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Richard Fink on web fonts [Richard Fink]

On the topic of Google's entrance into the web font feeding frenzy, I align myself a lot with Richard Fink's comments---they seem closest to "reality", if this exists at all in the virtual circus. Some excerpts.

  • Nick Sherman showed by example that Crimson Text, Cardo and Vollkorn, three of the Google Font Directory free fonts, do not work well with IE/Windows and laments: I think it's safe to say that the fonts above aren't very usable. Fink: They'll get used anyway. Don't delude yourself. It ain't what they is, it's what they're not. TNFG. (They're not f-cking Georgia.) And they are free. Free counts for a lot. Besides, betcha the look of these fonts can be improved greatly without much ado.
  • Jay O'Hare: Why would it be preferable to use Google's service for @font-face type hosting when they have a pretty crappy catalog of unknown typefaces when a designer could use Typekit for quite a nominal fee? Fink's reply: I expect sharp improvements in the Google selections very quickly. When Typekit first announced, they had NO CATALOG. Nothing. They were in private Beta (if that) with nothing to see at all. Vaporware. Google's style is different, they don't mind releasing with next to nothing and evolving in full public view. And in that there is now precedent for font hosting and they don't have to deal with complex licensing issues from commercial font designers concerned with unlicensed copying, expanding the catalog is a lot easier and can be expected to move much more quickly than it did for Typekit. He continues, referring to the strategy of obfuscation promoted by Typekit and others, to discourage downloading or font extraction: Because the fonts are freely licensed, there aren't any of the inefficiencies involved with obfuscation if you use Google. Typekit's appeal to font designers is that they have a strategy in place to discourage download-and-installation. With Google (and Kernest, to name one other), you can use straightforward CSS. (Their javascript API is cool to have, but optional. Icing on the cake.)

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file name: Friedrich Althausen Vollkorn30 2014


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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html