Font Picture

Until just recently web designers were very limited in the way they used fonts on websites. The Cufon js and Flash Sifr methods have been around for a little while but they are not widely accepted and you still had the license issue. Commercial Eula’s have always been very specific in regards to how you could use the fonts in a printing environment and specified how many work stations they could be installed on. They also do not allow embedding fonts in files that will be distributed to a third party like the print shop or the client. These terms also apply to embedding font’s on a website and were probably written before anyone knew that website font embedding would even be possible.

Then along came @font-face the new CSS rule that allows you to link to a font stored on any server. Most modern browsers support @font-face but IE and mobile browsers don’t support true-type or open-type fonts, they require the font to be converted to a different format. This is all great if you don’t mind limiting yourself to the few free non-commercial fonts that allow embedding.

Typekit, a new subscription based service for linking to high quality fonts that can be embedding on any website could be the solution. The library of fonts available is very impressive and they are signing up new foundries every month. They allow the font authors to license the use of their work for embedding without worrying about their work being downloaded by anyone without paying for it. You simply choose the fonts you want to use and Typekit links them to your site using a simple Javascript file and you can include your chosen fonts in your font-stacks the same way you would any other font.

I am using the free trial version on this site that allows you to use 2 different fonts from a smaller collection that whats available to paid users on 1 domain. My only complaint so far is that the fonts are not loading as quick as I would like and they are split into 2 files so you can see the font change while the page is loading. Since I only started using the service about 30 minutes before I started writing this post, I am hoping it speeds up as their cache refreshes across all their world wide data centers.

One Comment (Add Yours)

  1. mobile browsers would become greatly popular in the next few years,*;