Font Addicts Unite

 

I have confessed to font addiction before, so that’s nothing new. When you have over 10,000 fonts on your computer, you know your “problem” runs deep.

company fonts can be hard to choose when there are so many typefaces out there

With that size collection, what can you do to keep them organized? And honestly, how can you really keep track of and remember all those different letter forms?

I was contacted by Lisa Wood of Sprout New Media this week. Lisa had two questions, and by her questions alone, I knew she was a fellow addict!

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Typeface Combinations that Work on the Web

This has turned out to be the year of web typography.

brand marketing made better by great web typography

There are two companies offering you the ability to customize the typefaces on your website, and they’re easy – and often free – to use.

Google’s Font API is free and offers a handful of open source typefaces. Typekit is a commercial solution that’s reasonably priced, and offers a wide range of fonts that’s growing every day. They have a free, entry-level offering, and paid options that vary by how many page views your site gets per month.

Typekit now has fonts from Adobe, Moveable Type, Veer and other major type foundries. On this blog, I recently switched from the web standard Georgia to Chaparral, which is an Adobe font I use in all my PDF materials. (Do you like it? Let me know in the comments!)

Fresh Fonts Served Daily

Both services work in a similar fashion: typefaces are “served” up onto users’ machines, much the way websites are served on the Internet. Users don’t need to have the typeface installed in order to see it used on a web page.

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Why I Hate the Verdana Font 1

Why I Hate the Verdana Font

Of all the web-compatible typefaces available, the least appealing is the Verdana font.

And yes, I know it’s used all over. Believe me, I notice!

We’ve spoken about choosing typefaces and brand fonts a lot around here.

Your font matters — maybe more than you realize. Think about it:

Your font choice become the visual voice of your brand. Your words are delivered wrapped in fonts — is your font speaking in the brand voice you want?

So, is Verdana a good font choice, or a bad one?

The Verdana font was one of the earliest fonts designed for reading on screens. It’s a “web 1.0” version of a screen-readable font, in my opinion. We’ve come a long way since then.

A brief history of the Verdana font

The Verdana font was released in 1996, so it’s a modern typeface. It was designed with one purpose in mind: to improve readability in text used very small on a computer screen.

Microsoft included Verdana as part of its Windows operating system, and so did Mac.

99% of Windows machines and 96% of Macs have it, so it’s widely compatible.

When typeface designers set out to make a typeface that will be readable at small sizes, they streamline the letters to remove flourishes that would get lost at a small size.

They also give the letters a large “x-height,” which is the vertical space between the baseline the letters sit on, and the top of lower-case letters like e, x, a, etc.

And they tend to add extra space between letters, because when typefaces are reduced very small, letters will blur together unless they’re spaced out quite a bit.

The examples below show you why I hate Verdana for regular text copy, and what it’s good for.

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