Choosing and Using Web Fonts
Illustration by John Hersey

Exploring resources and goodbye


From:

Choosing and Using Web Fonts

with Laura Franz

Video: Exploring resources and goodbye

Now that we've covered some of the basics of choosing and using Web fonts, you probably have other questions like, where can I get more fonts? We've spent a lot of time working with two of the top sources for Web fonts. Let's look more closely at some others. FontShop is the studio that created some of the fonts we've been looking at in this course such as FF Meta Serif Web Pro and FF Meta Web Pro. Many of FontShop's fonts are available with the Personal Plan or Portfolio Plan on Typekit, but if you have a client who expects to use one of FontShop's fonts as part of their identity, it's probably in their best interests to purchase a license for a FontShop font directly from the source.
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  1. 4m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 52s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 47s
  2. 14m 55s
    1. Recognizing the anatomy of letters
      4m 17s
    2. Understanding font classification
      4m 38s
    3. Finding and testing web fonts
      3m 41s
    4. Identifying common problems in fonts
      2m 19s
  3. 43m 45s
    1. Understanding Venetian fonts
      4m 0s
    2. Identifying a Venetian font
      4m 46s
    3. Understanding handwritten letters
      3m 22s
    4. Choosing a Venetian font
      3m 47s
    5. Creating a Typekit account and building a kit
      3m 44s
    6. Adding a Venetian font (Calluna) to your kit
      2m 51s
    7. Applying Calluna to your web site
      5m 54s
    8. Troubleshooting Typekit fonts that don't load
      2m 3s
    9. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      4m 25s
    10. Working with more than four styles in Typekit
      5m 22s
    11. Looking at how using a Venetian font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 31s
  4. 32m 54s
    1. Identifying an Old Style font
      6m 26s
    2. Choosing an Old Style font
      4m 30s
    3. Applying Crimson Text to a web site using Google web fonts
      3m 8s
    4. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      9m 20s
    5. Making various weights and styles work correctly across different browsers
      5m 16s
    6. Looking at how using an Old Style font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 14s
  5. 21m 13s
    1. Identifying a Transitional font
      5m 11s
    2. Choosing a Transitional font
      6m 36s
    3. Applying PT Sans to a site via Typekit
      2m 57s
    4. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      2m 59s
    5. Looking at how using a Transitional font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 30s
  6. 16m 58s
    1. Identifying a Modern font
      7m 50s
    2. Choosing a Modern font
      4m 0s
    3. Using Typekit to find and test web fonts
      5m 8s
  7. 26m 52s
    1. Identifying a Slab Serif font
      4m 30s
    2. Choosing a Slab Serif font
      3m 58s
    3. Deleting a font from your Typekit
      3m 1s
    4. Exploring a font with multiple weights and styles
      9m 41s
    5. Looking at how using a Slab Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      5m 42s
  8. 26m 52s
    1. Identifying "Other" Serif fonts
      5m 28s
    2. Choosing "Other" Serif fonts
      10m 12s
    3. Using a font without an italic
      7m 6s
    4. Looking at how using an "Other" Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 6s
  9. 20m 35s
    1. Identifying a Transitional Sans Serif font
      4m 29s
    2. Choosing a Transitional Sans Serif font
      5m 14s
    3. Changing styling to improve the readability of text
      6m 31s
    4. Looking at how using a Transitional Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 21s
  10. 31m 23s
    1. Identifying a Geometric Sans Serif font
      2m 51s
    2. Choosing a Geometric Sans Serif font
      4m 33s
    3. Downloading a free font licensed for use on the web
      3m 53s
    4. Using Font Squirrel to create an @font-face kit
      5m 12s
    5. Adding the @font-face syntax to the CSS
      2m 57s
    6. Implementing the font family in the CSS
      5m 29s
    7. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      3m 56s
    8. Looking at how using a Geometric Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      2m 32s
  11. 21m 3s
    1. Identifying a Humanist Sans Serif font
      4m 18s
    2. Choosing a Humanist Sans Serif font
      7m 23s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      5m 32s
    4. Looking at how using a Humanist Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 50s
  12. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding handwritten fonts
      3m 4s
    2. Choosing a handwritten font
      8m 17s
    3. Looking at how using a handwritten font affects the look and feel of a web page
      7m 7s
  13. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding what to look for when pairing fonts
      6m 58s
    2. Using one font for headings and another for text
      6m 6s
    3. Using different fonts for different kinds of information on the page
      8m 38s
    4. Mixing and matching fonts within text
      3m 48s
    5. Looking at how using two fonts affects the look and feel of a web page
      7m 32s
  14. 23m 34s
    1. Understanding Script fonts
      2m 19s
    2. Choosing a Script font for display use
      8m 12s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      3m 33s
    4. Choosing a second font to pair with the Script Display font
      3m 42s
    5. Incorporating a second font with the Script Display font
      2m 53s
    6. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 55s
  15. 26m 38s
    1. Understanding Wood Type fonts
      3m 25s
    2. Choosing a Wood Type font for display use
      8m 35s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      4m 57s
    4. Choosing a second font to pair with the Wood Type font
      2m 28s
    5. Incorporating a second font with the Wood Type display font
      4m 42s
    6. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 31s
  16. 14m 58s
    1. Choosing an Art Deco font for display use
      2m 45s
    2. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      3m 51s
    3. Choosing a second font to pair with the Art Deco font
      2m 37s
    4. Incorporating a second font with the Art Deco display font
      2m 57s
    5. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 48s
  17. 27m 38s
    1. Choosing a Futuristic font for display use
      5m 33s
    2. Applying the Futuristic font and changing the styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      6m 40s
    3. Choosing a second font to pair with the Futuristic font
      2m 48s
    4. Incorporating a second font with the Futuristic display font
      4m 21s
    5. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 22s
    6. Looking at the set of four ads
      5m 54s
  18. 7m 29s
    1. Exploring resources and goodbye
      7m 29s

