghost and of fonts). Of course, I am not doing anything very elaborate with them, as I am staying within the reasonably simple blog structure.

Current fonts

Now that I am working at the University of Washington iSchool I qualify for educational discounts on fonts from some foundries, including both currently used on this site. Before this, I would occasionally license fonts on Future Fonts, the interesting platform of works in progress.

The current combination is Nan Holo (for headings and callouts), Nan Holo Mono (for captions), and Nan Serf (for body text). Each is from, you guessed it, the Berlin-based Nan foundry.

Font history

Here are some that have been on the site for reasonable amounts of time, and may be switched back in from time to time.

Body text

  1. Aeroplan
  2. Messer
  3. Nan Tragedy
  4. Piazzolla
  5. Rowan

Headings and accents

  1. Nan Metrify
  2. Phantom
  3. PolySans
  4. Token Mono

Platform history

This blog began in 2004 on Typepad. It was eventually moved to an internal instance of WordPress at OCLC where I worked, and then to a hosted WordPress at Libchalk. It now has over 1900 entries together with associated material. With the heroic assistance of Brian Pichman of Libchalk, I moved it to Ghost in 2021. There are occasional glitches in older entries, and unfortunately we lost the comments.


I write about the font ecosystem with some example references to choices made by National Libraries here:

Font choices, value and ecosystem. National Library examples
Typefaces and fonts are functional. However they also contribute in other ways - to brand, to atmosphere, to feeling. This is a brief introduction to aspects of the typeface ecosystem. I combine this with some commentary about how typefaces are used in national libraries to provide context.

Here is a rather long and ponderous review of Ghost written a while after I moved to it. I should do another, now that I have more experience.

Working with the Ghost blogging platform: a review
This site is built with Ghost and the Krabi template. I use it for blogging and as a professional home on the web. Why Ghost? Here are some initial thoughts. Ask me again in a year’s time .

Updated: 7 July 2024.


Lorcan Dempsey dot Net

The social, cultural and technological contexts of libraries, services and networks

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