Monday, July 27, 2009

Typekit – Hosted Fonts For Your Website


Typekit is a new service which aims to provide a platform for hosting custom fonts, both paid and commercial ones for use on websites.  If you have been wanting to integrate custom fonts in your website design, this might interest you.  The Typekit platform promises to handle cross-browser compatibility issues, freeing you the designer for doing what you do best – design.  If you are interested in custom font for web design, you might also want to check out 5 Image Replacement Techniques For Custom Font Embedding and Type Select – Selectable Text Replacement Technique.

Here’s an extract of what the creators of Typekit have to say about their product, and you can bet it’s not negative!

Web fonts today

So here’s the situation: Every major browser is about to support the ability to link to a font. That means you can write a bit of CSS, include a URL to a font file, and have your page display with the typography you expect. For designers and developers, this is a significant step forward. No longer will you need to trap your content in images or Flash just to express yourself visually. Pages will be more usable, accessible, and indexable. This is a massive upgrade for the web.

But there’s a problem. While it’s technically quite easy to link to fonts, it’s legally more nuanced. Almost all fonts are protected by copyright — even those available for free — and very few of them allow for linking via CSS or redistribution on the web. This is understandable; font files represent countless hours of finely detailed labor. Appropriately, type designers are concerned that they’ll lose control of all that hard work.

The Typekit solution

That’s where Typekit comes in. We’ve been working with foundries to develop a consistent web-only font linking license. We’ve built a technology platform that lets us to host both free and commercial fonts in a way that is incredibly fast, smoothes out differences in how browsers handle type, and offers the level of protection that type designers need without resorting to annoying and ineffective DRM.

As a Typekit user, you’ll have access to our library of high-quality fonts. Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup, tell us what fonts you want to use, and then craft your pages the way you always have. Except now you’ll be able to use real fonts. This really is going to change web design.

So all of this looks pretty exciting.  I couldn’t get hold of an invite to test Typekit out, but Andy Clarke managed to get his hands on one and actually posted a review and a step by step guide on implementing Typekit.  You can see how Typekit looks like on his homepage.  So what Typekit does to you?  Excited?

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