Typography is a funny thing. Most of us don’t notice it and very few of know what it is. When it’s bad typography we have a funny feeling that something isn’t right, but we can’t quite put our finger on it. Typography, whether we like it or not, is with us almost every day and everywhere we go. If you’re reading this than you are experiencing some form of typography.
What most people don’t realize is that typography is the subtle art that gives grace to design. It’s that essential ingredient that communicates the intent of the writer by the placement of the text. Web designers and bloggers have unconsciously contributed to bad typography for years, without many resources to implement good print design practices.
Sure designers have used JPGs and proprietary software such as Flash to design at a higher level of quality, but it’s often come at the cost of accessibility and download speed. These days designers have more options with the introduction of the @font-face rule. This allows designers to pick from any font and embed it into the website.
This practice has opened up a whole other can of worms. Using the @font-face rule exposes a font to being downloaded illegally, thus creating an illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. Many free fonts are available that allow for this kind of access. Some high end font foundries will “host” the font and protect it from being downloaded illegally. The options for the designer are now limitless, but with bad practices being in place for so long is it possible for good typography to ever proliferate the web?