All posts tagged ‘Web fonts’

Adobe, Google Partner for Edge Web Fonts

Adobe Edge Web Fonts service. Image: Screenshot/Webmonkey.

As part of its new Edge Suite of tools for web developers Adobe has announced Edge Web Fonts, a new free service much like Google Web Fonts.

In fact Adobe has partnered with Google to make most of Google’s open source fonts available through Edge Web Fonts as well. Both services also include the Source Sans Pro open source font family Adobe released earlier this year and the brand-new Source Code Pro.

The full list of fonts available through the service can be found on Adobe’s new Edge Fonts site, though sadly there’s no way to preview them. Previews of what Adobe’s Typekit blog calls the “more popular” options can be found on the Edge Web Fonts page.

Adobe also plans to work with Google to improve many of the fonts, adding hinting for better rendering at smaller sizes and optimizing other aspects for better-looking, better-performing fonts. The company plans to open source its improvements so even if you prefer to stick with Google Web Fonts you’ll still eventually have access to better looking fonts.

So why go with Adobe’s new Edge Fonts over Google’s existing service? There’s really no advantage if you’re already happy with Google’s offering, especially if you’re downloading Google’s fonts and serving them yourself, since that eliminates the chance that Adobe’s (or Google’s) servers will go down and take your fonts with them. Of course Edge Fonts is powered by Typekit, which has proved itself reliable over the years.

For more info on Adobe Edge Web Fonts head on over to the Typekit Blog, or check out the sample code to take them for a spin on your site today.

[Update: Developer Tony Stuck has put together a very nice preview page of the Adobe Edge Fonts for those that would like to actually see the fonts before diving in, which, presumably, is everyone.]

Adobe Acquires Typekit Web-Font Service

Adobe has acquired web-font service Typekit. Typekit helped pioneer the use of fancy fonts on the web thanks to its easy-to-use service which takes care of licensing, font loading and cross-browser support. Today all a designer needs to do to add typefaces in their page is drop in a couple lines of Typekit code.

Typekit currently serves over 250,000 sites, including The New York Times and, as well as Webmonkey and Wired.

Writing on the Typekit blog, CEO Jeffrey Veen assured Typekit users that little will change, at least for now. “Typekit will remain a standalone product,” writes Veen, “our team will stay together, and we’re excited to start working on even easier ways to integrate web fonts into your workflow.”

Typekit and Adobe are hardly strangers. The companies previously partnered to bring many of Adobe’s more popular fonts to the web — Adobe Garamond, News Gothic, Myriad, Minion and others are all available through Typekit. It seems likely, now that Typekit is part of Adobe, that the service will add more of the Adobe fontface library in the future.

Potential new fonts won’t, however, do much to assuage the fears of those worried about the future of Typekit under the Adobe umbrella. If the comments on the Typekit blog are any indicator, Typekit users are evenly split — about half of Typekit’s audience seems optimistic about the change and half, well, less so. A common sentiment for the latter group comes from a commenter named Jason who writes, “I am happy to see the Typekit team get a reward for an amazing service, but terrified to see Adobe ruin what they created so lovingly.”

Indeed Adobe has a mixed track record with companies it has acquired, as anyone who relied on Macromedia FreeHand or Director can tell you. Hopefully Typekit will fare better, especially since, small though the company may be, it’s a big part of the reason web fonts have become so popular.

When Typekit first launched in 2009 hardly anyone was using web fonts. Browser support was spotty at best and very few type foundries offered web licenses. Fast forward to today and the landscape has changed remarkably. Now every recent browser release supports CSS 3′s @font-face and Typekit has hundreds of fonts from most of the major type foundries.

Obviously much of that change is due to a combination of effort from browser makers, standards bodies and type foundries, but Typekit played no small part as well, helping to create a demand for high-quality fonts on the web, and then delivering those fonts in a way anyone can use.

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Adobe Shows Off Fancy WebKit-Based Typography

Typography on the web has improved by leaps and bounds since the dark days of the blink tag, but it’s still a long way from ideal.

Sure there are great ways to serve custom fonts, and you can even use JavaScript libraries like Lettering.js for even more control over your layout. But when it comes to the flow of text around images, pull quotes and other block level elements, well, web typography falls apart.

The demo movie above from Adobe shows off some WebKit-based experiments that seek to change that. Adobe Engineering VP Paul Gubbay narrates and the demo, and he shows how his team is extending the WebKit browser to do some new typographic tricks. WebKit is the open source engine behind Safari and Google Chrome, and it powers the most popular mobile browsers like the ones on the iPhone, iPad, iPod and all the Android phones. The demo certainly shows some impressive results.

However, we’re a bit suspicious of the methodology behind the results. Gubbay talks about extending WebKit’s CSS support via vendor prefixes, but neglects to mention what those prefixes are built against — in other words, there’s no mention of submitting a standard that other browsers could work from.

In fact, while the demo is pretty cool, the whole overview is too vague to say much about other than, “that would be nice.”

Also, note to Adobe, you don’t need to work with Google to work on WebKit. It’s an open source project. You can just submit your patches (instructions are here).

[via John Nack]

Update: The original post got Paul Gubbay’s name wrong. We have updated it. (Sorry, Paul!) Also, be sure to read his response in the comments.

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File Under: Fonts, Visual Design

A Design Contest for Web Fonts

The Web Font Awards are coming soon. It’s a new competition recognizing the most beautiful applications of web fonts in site design and technological achievements in type on the web. There’s no entry deadline or submission guidelines yet, but the contest will involve an actual meatspace awards ceremony and real cash prizes.

From the Web Font Awards site:

The Web Font Awards – the first ceremony to celebrate the newfound typographic freedom empowering Web designers across the globe. The Web Font Awards will be a design competition for websites using Web fonts. Aimed at promoting Web font awareness and adoption, the competition will be open to eligible users of any Web font service or technology.

Sign up at the site to be notified of dates, deadlines, rules and requirements as soon as they are available. Though we’re guessing this site (possibly NSFW) already has the top prize in the bag.

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Typekit Teams Up With Adobe to Offer More Web Fonts

Typekit, the web service that helps designers use elaborate typefaces in their page designs, is celebrating its one year anniversary with a big announcement: the company has added 16 of Adobe’s popular font families to Typekit’s ever-growing stable of options.

With the addition of Adobe’s fonts to TypeKit’s already large library, designers now have access to popular workhorse fonts like Adobe Garamond, News Gothic, Myriad and Minion, as well as slightly funkier options like Rosewood or Trajan, the “movie font.” These typefaces are heavily used in the print publishing world.

The new Adobe fonts are the original cuts of the typefaces, not reproductions or downgraded web versions of the designs. This means it’s now possible to use them just like you would in print work with the same rendering accuracy and technical detail you’d see on paper. Monday’s development should have a positive impact on the use of fancier fonts on the websites of old-school institutions and larger corporations — companies that have been using Adobe products to build their print materials for years. Now that they have the same level of control over details like kerning pairs and line height on the web, they’ll have an easier time making the jump.

Adobe is a little late to the party — the company is one of the last major font foundries to partner with Typekit — but Typekit President and co-founder Bryan Mason tells Webmonkey that the reason for the delay is a heavy attention to detail.

“Adobe has been working on the hinting and screen rendering of these (and others to follow) for months,” says Mason, “[that] means a character-by-character, weight-by-weight review of each font family.”

Typekit is like a YouTube for fonts. The service lets web developers pick a font from its library, pay a licensing fee to the font creator (though some fonts are free), then use that font across their website. Unlike many fancy type solutions on the web, TypeKit isn’t using any sort of image replacement for rendering fonts, just the standard CSS @font-face declaration with a minimal amount of JavaScript to simplify the process and account for various browser versions. The service is one of the easiest ways for web designers to use creative fonts without sacrificing web standards or violating font licenses — most of the time, it’s just a matter of copying and pasting some code snippets. There are also options specifically designed for easy integration with popular publishing platforms like WordPress. The company also released an API last month, allowing third parties to integrate Typekit font selection into their apps.

If you’d like to try the new fonts on your site, head over to Typekit and log in to your account. The fonts are available for all paid Typekit accounts. If you’re using the limited, free option, you’ll have to settle for Adobe Garamond, the only family that Typekit is giving away.

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