Get your kit on

I’ve been looking at Typekit as a web font solution for headings, quotes, and promotional text – as an experiment I’ve mocked up this Blog post using Typekit; so you can get a feel for what it’s about.

So why would we need to use it?

I’ve harped on about web font limitations before; so I’ll just say that the fonts we could use were tragic and boring. I’ve also mentioned that we used sIFR as a fix for about six months, which was too quirky and jerky.

Hypothetically we could host fonts on our server and reference them using @font-face. This way all the fonts used in the printed prospectus, could be used on the website; but there’s the complex issue of copyright to contend with.

Speak the Web

We attended Speak the Web at Leaf café in Liverpool. I was impressed by Jake Smith’s presentation Putting the Font in Front End, especially his demo of Typekit.

Typekit offers a library of fonts: you pay a subscription; you choose which fonts suit you, and they deal with the legal stuff. I was impressed by the clarity of the sign-up process, and how easy it was to set up. The font libraries are impressive; all the big type foundries are represented.

The demo I put together uses the modest library of free fonts, supplied with the Typekit trial package. They are fine as a starting point, but they generally represent the less formal side of typography.

The Downside

The only problem I have is the way different browsers render fonts:  Some render crisply in one browser; but appear pixelated or weakly defined in another. They also lose clarity at smaller sizes. Unfortunately these problems are with the fonts themselves, so even if we hosted them we’d still have the same problem.

Consequently if we get a style guide that says Garamond should be used for headings, and I refer to Typekit, check the browser samples and find that it is unreadable in Firefox, we simply can’t use it. Straight away we would be looking at alternative fonts; when we didn’t want to fudge or compromise.

To Conclude

Weighing things up – I would use Typekit because it is easy to use and well designed, and any worries about copyright could be put aside.