Recently there have been some very exciting developments in website typography. We are no longer limited to the fonts currently installed on the viewer’s computer! We’ve always used different fonts within images, but these are not accessible by search engines such as Google or Yahoo, so they are of very limited value. For the great majority of copy we were limited to so-called “web-safe” fonts which is a very limited list indeed.
Today we have no such restrictions. There are many paths now to a cornucopia of fonts that may be used freely throughout the website… well, freely may not be the correct term, as some of these sources charge for use of the fonts though several do not. But before we look at fonts, let’s consider the concepts and techniques involved in producing a website with great typography. The Elements of Typographic Style Applied to the Web (yes, that’s the website title!) offers great advice on how to properly use fonts to their best advantage. Read it carefully – there’s a lot of great advice there.
Now, for using non-websafe fonts. Non-websafe fonts must be setup on a font server. There are several font servers available – here are the best font servers:
- Google Fonts (free)
- Font Squirrel (free)
- TypeKit.com ($25 per year)
- FontDeck.com ($7.50 per year per font)
Each font server has fonts available but you can also upload additional fonts to most of them. Be careful that the fonts you setup on your font server are legal to use. Here are a few sources of free, legal-to-use fonts.