Why the future is not yet now: The truth about @font-face

I’ve had a number of clients come to me recently claiming that — because of growing browser support for the CSS rule @font-face — the future is now and they should be able to have whatever fonts they want for body copy (and everything else).  They’ve seen the Google Font API or Typekit and they’re certain that the floodgates have finally opened.  What ensues is a painful conversation about intellectual property, font foundries, and free fonts.

Unfortunately, the future is not now.  You cannot use Helvetica or Trade Gothic for your body copy unless said body copy is part of a Flash movie (or worse an image!).  It is still illegal to make rights-protected fonts downloadable on your website — which is what @font-face does.  Yes, you can now easily embed web-licensed fonts on your website.  And yes there are many services making this easy and fast to do.  But I have yet to meet a professional graphic designer who is willing to confine themselves to those fonts.

Why the future is not yet now: The truth about @font-face

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