Armand Niculescu, BEng, MSM, is a 34 year old Art Director at Media Division. and he enjoys working with visual arts for film, web and print.

3 responses to “The (sad) state of web fonts embedding”

  1. TS

    Excellent article. I’ve spent several months wading through the confusing and often conflicting information regarding Web Licencing for fonts.

    I think that many people have been excited at the prospect of being able to use fonts other than “core” so many have “jumped the gun” so to speak, hopeful that the EULA allows web embedding if they purchase the font or even if it’s free and sadly, it’s just not the case.

    We really need a universal solution and standard format that can be embraced. We need a clear “embedding right” in regards to web licences that stipulates usage for fonts on websites.

    There are many positives – such as bringing to light many of the wonderful typefaces that are available but not widely known (although I can see that this can also possibly work in reverse).

    I just recently enquiried as to some pricing on what is regarded as an extended licence to cover the usage of Cufón. A handful on headlines on a reasonably small site. The font was originally purchased commercially through a different foundry.

    The pricing to show a handful for headlines?
    Let’s just say it was over 3000% of the original cost of purchasing the font – renewable annually.

    This is why we need these standards. I can understand the pricing aspect but in that case, it’s not commercially viable for smaller businesses. They can purchase a font to use constantly for their own print indentity but to use it on their site?

    That being said: let’s hope MT’s new provides a bridge for this.

  2. Peter

    What if a content delivery network decided to allow anybody to hotlink any of a list of @font-face-able and freely distributable fonts?
    What if it also allowed anybody to hotlink a css of the @font-face CSS syntax?

    1. The font file will always be latest version, maintained by the font author.
    2. All font file formats served will always be of this latest version.
    3. Each version of each browser will be served the smallest and most appropriate @font-face syntax and font file format.
    4. The css and the font file are served from a global content delivery network.
    5. Browsers will cache the font file across many websites, instead of loading it on each site’s initial visit.
    6. Everyone is freed from “the [sad] state of web fonts embedding.”

    Fellas, this already exists. (May 19, 2010) It’s the Google Font Directory.