I think the following might be of some interesting to both type and web designers.
The context is the appearance of @font-face embedded fonts on Windows with ClearType disabled, and Standard smoothing used instead. As you probably know this tends to make a few fonts look somewhat anorexic and illegible. After a bit of experimenting I found two simple CSS tricks that can help with this issue. Clearly nothing can be done about reshaping individual letters, but their appearance can be improved. Have a look:
From top to bottom:
- Standard smoothing
- Standard smoothing, CSS trick #1
- Standard smoothing, CSS trick #2
Trick #1 is to place a semi-transparent copy of the text on top of the original. Here, for example, the opacity is set to 80%. Optimal opacity value seems to depend on the text color, the darker the color - the more transparent the overlay needs to be.
Trick #2 is to use text-shadow with 0px blur radius and slightly lighter color. This is limited to every normal browser that supports text shadows, meaning that it won't work in the IE.
In any case, it's a curious hack that may come handy in some cases. Thought I'd share it.