Ready for Web Fonts in Your Design? They're Ready for You!

November 9, 2010

Ready for Web Fonts in Your Design? They're Ready for You!

Don't let Dreamweaver suggest the correct font for your project. Web fonts are here and just waiting to be used. We're seeing them more and more on the Web and the days of seeing only the 8 or 10 "web safe" fonts are over. (The initial challenge with web design was that every viewer of a web page would need to have the correct fonts on his or her computer in order to see those fonts in a web design.)

Web Fonts Quick Demo

Now, not only have many been made available, but they are incredibly easy to use, generally. In the video below I show how easy they are to add or embed into your web pages using one easy method: Google Font Directory.

Of course, web fonts, fonts that download onto a viewer's computer along with a web page, have been here for awhile, really since the mid-to-late 1990s with the advent of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4 and even Netscape 4.7, but with the licensing restrictions, varying formats (.eot, .ttf, .woff, etc.) required download times and browser limitations, not many sites were using them. Now, we have many fonts with an open source license, modern browsers ready to render them through the @font-face rule, and much quicker download times. Most importantly, if we use a service such as this Google Font Directory, we don't need to worry about which format font gets sent to which browser, since the browsers are still not in unison on which format to use. Internet Explorer, for example, likes the Embedded OpenType (.eot) and with version 9 will use the Web Open Font Format (.woff) while the other major browsers use TrueType/OpenType Formats (.ttf/.otf) among others.

More information and examples:

Thanks to wikipedia and Jay Hilgert (bittbox on Flickr) and Ferdi's - World on Flickr

Tom Hapgood

Tom Hapgood

Tom Hapgood is a designer in Northwest Arkansas, USA, who teaches in the Visual Design area of the University of Arkansas. He teaches motion design, typography, web design and animation. Before moving to Arkansas he lived in Boston, Arizona, Germany and Italy.

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Lead Product Designer / New York, NY, US

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