Choosing the Right Font Technology for the Job

by fontspace

The Internet provides us with a wide variety of ways to be creative and share our thoughts and ideas. But it's up to each of us to inject our own personality into what we post for the world (or just a few close friends) to see. 

Selecting a suitable font is one creative choice we control, but before we do that we must first consider the type of content we intend to create and the appropriate font technology that applies. Then we can move on to choosing a source for fonts that offers them in the required format. 

Using Fonts in Documents, Videos, and Images

If your goal is to produce a document that contains a special font, you will need to download it first, and then use it when you author your content. Some examples of how this might be applied include:

  • a custom font in a document
  • a special font for a company letterhead
  • text placed within an image or a company logo
  • captions or titles in a video

When using a font in this manner, the content doesn't change after you author it, and so the font rendering is embedded in the content itself. The benefit here is that anyone who views your content does not need access to the font definition that you download -- just to the content itself.

Using Fonts on Web Sites

If you only want your web site to display logos or images that contain special fonts, the points above have you covered. But if you want to render live copy using special fonts, things are somewhat different. In this case, you need to make the font definition part of your web site -- but here there is still a another choice ahead of you.

Adding Font Definitions to Your Site

One popular means to add fonts is to select and download a set of css fonts and then publish them along with all the pages, images, and style-sheets that already make up your site. Typically, the font-face kit you download will consist of four different font files (.ttf, .eot, .woff, .svg) that are suitable for different browsers and device types, along with some instructions on how to place a '@font-face' tag in a CSS file. Once that's done, it's all up to you to use standard HTML authoring and editing to apply the font to your site. 

Using Font Definitions from Web Providers

Using web fonts is another, more recent approach to adding fonts to web sites. Rather than acquiring the font kit and publishing it as part of your own web site, you just refer to the font definition on the provider's site by using a <link> tag. This saves you the trouble of acquiring the font-face kit and publishing it as part of your own site -- but creates the possibility that the special font you wanted might not render if the provider's site is down, or running slowly. So make sure you find a reliable provider if you take this route.

We're Here to Help

FontSpace has thousands of fonts available, and brings together a community of professionals and enthusiasts who know and love typography. Please contact us to help you with finding the right font or technology to meet your needs.