Why you should care?
Your brand both online and offline is affected by your choices in typography whether you are aware of it or not. The art of typography has evolved since humanity began writing. A sense for the aesthetic of written text is ingrained in every culture, and there are some universal rules that have a subtle but measurable effect on the perception of written content. The art of choosing the right fonts, and the right properties of those fonts takes quite a lot of study. We have the greatest respect for the art.
For the longest time, in the early days of the web, web browsers had woefully inadequate support for typography. We web designers had to restrict ourselves to generating images from text and including those images. This had a number of disadvantages, including a large penalty to the search-ability of your site ( you can't find text on an image of a page of text without first converting that image into computer-readable text. ).
In the last several years, browser support for typography has become much better - opening up design possibilities, and improving the expression of written content on the web.
Here are a few places to find online fonts. Please note that just because you have a font in your photoshop installation does not mean that you have a license to the web font. Web font licenses are typically separate. There are a few web fonts that are open and free, like Google Web Fonts. Below is a list of different web font sources:
- Google Web Fonts A great source of free and open fonts. They even help you to pair fonts that look good together, and provide you with some tools to help use the font on your site.
- Adobe Typekit This is included with your adobe creative cloud membership, and provides access to a wider range of fonts, but they are a part of a paid program and not available for free.
- Fonts.com A large directory of paid fonts
- Font Squirrel Another large paid directory of fonts. A little bit of a nicer user experience than fonts.com
There are also a number of tools out there that help you to identify what fonts are being used currently. This can be helpful in putting together research when building a style guide for your brand.