We recently had a client ask to use the Open Sans web font in an email campaign, which we eventually got working, so I thought I’d share the process. The client has a large amount of mobile users, so the priority was to get support in Android and iOS. In this case, the font had to be used for branding reasons, but using web fonts in email could be a useful technique to help avoid building text (especially headlines) as images – this both helps images-off performance and also saves many a responsive headache.
My tutorial on designing and coding responsive html emails, so the design and layout adapts automatically on mobile devices and tablets, is in the September 2012 issue of .net magazine – issue 232. It follows on from the Rethinking Mobile Email Design article here, and shows how to follow this approach through to html.
You can pick up .net magazine in stores, via iTunes or online here.
As mentioned by Brian Thies in the comments below, Hotmail have now released an update to their platform that fixes this bug, therefore designers don’t need to take any action to update their code. We’ve run a few tests through Hotmail and the symbols are now being displayed as normal.
We’ve noticed a peculiar rendering issue that’s just appeared in Hotmail – the © ASCII code used to insert a copyright symbol loses all formatting. We’ve run some tests in various live browsers, and the issue seems to appear in IE, Firefox and Chrome/Safari. It appears that the symbols are actually being replaced by Hotmail’s own emoji images, for example: .
Often in marketing emails we need to apply caveats to pieces of copy, linking to terms and conditions below or on a separate page1. However, just using the <sup> tag to superscript text can cause issues with line height in certain email clients and browsers.
The following style, when applied to <sup> tags, will fix these issues.
<sup style=”line-height:1; vertical-align:baseline;_vertical-align: bottom;position: relative;bottom: 1ex;font-size:11px !important;”>2</sup>
1 like that caveat there.
Note – this is an improved fix over our previous Outlook background fix
This fix is something I’ve been looking at for a while – and allows html emails to display a full page background image in both outlook 2007 and webmail clients, and for the background image to degrade to a background colour when images are disabled.
Whilst you can use the <body> tag to successfully specify a full page background image in Outlook, many webmail clients will ignore this. This has often meant that both background images and colour are also specified using a full width table, to ensure support in webmail clients.
One issue that occurs from this technique, however, is that Outlook will also render the background colour from that full width table, but not the background image, meaning that the solid background colour will display above any full page background image specified on the <body> tag in Outlook.
This fix allows you so specify a full width background image that displays in both Outlook and webmail clients, and will fall back to a solid background colour when viewed in any email client with images disabled.