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Where do font services fit in? – Part 2

The use of unusual fonts in websites has become more common with the font services that have become available on the web. These services make it possible to choose unusual fonts to be a part of your website. The service makes the necessary alterations to make them appear correctly for the browser that is being used. The fonts aren’t on your server; they are on the server of the font services. It seems a little complicated, and I am not sure on how it affects your web loading except I have noticed that they appear a second or two later.

One of the services that can do this for you is Fonts Live. This is brought to you by the Ascender Corporations. They have created fonts for Google and also fonts for Microsoft. This service is akin to Webtype, which isn’t really surprising as they were both developed by DevBridge. Their fonts are exclusive to Fonts live. I really like this service because you can get the desk top version and this means you can host the fonts yourself and fully integrate them into your webpage. It does not require JavaScript. The fonts are priced individually, and some can be rather expensive. They are also on a subscription per year basis.

This service is a little more difficult to set up, but it is worth it in my eyes. Unlike most people who tend to head straight in without reading the documentation, I advise you start with the documentation as you will then find the set up far easier. It isn’t intuitive and the documentation helps you a great deal. Because you have the font on your desk top and insert and can see it, it is considerably fast than the other services. It could also be because the actual file sizes are a lot smaller. I know it is more expensive than the others but to my mind it does worth it.

I didn’t just leave it there but went on to look at TypeFront. This hosts your fonts. It doesn’t sell fonts or lease fonts. You are required to buy them elsewhere then upload them here. It has a monthly subscription as apposed to a yearly subscription and you then also have the cost of the font on top of that. It is an Australian service, and they charge $5 aussie per month.

The last one I looked at today was Fontspring. This has varying costs according to the typeface, and some can be very expensive. The difference here is you are buying the font not leasing it.  The font gets hosted on your own server and there are no page view limits. Once you have purchased the font you can use it on as many domains as you like. You download the font and have the ability to use it on your desktop, and it renders correctly. Overall this has a great deal to offer.  Although the cost initially is expensive because you are buying the font use outright instead of on a yearly fee, in the end it works out a lot cheaper, and you acutely own the rights to the font. This is particularly good for designers. The last thing you want to do is try to keep track of fees for a website you did say three years ago and pay the fee for it on time. By buying the fonts you have the rights to use them on all websites you design. The one drawback at present is the lack of browser support with some browsers. You will need to check out the browsers they support as so far some of the iPhones and iPads can be a problem. I have no doubts that it is merely a case of catching up.

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