Finally, Some Fonts to Play With

Simon Hamp
Aug. 31 2010, 08:16PM EDT

Web designers are rejoicing. Real fonts have finally come to the web and they're easier to use than ever before. Gone are the days of Cufon and sIFR, as @font-face is finally beginning to shine. But the impending onslaught of fonts on the web may well be thanks to Google.

With a number of the more popular foundries evolving to extend their reach to the web and browser vendors working ever harder to support the latest standards and trends, web fonts are exploding onto consumers' desktops. The challenges of licensing and distribution are steadily fading away. And Google is trying to lead the way.

With the Google Font API, the search behemoth has made sure we can all have access to better type. By licensing a set of very nice fonts and making those freely available on their vast CDN, there's no excuse to use Comic Sans any more.

The API itself is very easy to use. If you want to just get going, you can use some Google-generated CSS and drop one line of code into your web pages. If you want a little more control over how fonts display (in case a font fails to load for instance) you'll need to use the Web Font Loader.

It's a straightforward API that works with Google's font library and is open enough to work with almost any of the other hosted font systems out there - providing the same events hooks for all.

Simon Hamp Simon is a PHP developer based in beautiful England. He loves programming. He's currently running his own web development agency and making cool apps out of other apps!

Comments

Comments(1)

We've been using Google Fonts on our site for awhile now and it's great. Sooo much better than the alternative of images or standard fonts. You can see it here: http://codeanthem.com/ and here: http://codeanthem.com/tour.

The only downside I have seen is that every once in awhile it will load with a standard font and then visibly "flip" to the Google font right when the page is loading (similar to an image loading as blank and then filling in), but to me it's fine.