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The Future of Typography and the Web

Last week it was announced that Adobe was partnering with Typekit to bring some of Adobe’s best and most famous fonts to the forefront of the web. There are many advantages to using a service such as Typekit on the web and it not only lets websites look more textured – through the use of a wider arrangement of fonts – but it is also one of the easiest font replacement technologies currently available.

For those unfamiliar with Typekit or font replacement, the advantage is this: services such as Typekit make it possible to use fonts that otherwise might not be available. Previously, there was no way to know if a user had a particular font installed.

For example, a website designer chose to use the font Museo Slab (pictured below) for a heading, rather than Helvetica. The Museo Slab font may not be installed on a user’s computer and, as a result, the viewer would see another, more-basic font. The beauty of a service like Typekit, is that these “special” fonts are stored on a server, and then displayed to any viewer when a site loads. This means users are going to see the site as it was designed.

Museo Slab Font

So what does this mean for the future of typography on the web? Well, quite simply, it means user experiences can only get richer. By having a wider array of typography available to use, website design companies can create visually pleasing websites without sacrificing search engine optimisation. For example, where designers may have had to use images for titles or headings before (in order to produce the most-aesthetically pleasing visuals), static text can now be used.

It’s interesting to see where this feature takes web design trends in regards to typography on the web. Still, we must remember that technology changes all the time – and just because we have the ability to use hundreds of fonts, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should (at least not all on the same website or page). As Brian Hoff of The Design Cubicle stated, “With beautiful type comes great responsibility.”

What do you think the future holds for typography on the web? Are there any particular features that you would like to see?

Written by Rachel Shillcock
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