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Watch the Online Video Course Choosing and Using Web Fonts
6h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course focuses on the theories behind web fonts: what makes a good font, why different fonts look the way they do, and how fonts affect the look of a web page. Author Laura Franz covers common tasks, including downloading a font from an online source such as Typekit or Font Squirrel, implementing the font in HTML and CSS, and changing the size and line-height to improve the readability of text. The course also covers different periods of type design and explores the history behind handwritten fonts, text fonts (used for large amounts of text), and display fonts (used for headlines).

Topics include:
  • Explaining the history of text fonts, from Old Style, Transitional, and Modern to Slab Serif and Sans Serif
  • Understanding font classifications
  • Setting up a Typekit account
  • Choosing a quality font based on forms, spacing, and weights and styles
  • Accessing fonts from various sources
  • Implementing fonts with the @font-face syntax
  • Looking at how fonts affect the look and feel of a web page
  • Changing font styling to improve readability
  • Making various font weights and styles work correctly across multiple browsers
  • Pairing fonts (headline and text, two fonts in text, and so on)
  • Setting fallback fonts
Subjects:
Design Web
Author:
Laura Franz

Exploring resources and goodbye

Now that we've covered some of the basics of choosing and using Web fonts, you probably have other questions like, where can I get more fonts? We've spent a lot of time working with two of the top sources for Web fonts. Let's look more closely at some others. FontShop is the studio that created some of the fonts we've been looking at in this course such as FF Meta Serif Web Pro and FF Meta Web Pro. Many of FontShop's fonts are available with the Personal Plan or Portfolio Plan on Typekit, but if you have a client who expects to use one of FontShop's fonts as part of their identity, it's probably in their best interests to purchase a license for a FontShop font directly from the source.

FontShop's licenses are for 500,000, 5 million or a 50 million page views per month. The original license is perpetual. So you or your client would only pay once to license the font unless monthly page views were to increase dramatically. Now I'm not crazy about FontShop's gallery. We can click over here and view some of the galleries of their Web fonts.

