Web Fonts

Tack, Top Nerd in Residence (a term I use with much due respect and deference) here at Traction, let the team in on a really interesting update on the current state of fonts on the web.

I'd like to take the opportunity to go into the current state of fonts on the web. There actually has been a mechanism in CSS for using any font you want, even if it isn't on the user's computer, for a long time. It's called @font-face. The thing is that this is another case where everybody at the party is wearing tuxes and evening gowns, except internet explorer which is wearing a leisure suit and swim flippers. Because fonts are copyrighted, browser vendors have taken 2 approaches to linking to them. All the sane browsers assume we're all adults, will purchase the fonts like we do with stock images and allow you to throw any truetype font you want on your web server and link to it in your code. Microsoft wants to have central repositories of fonts and DRM in cahoots with font vendors. So they've got another completely different font format they are pushing and don't support truetype. Well... your font may not exist in both formats so we end up in the same verdana et al situation. If we want uniform typography across browsers we can only use fonts that are everywhere.

If we ever get a web project where we don't care about IE, go nuts with fonts.

Thanks to Tack for all this blog post fodder. You are the wind beneath these wings.

1 comment:

  1. aw c'mon. This is bull. Fonts take an incredibly long time to make (months, if not years) and you think that it's OK to just go ahead and share them with the entire world? This isn't anything like the greedy music vendors. This is making sure that font creators actually get money for the work that they put into fonts. It's not greed AT ALL. Get real.


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