Type on the web : more browsers support @font-face

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Well designed type can add to the overall professionalism of your company's web site. Over the years, I have had the good fortune to work with a number of designers on various web projects. In the past many of the designers who were used to designing for print would note the lack of real choice in type faces.

The main technical problem has been that fonts in a design had to exist in the user's system, and designers could only really count on those provided by the operating systems' publisher being present. On top of that similar faces had differing names on different operating systems, so CSS2 relied on font matching to allow the designer to "guess" several different fonts that might exist on the users' systems, and the browser would choose the best match.

Recently I have seen several articles at A List Apart that discuss the CSS 3 reccomendation : @font-face The following image ( from left to right: Chrome, IE, Firefox )demonstrates browser support for the reccomendation, while much wider, is still not universal. Links to articles are listed below the image.

fontsquirrel-browsers.png

I haven't used this on any sites yet, but I expect to be using it on soon. Fonts are copyrighted works of art, so as you look for fonts to use on your next web site, be sure to observe the original author's license. Here are a few sites I looked at with different commercial arrangements for getting fonts on your site:

  • TypeKit is a commercial service allowing you to link to fonts. (There is a free trial available)
  • Typotheque Web Font Service offers free trials and "one time licensing" for web fonts.

... and a couple of sites with no cost licenses.

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