No Font Embedding, Please

The limitations of web design are also its most powerful features, when compared to print. Design is all about finding the best solutions within a specific set of scarce resources.

Fonts are designed to deliver information to the reader in the easiest and fastest way. Aren’t the fonts currently available on various operating systems doing this job well?


  1. says:

    No, they aren’t !
    You have to refer to sophisticated web font references, such as
    that aren’t, of course not, so “definitive” since OS evolve, and that are really restrictive in a matter of web design.

    Embedded fonts are an elegant way to enhance web design but must be sparingly used !

  2. Kaspars says:

    Cui, I wouldn’t call font stacks complicated — they all boil down to either ‘serif’ or ‘sans-serif’.

    I just think that all the legal meters of embedded fonts are in contradiction with the openness of the web. Browsers shouldn’t contain permission tables of copyrighted work which can or cannot be rendered, nor should it ping font author’s servers.

  3. says:

    I called font stack “sophisticated” since you need some serious study to elaborated them :
    * compare font rendering on various OS
    * take care of fonts presence’ probability on those plateform

    Then, another step is necessary : be aware of the problem of font compatibility !
    Yes, every _real_ webdesigner should ! But it would be interesting to measure what percentage of WP themes (for example) use complete font stack (not just « font-family : Arial, Sans serif »).

    The problem of openness is a different matter.
    First, the way to handle font licensing is not technically solved/decided yet.

    Then, the present way to use specific fonts in web design is (generally) to convert text to image (dynamicly, or not), and without taking into account any licencing matter, just like when you publish a photograph : copyrigths may have been respected. Or not.

    I’m not (at all) a pro webdesigner, but just like PDF, I think that having a page rendering stable regardless of OS and browsers is a valuable goal.

    (Excuse my shaky english ! I’m french)

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