Ever month or two, I revisit the state of @font-face on the web to make sure I don’t need to update or overhaul last summer’s screed about web fonts. Believe me, I am anxiously awaiting the day when everything I said in that post is no longer true or — better yet — irrelevant.
Today is still not that day, despite my having found — how did I miss it? — A List Apart’s article on the topic that predates my own. The last few paragraphs really underscore why we are still only at the “crossing” with fonts:
…Iâ€™m uncomfortable with the idea of having an outside entity in control of something as basic and fundamental to the design of my site as a typeface. Further, every independent web designer Iâ€™ve spoken to about it has said they simply would not, under any circumstances, saddle a client with an ongoing expense for fonts.
And, regarding actual implementation:
All together now, letâ€™s get really confused…
The waiting continues.
I’ve had a number of clients come to me recently claiming that — because of growing browser support for the CSS rule @font-face — theÂ future is now and they should be able to have whatever fonts they want for body copy (and everything else). Â They’ve seen the Google Font API or Typekit and they’re certain that the floodgates have finally opened. Â What ensues is a painful conversation about intellectual property, font foundries, and free fonts.
Unfortunately, the future is not now. Â 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!). Â It is still illegal to make rights-protected fonts downloadable on your website — which is what @font-face does. Â Yes, you can now easily embed web-licensed fonts on your website. Â And yes there are many services making this easy and fast to do. Â But I have yet to meet a professional graphic designer who is willing to confine themselves to those fonts.