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Embedding web fonts


May 28 2011

For years, web designers have been forced to select from a very limited number of fonts for their web designs. No longer; it is now possible to put in arbitrary fonts in one's web page.

For example:

This is a heading

This is what some text looks like with a non-standard font. This may or may not be readable in your browser

So the raw technology for embedding custom fonts is now availble. So, that leaves with the next challenge: Finding fonts that look really great at the screen at all resolutions, using both Clear Type and classic font rendering technology (read: a font with "delta hinting", a technology that is very labor-intensive to add to a font). Ideally, a font with an open-source license (read: the "SIL" font license).

Looking at the Google web fonts, there are a lot of really beautiful fonts, but the only one I have seen whose delta hinting I am happy with is the monospace Cousine font (this font also goes by the name "Liberation Mono"). What I haven't found is a font that can replace Verdana.

That said, the open-source Merriweather font has a lot of promise; this would be a perfect font with really good delta hinting (as well as italics). Since it is open source, anyone can delta hint it--or pay the designer to do the hard work.

This problem was solved when Windows XP hit end of life in 2014; anything post-XP doesn’t need delta hinting to look good on the screen

To post a comment about an entry, send me an email and I may or may not post your comment (with or without editing). The "Chortle" font used in the above example is an open-source font; license details are available.