Web typography solved

When choosing a font for use on a website, you are restricted to one of the 15 or so “web fonts“. That sucks. The only way you can use a different font is by resorting to hacks such as Cufon, sIFR or FLIR.

But if you do that, you’ve only solved half the problem. You’re still in muddy waters regarding the licensing of the fonts you’re using, possibly opening yourself to future litigation. And, whether you choose Cufon, sIFR or FLIR, the text that’s in a different font will behave differently than ‘regular’ text. You can’t select it, copy it or edit it like ‘regular’ text. That’s because it’s not regular text. It’s  a Javascript image, Flash movie, or plain image – respectively. That sucks!

Fortunately, there’s a solution for that: the CSS3 @font-face tag. It allows you to set the font of any given text on your web page. If the user does not have the font you indicated, it will be downloaded and used. It even works cross-browser.

So only the legal issue remains. Obviously, you can’t redistribute high quality commercial fonts like Minion or ITC Franklin Gothic. The companies holding the rights won’t allow it, and probably rightfully so.

So what to do? As Mark Pilgrim so eloquently stated: Fuck the foundries. If we can’t legally use their fonts on a web page, then we’ll have to look for high quality fonts that we CAN use on a web page.

And that’s when I came across Font Squirrel, and I must say: I LOVE IT! Free high quality fonts that you can use on your website. 100% free for commercial use. No licensing issues! Just what web typography needed 🙂

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