Web Fonts

June 03, 2010

Typography is a very important element in design. The fonts that you choose to use in a logo design, print design or web design drastically alter the look and feel of your design. This is fantastic when it comes to print design. Print designers have thousands of fonts to choose from and that they can use in their incredible designs. Unfortunately, web designers are not as lucky as print designers. Web designers are restricted to a very small and limiting list of fonts and this is often very frustrating.

Why are web designers limited to such a small set of web fonts even though most people have a large collection of beautiful fonts on their home computers? Regrettably, web browsers can only load fonts that are installed on your personal computer. Every person has a large number of fonts installed on their computer however, there are only a small number of fonts that are installed on all computers universally. Web designers are therefore limited in their choice of web fonts because they have to use fonts that everyone has installed on their personal computers so that they can ensure that their websites look the same to everyone on the web.

Most web designers are all too familiar with this frustration. A few universal web fonts that web designers use are Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Georgia & Lucida Sans. Unfortunately, the selection of universal web fonts is very limited and it doesn’t take long before you exhaust this list. Web fonts are fonts that are likely to be present on a wide range of computer systems and they have been designed so that they are highly legible on screen.

We offer a wide variety of fonts both for web and print at Pixellogo. Visit our website today if you want to conveniently purchase web fonts and other new typefaces online.

A Google Initiative

The other day, I came across a great initiative by Google. It is a project that may soon save us from the blandness and limited selection of web fonts. I won’t go into too much detail here but basically, Google has created a number of it’s own, open-source fonts that anyone can use in their website designs. These fonts are hosted on Google’s servers and therefore, all web browsers can access them. To date, the Google team has created 18 of these open-source web fonts. What exactly does this mean? Amazingly, this means that if you are a web designer and you are building a website where you want to use one of these unique Google web fonts, all that you need to do is to include a link tag that calls out to the specific font on the Google servers.

For example:

HTML for how to use Google Web Fonts

From there, you simply need to modify your CSS file to include this Google font.

For example:

CSS for how to use Google Web Fonts

It is really that simple. Now, web designers can spice up any of their web designs by adding any of these 18 original Google web fonts.

Google is amazing and never ceases to amaze me. This project could very well be the push that the web industry needs. If this project is continued and the Google library of fonts continues to expand, it could be a huge leap forward in web fonts and web typography. For now, if you are going to use one of these Google web fonts, I would suggest that you still provide backup fonts until this project is fully completed.

Click here to go to the Google open-source font directory.

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