Thursday, March 31, 2011

Googles Web Fonts

I am continually amazed at the endless projects that Google supports or creates to streamline our interaction with technology. You would not normally expect the single most powerful technology company to care about such small details as the limited selection of web-safe fonts.
In May 2010, Google announced that it would begin to supply not only free fonts to use online in the style of TypeKit, but also that it had created open-source software Google Font API, which is how you use the fonts. Google is hosting all the fonts for you, so the greatest thing about it is not having the download the font ever. You can download the font if you want to see how it looks while you are designing your website. This is what the code will look like in your html file:

Google created a font department to make available new fonts and develop this new venture. You can see the current list of available fonts here. Googles Web Font Loader uses javascript to ensure that the experience is consistent across all platforms.

The great thing about Google is how much money they can throw into a venture like this. The main reason why people aren't using alternative fonts is because of all the red tape surrounding the licensing of fonts and the cost associated with hosting them on the cloud. Instead of trying to find a way to host existing fonts, Google simply created its own copyright-free font list. It's quite possible that people learning web design 10-20 years from now will have no concept of web-safe fonts. If you donate money for your download, Google turns it over to font developers as incentive to create better fonts for the service. The technology is available; learn about it and start making your website a little moe interesting.

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