For those who make typefaces, there haven't been many changes since the invention of the printing press: hot lead, electronic typesetting, desktop publishing.
But now, more than 15 years after its invention, the World Wide Web is finally becoming the next frontier.
The steadily gaining influence of the medium and a new technology for distributing fonts to browsers has led one of the biggest names in typography to embrace the Web in earnest. On Tuesday, Monotype Imaging will open a catalog of nearly 8,000 of its fonts, with more to come, for use on Web pages.
Monotype Imaging's Web font service drew 15,000 users in beta testing with a smaller set of 2,200 fonts, but now it's launching for mainstream use.
When it comes to typography on the Web, "that world has been stunted," Monotype Imaging Chief Executive Doug Shaw said in an interview. "We look at it as a very important evolution in adapting typefaces to this new world."
Well, not new exactly, but new to the font industry. To date, most Web designers have relied on a strained combination of:
A few "Web-safe" fonts such as Verdana and Arial that can be expected to be installed on most computers. Text rendered in graphics formats such as JPEG. Adobe Systems' Flash Player plug-in that offers polish but that's somewhat isolated from the rest of a Web page.
The arrival of Web fonts is an important milestone in the development of electronic media. The future of reading is text on screens--whether a book on a Kindle, a magazine on an iPad, or a news app on a mobile phone. Bringing that era to browsers is essential to making the Web as polished as other electronic media and as the print publications it's often supplanting.
Making the case for Web fonts Monotype Imaging is betting that businesses will see Web fonts as worth the new expense to their Web budgets. There are several potential reasons. … Read more