Web fonts: the time has come

Published May 28th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I spotted a post on Slashdot about a company – fonts.com – ┬áthat was opening up its font library for use by web developers. I thought it was a pretty neat idea: it uses the new-ish @css-font functionality that works in most modern browsers – along with a bit of JavaScript magic – to allow you to, in effect, embed a font in a web page such that it can be used like any other standard font.

No more image replacement, or clunky sIFR nonsense to get pages looking as your clients actually want them to!

After that, I became aware that there’s more than one web site out there offering similar service. So here’s a run-down of those I know of — feel free to add a comment if you know of any that I’ve missed:

  • WebFonts – as mentioned above, over 2,000 fonts to choose from and more on the way.
  • Cufon – allows you to upload your own font files and then download them compiled for web use.
  • FontFace – download pre-packaged ‘kits’ or roll your own.
  • Google Web Fonts – yes, even the mighty Google is getting in on the act, although the choice is rather limited.

Update: From the comments (thanks!):

Seems like it’s a technology whose time has arrived.

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  1. Andrew on May 28, 2010

    A few other webfont services like Fonts.com include http://www.fontslive.com, http://www.typekit.com, http://www.typefront.com, http://www.fontspring.com and http://www.fontdeck.com (still private beta). There are quite a few out there already, and more coming.

  2. Eric on May 28, 2010

    Don’t forget about the awesome (and open source) http://kernest.com/

    PS: I couldn’t login using your OpenID auth, just fyi.

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