Published by Designzillas on July 8, 2013
The art of typography spans back to ancient times when stylistic and interesting fonts were used to create seals and currencies. In present times, typography is an often overlooked art form; many of the giant brands we see every day we recognize immediately because of their familiar fonts. Just think about it: you don’t even have to necessarily read the New York Times logo to know that it’s them — the font is so iconic that it registers immediately!
Typography displays your brand’s personality and sets you apart from your competition. And more and more, we see new and improved typography techniques taking over web design. It’s important because it combines communication with visual cues that have the power to evoke emotion in your users. Typography has definitely been around for quite some time now; it has seen different trends and different mediums. In our tech savvy world, it deserves a 21st century makeover.
The well-respected foundry, Hoefler & Frere Jones (H&FJ) has recently released a service that will change the face of web typography as we know it. Before, it could be a tedious exercise to search the internet for that perfect font, hope and pray that it is licensed for commercial use, and continue to hope and pray that it is optimized for web use and will look crystal clear on the plethora of screens, devices, and resolutions out there. H&FJ takes all of this and combines it into one, simple to use web app called Cloud.typography.
FLAWLESS FONTS, 24/7
As you probably guessed from the wonderfully descriptive name, this new service works “in the cloud.” That’s right. Instead of having to download fonts to your website’s server (which may be miles and miles away from your users), all of the fonts you use with H&FJ are conveniently stored in the cloud, meaning they are accessible on a wide variety of servers through a real-time network that is constantly working to make sure your fonts are being experienced the way they were meant to be experienced.
Cloud.typography is an easy to set up CSS solution. It offers over 900 fonts, both old and new, simple and zany. It also offers font families they have named “ScreenSmart,” which means that they were made specifically for the web, not for print. You can see any font from any family on any resolution, and each comes with a huge variety of different weights and styles that are easily distinguishable from each other.
PRICE VS. VALUE
H&FJ’s Cloud.typography is a little on the pricey side, but you are paying for more than just a bunch of fonts. You’re paying for your brand’s personality and web presence. Webfonts are real text, not just text within an image, so they can be picked up for SEO purposes. Fonts are also important for giving your brand a personality and a familiarity that brings your customers back for more. Webfonts can also make your website accessible to users with disabilities who can use assistive devices to “read” the content on your site for you. Cloud.typography just makes everything easier.
If the price of Cloud.typography is a huge turn-off for you, there are some alternatives out there that can help you out with your typographical needs. Font Squirrel is a free alternative that offers hundreds of commercially licensed fonts from a bunch of different foundries. It also allows for font embedding, which means you can upload your own favorite fonts to the site, as long as they are properly licensed. The @fontface generator renders all fonts for the best performance possible on all kinds of platforms. Another alternative would be Typekit. This one isn’t free, but it is subscription based; you can choose how much you want to pay. With your subscription, you get access to a library of hosted and licensed fonts from many different foundries, all of which work on modern browsers and operating systems.
Whatever service you use, typography is important for your website. It conveys your brand, your personality, and allows you to set yourself apart from your competition. Good content written in interesting and beautiful fonts gets you noticed on the internet!