When it comes to typography on the web, it’s difficult to imagine that web developers have so much of ground to make up – about five hundred years worth. Despite all the technology, there remains a huge divide between branding on the web in print – unless of course, every client finds Helvetica and Times New Roman to meet their branding needs.
Umm, yeah – they don’t. And that leaves us with the challenge of not only finding web-based alternatives but explaining why there’s a difference – despite the fact that all my fonts come from the same place, my computer. The same place where websites and brochures come from.
The good news is that Google, of all things – is making tremendous strides to close the typography gap. Since last August, Google’s Font API has grown in popularity and now offers a wide variety of typefaces. Most importantly, integrating Google Fonts into web development is about as simple as it gets.
However, one glaring problem still remains. There is a noticeable absence of classical typefaces with Google Fonts and that means designers are still required to consider alternative faces when developing for the web. So while different fonts are cropping up – our brand identities will continue to specify the lesser-quality substitutes and designers will have to continue to explain away the why ‘some fonts’ are not ‘web fonts’.
The good news is that 500 years in the digital age is about a decade, more or less.