September 8, 2010
[This inaugurates a series of posts every Wednesday covering subjects related to fonts on the web. -CS]
In my previous post announcing our fonts on Typekit, I mentioned that we have included various optical sizes (also sometimes called optical masters), and mentioned that they might be useful in web design. I thought it would be a good idea to cover this subject in more detail, to explain what optical sizes are and why the rules for using them on the web are still hard to pin down. Continue reading…
August 16, 2010
Today we’ve got some great news. Some of the best typefaces in the world are now available for use on the web.
Anybody who creates for the web has heard of web fonts by now. Every popular web browser now supports font delivery over the web (via the CSS @font-face rule), giving designers more typographic options than ever before. We here at Adobe have been looking for the best way to get some of our most popular designs to you, so today we’re excited to announce a partnership with Typekit, the web font pioneers of San Francisco who, since last year, have been leading the way in web font technology and delivery. Continue reading…
September 1, 2008
Adobe is strongly supportive of the effort to make Microsoft’s EOT web font format an open standard. Indeed, Adobe pays for Steve Zilles’ time, and he will be chairing the EOT standardization effort, should the W3C accept the proposal in principle. We will be updating our licensing FAQ to make it clear that our existing font license terms allow EOT usage, and do not allow linking to original fonts placed on web servers.
Why do we support EOT? Our surveys of web designers and font developers have made it clear to us that users want an HTML/CSS font solution that allows them to use any font they want, and most of them would like to do so legally. In particular, they want to be able to use regular retail and OS-bundled fonts. With original fonts on web servers, hardly any retail or commonly-used fonts could legally be used; only freeware and open source fonts, some shareware, and a handful of retail fonts.
Some open source advocates argue that there are enough and good enough free/libre and open source fonts available that retail/commercial fonts are unnecessary. Whether they are right in principle or not (and I think not, given how few such fonts are decently made and come in even a basic set of four styles with bold, italic and bold italic), it doesn’t matter: the web designers who make web sites want to be able to use a vastly wider variety of fonts, and companies and organizations that have a web presence want to use their existing visual identity online, or at least a close adaptation. Being able to use 50% of the world’s fonts instead of 5% comes a lot closer to meeting these needs.
Why is it so? EOT comes vastly closer because many more type foundries and type designers are comfortable with EOT than are comfortable with original fonts on Web servers. And that includes Adobe.
November 15, 2007
My recent surveys on Web fonts allowed for the respondents to comment on the specific question in their survey responses. Some of those comments seemed worth discussing more publicly.
November 14, 2007
Here are some initial results for my survey of Web designers/developers and their opinions on issues that relate to prospective technologies for Web fonts, as discussed in my last post.
November 5, 2007
Last year I posted about free fonts on the web, and briefly mentioned (in the penultimate paragraph) a new CSS-based approach to allow referencing of specific fonts on web servers from HTML web pages. This approach, promoted by CSS co-inventor and Opera CTO Häkon Lie, seems to be gaining momentum, with suport now coming in Safari via WebKit. My personal take on this is two-fold: for the actual end-users, folks designing/producing web pages, it is far too limited because 95%+ of all fonts can’t legally be used in this way; for font vendors it’s scary because it gives users a reason to make retail fonts publicly accessible on Web servers. In reponse to this, Microsoft has now offered to donate their old EOT web font embedding format to the W3C.
One thing that’s been odd is that nobody has really asked typical Web designers/developers what they think of the different solutions for fonts on the Web, and how they’d do things in this brave new world. To try to correct that problem, I have created the following anonymous survey: Click Here to take the survey.
If you’re a font vendor, I have a different survey here just for you.
March 9, 2006
I’ll get that second half of the font protection discussion up soon. But it’s been forever since I posted – the Macromedia merger has been a huge time sink, and my other work just hasn’t gone away, so blog posting was the thing I could most afford to put off.
Anyway, an interesting discussion was generated by this rather goofy manifesto, both on the original site, and here on Typophile. Basically, somebody wants to be able to use more fonts in HTML, and has some confusion about how best to accomplish that – he thinks the type foundries are to blame for the current lack of options, and suggests that fonts need to be liberated from their servitude to their type foundry masters.
My response, which is somewhere in both those lengthy threads, I reproduce again here: