To start the year off right, I thought I’d talk about something fun for everyone. For quite some time now OmniTI and Clearleft have been working on Fontdeck, a web service delivering real fonts to your website. As we are fast-approaching open beta, I decided to talk a bit about the service, as well as to showcase some of the fonts. And just because I am in that kind of mood, the rest of the post will be modeled based on the late night infomercial that everyone love to hate.
Are you tired of the same boring web fonts?
Look at any website. Look closely. Now go to another website. Rinse and repeat. Again. What you see is a same set of fonts used over and over across vast majority of the websites. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman. Not much of a variation there, is it? Didn’t you wish that your website could do something different? Well, now you can! Fontdeck offers fonts for your website that, up until now, you were only able to use offline!
But what about all the websites that use cool fonts for their logos?
What an excellent question! There are websites that try to mimic unique fonts on the web by creating text images in Photoshop or using Flash to display the fonts. Those techniques are nothing but hacks in order to circumvent inadequacies of the browsers. By using any of the media techniques those sites are limiting their flexibility to manipulate fonts (scaling, as example), increasing production time (making new images), or having to deal with SEO and accessibility issues (Flash).
So how does Fontdeck solve these problems?
I don’t know, It sounds complicated…
It’s not! It takes minutes to add the needed fonts to your web site! Of course, you could spend much more time browsing for that perfect font that would represent a picture of your cat.
BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!
Actually, no, there isn’t. I just wanted to show off yet another font. Sign up for Fontdeck news and check out the fonts used for this blog.
And to finish off this rant, let me quote Theo Schlossnagle, for those of you who are interested in the technology magic behind the service.
Fontdeck is powered by our friends: Apache, PostgreSQL, OpenSolaris, a bit of Linux here and there, a sprinkling of both asymmetric and symmetric cryptography and an ancient dialect of computer-speak called Perl.