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Web fonts make progress

Posted on by Clive Walker in CSS Typography

I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.

There has been quite a lot of progress on the subject of web fonts in recent months. Rather than sticking to a core set of web-safe fonts, web designers might soon be able to use a much wider range, by choosing one of several new methods. Here's a short summary of recent developments.

The CSS method that seems to have sparked the recent progress is the @font-face rule which is also described here on and in an article on A List Apart. There's quite a few legal and licensing issues with the use of fonts in this way but browser support for @font-face is increasing.

Typotheque has announced a web font service which means that if you own a Typotheque font license, you will be able to embed the font for website use with a small piece of code provided by Typotheque. Great if you have already bought a font from them I guess. Not so good if you haven't.

Typekit is a web font hosting service and it will use JavaScript to embed a range of fonts. Here's the introduction to Typekit which explains more. I don't know how much the service will cost but hopefully it will be priced competitively. Andy Clarke has previewed Typekit and it seems easy to use. However, it's not widely available as yet.

The .webfont proposal describes a meta data xml file which would be used to specify font permissions and properties and allow supporting browsers to download and display the font. This seems to be gaining support from font foundries.

These are interesting new methods and I'm sure there will be much more happening with web fonts over the next few months.

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  • 21 Jul 2009 12:55:17

    I think a lot of experience will be needed for web fonts to make progress.

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