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Hurrah for web fonts

Posted on by Superdeluxesam

Google web font api graph, shamelessly stolen from Google's blog
Google web fonts growth since June this year. Taken from this blog post

There seems to be quite a bit of momentum behind web fonts at the moment, which is as it should be in my opinion. After dealing with the hassle of font-replacement it seems like web typography has taken a massive step forward in the last year or so.

Why the hell should I care about what font I use?

There are a few reasons – firstly I do think a good choice of font is a simple and quick way to improve the visual dimension of your user experience. Applying the font well with a regard to the subtleties of typography would be even better, but just putting a bit of thought into the typeface you use would make some difference. It’s more than most people manage.

Secondly, you might have stringent brand guidelines to follow (or maybe you’re creating some). Although bear in mind that most web font delivery services (is there a better name for these things?) will not have every font you might be looking for. One of my current projects uses a Clarendon for its offline branding, but my current font server of choice is Typekit, who only offer one and it’s not a close enough match to my client’s. Luckily FontDeck offer one that is a better match, but the idea of having multiple accounts with multiple font providers starts to sound a bit fiddly.

Lastly, consistency is a vital part of visual design and web fonts make it easier to be able to maintain that consistency for your organisation as your users move from online to offline and back again.

A note about this site:

As you might suspect, I am using web fonts on this site, in fact I’m using Typekit to serve Museo and Google web fonts for Cantarell both distinguished by their being well designed and free. Whilst I like both fonts, I do also think that using two different font services should probably be regarded as overkill and wouldn’t recommend this kind of behaviour for your own site. Given that this site doesn’t receive a great deal of traffic right now, I figured I could probably get away with it. So there.

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