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Web Font Embedding Services


In this web authoring tutorial, we will be showcasing some of the best web font embedding services. These services allow you to use fonts outside of those typically installed on a user's computer system, allowing for a more flexible web page design without needing to rely upon images.

Author Info:
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 2
July 07, 2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Web Font Embedding Services
  2. · More Web Font Embedding Services

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Web Font Embedding Services - More Web Font Embedding Services
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Fonts.com

Owned by Monotype Imaging, Fonts.com (http://webfonts.fonts.com) is undoubtedly the largest supplier of typefaces on the web. Currently, the service offers over 10,000 fonts, including the classic ones, such as Helvetica®, Frutiger®, Univers®, ITC Franklin Gothic®, ITC Avant Garde®, Rotis®, Neo® Sans, and many, many more. If this short list doesn’t convince you to give them a gander, Fonts.com also provides support for more than 40 languages.

As one might expect, the service isn’t free, but it does offer a bunch of fairly affordable monthly plans, where you can select the one that best fits your bill, according to the number of fonts that you need to use on your web project and the views per page.

Thus, if you feel that Fonts.com can the right choice for your website, you can find more information on its subscription plans here (https://webfonts.fonts.com/en-US/Subscription/SelectSubscription).


Typekit

Without a doubt, Typekit (http://typekit.com) is by far the most popular web font-embedding service available today, and certainly one of the pioneers in the field. It was created by Small Batch Inc, and due to the set of engaging features that it provides, it’s been rapidly adopted by a huge number of designers worldwide. The service offers an extensive library of fonts (over 4000 typefaces to date and growing), with a very fast download time, thanks to its robust, full-blown CDN.

Similar to its rivals, Typekit offers a decent variety of plans, which include monthly and annual subscriptions (and even a free, 30-days trial subscription). Naturally, costs vary according to the number of fonts used on your web site(s) and page hits, so be sure to take a peek at the plan list, so you can pick up the one that suits your needs and budget.

Being a solid and veteran contender in the terrain, quite possibly the most notorious downside of Typekit is that it requires enabling JavaScript to do its business. While this allows you to have a bit more control on how typefaces are downloaded and rendered on browsers, it can be quite detrimental in terms of accessibility and usability. So, if you (and visitors of your website, of course) can happily live with this “restriction”, Typekit is definitively an option worth looking at. 

WebINK

This web font rental service was created by Extensis (http://www.extensis.com/en/WebINK/index.jsp), a company dedicated to managing fonts from long ago. Like other contenders in this roundup, WebINK has a plethoric gallery of over 3900 typographies, which can be used at fairly reasonable fees (similar to Typekit, WebINK also offers a free 30-day trial subscription). In addition, prices vary from $0.99 to $2.99 per month according to each typeface downloaded and the number of visits that you get on your website. And if the low costs aren’t enough for you, the service won’t require enabling JavaScript to work as intended.
 
As it not before, WebINK is provided by Extensis, which means that you have the possibility to try out their popular font managing programs, such as Suitcase Fusion 3, Universal Type Server 3 and FontDoctor. These applications run both on Mac and Windows, and you can download a free trial of them here (http://www.extensis.com/en/downloads/free-trials.jsp;jsessionid=MH1NTKU0YQYYRLAQAAUQ0FQ?ref=nav)

Kernest

Not that I’m marketing the service at all, but admittedly Kernest (http://kernest.com) is one of the easiest to use and flexible web-font services available today. Not only you can embed typographies right away on your web pages from the more than 2,500 available in its directory, but the whole embedding process is as simple as copying/pasting a single line of code (pretty much similar to what you can do with Google Web Fonts).

Also, you’ll be able to pick up commercial fonts simply by making a single payment of $9, $10 and $15, or if your budget is somewhat tight, there’s also an interesting number of free typefaces, which you can use for commercial or personal projects. Again, be sure to read the corresponding license in each case (http://kernest.com/licenses), in order to avoid any copyright issues.

Finally, it’s worth noting that fonts are downloaded pretty fast, and certainly you don’t have to go through any annoying registration process to get the selected fonts up and running on your website. Add to this the fact that you won’t have to enable JavaScript, and you’ll realize that Kernest is indeed an affordable and appealing web font embedding option, worth taking into account.

Final Thoughts

In this introductory part of this two-part guide, I made a quick and partial review (according to my personal opinion, of course) of the most popular and relevant web font embedding services available today. Even when each service reviewed so far has is own pros and cons, it’s clear to see that the existence of them has brought a new and fresh breeze to the arena of web typography, something that hopefully will contribute to improve the overall quality (at least from a esthetical standpoint) of websites.

However, it’s fair to stress that there’re a few other contenders that haven’t covered yet. But, don’t feel concerned, though, as these ones will be discussed in the last installment.

Don’t miss the final part!

 


DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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