Fonts on the Web


Much has been made this summer over fonts on the web. Web developers, web users, type foundries and browser makers have been debating the need and future of expanded options for typefaces on the web. From that discussion, our friends Tal Leming and Erik van Blokland along with Jonathan Kew of the Mozilla Corporation collaborated on a font format for the Web that satisfies the needs and concerns of browser makers, web designers, and type foundries. That formant, WOFF, offers compression to speed page load times, freedom from thorny legacy issues, and inclusiveness (font outlines can be Postscript or TrueType).

WOFF has the support of a wide spectrum of the type community; from peers such as Emigre, Hoefler & Frere-Jones, Commercial Type, etc and larger foundries such as Linotype and Monotype. Today it has also gained the support of Mozilla in their release of Firefox 3.6 (Mozilla has a full list of designers and foundries that support WOFF on that page). We hope and expect that WOFF will quickly gain support in other major browsers as we support, endorse and expect to license our library for use on the Web in the WOFF format in the future.

In the meantime, issues of emdedding fonts on the web remain murky. If you want to license one of our typefaces for the web, we ask that you contact us to work out the licensing and technical issues involved. We also hope that you’ll help to encourage other browser makers to support WOFF so that we can exit this period of murkiness as quickly as possible.

Posted by on October 20, 2009