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typefaces on screen web fonts 1.0

During the early years of the World Wide Web, designers were forced to work within the narrow range of typefaces commonly installed on the computers of their end users. Since then, several techniques have been developed for embedding fonts within web content. A successful solution needs to prevent users from illegally downloading typefaces as well as ensuring the consistent representation of letterforms on screen. One promising approach is the @font-face rule in CSS3, which allows a web page to download fonts hosted on a server rather than relying on fonts installed on the end user’s device. The typefaces must be licensed for this purpose. Font embedding has opened up the typographic future of the web.

Verdana was designed by the

font embedding Screen shot, detail, 2009. Designer: Peter Bilak, Typotheque. In 2009, the digital type foundry Typotheque launched a pioneering font embedding service that allows designers to license Typotheque’s fonts and display them on any website in exchange for a one-time fee. The fonts are hosted by Typotheque and accessed using the CSS @font-face rule. This screen shot features the type families Greta and Fedra, designed by Peter Bilak.

Bobulate Website, 2009. Designed by Jason Santa Maria for Liz Danzico. This site design uses the text face Skolar, designed by David Brezina for TypeTogether and served by Typekit, a font embedding service.

72 | thinking with type

legendary typographer Matthew Carter in 1996 for digital display. Verdana has a large x-height, simple curves, open forms, and loose spacing.

Georgia is a serif screen face built with sturdy strokes, simple curves, open counters, and generous spacing. Designed by Matthew Carter in 1996 for Microsoft, Georgia is widely used on the web. verdana and georgia Released in 1996 by Microsoft, these typefaces were designed speciďŹ cally for the web. Prior to the rise of font embedding, these were among a handful of typefaces that could be relilably used online.


Thinking with Type, 2nd Edition: Sample Pages