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Toronto-based boutique agency specializing in web design and development, identity and print design.
Aug 21

Defining The Web: Typography on the Web

For as long as the Internet has been around, web designers have only had access to the same small group of web-safe fonts for use on websites. This list has gotten progressively larger in recent years, but it is still nowhere near where it could be. For a list of current web-safe fonts, please check out the page we’ve set up here.

Recently, web designers have taken a more graphic design and typographical approach to web design and have had to find round-about ways to show off their typography skills , which can sometimes be a challenge when you are going for a good SEO ranking or trying to allow your site to be more scalable on different mediums (whether it be on a mobile phone, or a printed page). Image replacement techniques have been used as a simple solutions but there is still a desire to make it easier and more scalable.

Technologies such as sIFR, cufon, Flir, and others use a little javascript or flash, etc. to style your text how you would if using regular old CSS. This has been an amazing step forward, but its not good enough.

We’re so close to where we want to be, with CSS3’s @font-face property on the horizon, we will soon be allowed to do what we’ve always wanted to do: properly include any font we desire into any design we need without the use of bloated javascript files or the need for flash. There are still some underlying legal issues with the use of @font-face, but those issues will be addressed shortly with the pending release of TypeKit and FontDeck.

As a web designer, this is an exciting time for us and has been a long time coming. No longer will our websites be forced to use the likes of Arial or Garamond for web copy, we will be able to use ANY FONT WE’D LIKE!! World, get ready for some amazing typography on the web in the near future.