The gallery uses all screenshots instead of live HTML and I think it's important to see how fonts really work in context. But on the other hand, I have to say every FontShop font I've ever tested has performed beautifully. So this may not be an issue. They also aren't clear about how to use their fonts, though I expect it works similarly to Typekit system since they seemed to be keeping track of monthly page views. Fontdeck offers free access to up to 20 unique IP addresses.

So you can test fonts for free as long as the site isn't live. The 20 unique visitors will allow you to share the testing stage with others such as your design team, your client, et cetera. Once you want to license the font, licenses are yearly and per font. So this is different from what we've seen before. In this case, per font means per weight and style. So if you want to use multiple weights and styles you'll need to license each, but fees are reasonable.

Fonts start at $2.50 a year, though some I've looked at are as high as $17 a year. I love the idea of Fontdeck. It hosts the fonts for you and it allows you to add fonts to your repertoire without breaking the bank. It's also an affordable and convenient way for a client to subscribe to just the fonts they want on their site. Your client may not need more than a handful of fonts and might find it makes good financial sense to license with the provider like Fontdeck rather than to use a subscription like Typekit.

There are extra monthly fees if you have a really busy site, but if you're under a million page views a month, there's no extra monthly fees at all. Once you found fonts to use, the process to use them is very similar to Typekit's. Now Fontdeck has a gallery I really enjoy. They call it the Showcase and you can go and see the fonts actually in use. So this will link you to the websites and you'll be able to see them. Next, I'd like to talk about Fontspring. Fontspring is unique in this group.

We looked at them briefly during the course. You can license a font or a font family with a one-time fee. So this is more like print designers are used to. There are no page view limits and no domain limits. These fonts are self-hosted. So for example we can look down at their bestselling fonts here and one is Museo Slab and you may remember Museo Slab has multiple styles and weights.

If you wanted to have the right to use Museo Slab on a whole bunch of sites, you could purchase a single license to use the font. And your one-time payment would allow you to use the font on as many sites as you want to regardless of the number of page views. The only catch is they don't host the fonts for you. You'd need to use the @font-face rule and self-host the fonts on your server. You might also be wondering about something else besides where to get more fonts. You might be wondering where to learn more about Web typography in general.

And I want to show a couple of resources that I rely on. One is Smashing Magazine. They've recently started paying more attention to Web typography and it may sound simple, but I get them in my Facebook feed. They don't just promote their own articles, they scour the Web and share articles from other sources. So it can help you keep up-to-date on what people are writing about Web typography, which in turn will keep you up-to-date on what people are doing with Web typography. For example, they recently posted about this site which is a great simple blog about pairing fonts.

It's a curated list by someone who obviously has good type skills. The blog is a great resource, especially if you're just learning to choose fonts to pair together. I'll scroll down a couple of more so you can see the different styles that can be created with pairing or just simply using a font. This is a lovely resource. Another resource that I visit, not as frequently as I visit Smashing Magazine, but probably every couple of months, is Nice Web Type.

And he's got some great resources for a Web typographer. He is both a good typographer and he has his finger on the pulse of Web type technology. He has a resources section down here. In fact, his site is where I found out about my new favorite tool which is the WhatFont Tool. And this quickly tells you what fonts other people are using in their site. So if you like somebody else's fonts, you can see what they're using. It works quite simply.

Let's turn on our Bookmarks toolbar here and drag this to the Bookmark toolbar. If you click on it and go over any type, it will tell you what the font is. In addition, if you click, it will also tell you the font size, line height, and even the color that's being used. It's quite lovely. It saves a lot of time. These resources will change overtime, probably in the next 12 months.

In the meantime, I'd like to say congratulations. You've reached the end of this course. I've thoroughly enjoyed sharing my love of fonts, their history, their structure with you. Regardless of what new fonts, subscription services, and resources await us, keep looking carefully at the fonts you use. Notice their structure, their readability, whether their letters work in a system, their letter, and word spacing, and if they work cross-browser. Keeping an eye on these characteristics will help you choose and use Web fonts wisely.

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