Getting to the bottom of line height in Figma

Marcin Wichary has written yet another outstanding piece about how the team at Figma has redesigned how they treat line-height and spacing. But I can’t stop thinking about this bit where Marcin writes:

The history of web design can be seen as a set of tensions between designers wanting things to be positioned with utmost precision, and the web pushing back on some of that control. One of the unexpected casualties of that push and pull was line height. The early web didn’t allow for easy vertical centering of text — cue literal decades of jokes about aligning a text to an icon next to it being the hardest problem in computer science — but line height provided a quick workaround for a situation much more common in user interface design than in the world of print.