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Understanding web-safe fonts

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Understanding web-safe fonts

When you're dealing with web typography, there are certain restrictions that you have to abide by. In this movie we'll be exploring the web-safe fonts and some ways that you can get around those restrictions to add more rich typography to your layouts. The problem that we face as designers is that many computers, operating systems, and mobile platforms ship with different browsers and different font sets by default. This means that not everyone has every font installed on their computer, and thus our choices become rather limited when creating our web design projects.

Understanding web-safe fonts

When you're dealing with web typography, there are certain restrictions that you have to abide by. In this movie we'll be exploring the web-safe fonts and some ways that you can get around those restrictions to add more rich typography to your layouts. The problem that we face as designers is that many computers, operating systems, and mobile platforms ship with different browsers and different font sets by default. This means that not everyone has every font installed on their computer, and thus our choices become rather limited when creating our web design projects.

Web-safe fonts by definition are fonts that are generally installed on most computers and operating systems, and are considered to be "safe" for use in our designs. We have three basic categories of web-safe fonts; they are serif, sans serif, and monospaced. The serif family includes the Georgia typeface, Palatino Linotype, and Times New Roman, while sans serif contains Arial, Helvetica, Lucida Grande, Verdana. And the monospace family contains Courier New and Lucida Console.

Now, there are some other fonts that fit into these families that might be on other computers. These are just the basic ones that I've outlined here that are generally installed on most computers. All of these fonts can be used in your design without much problems, and they should translate just fine when they're converted over to HTML and CSS later on. If you're dead set on using some wild-and- crazy font in your design, you might consider taking a look at a service like Google Web Fonts or Adobe's Typekit. Typekit was purchased by Adobe in 2011, and it's one of the most popular web font services out there today.

Typekit allows you to use their entire library fonts on your web site by injecting small bits of code that they provide you. Many of the fonts that ship with the Creative Suite are available as Typekit web fonts, which makes it really handy. Google Web Fonts is a nice free alternative to Typekit, and it's continually growing in popularity and inventory as well. Much like Typekit, Google Web Fonts allows you to use alternative font families on your site by injecting small bits of code into your web designs. One of my favorite things about Google Web Fonts, though, is the fact that you can download the fonts that they show you here to your computer and use them in Photoshop or Illustrator or whatever program you might be doing your designs in.

That makes it my top choice in this arena. If you'd like more information about Typekit or Google Web Fonts, be sure to check out James Williamson's courses on lynda.com entitled Up and Running with Typekit and Web Fonts First Look. Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of what fonts are "safe" to use on the web, and also how you can get around those restrictions should the need arise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 49269 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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