Five Fantastic Web Font Services

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The evolution of the Internet has taught developers that the key to creating a successful website is to build for better usability.

This means that a website should be optimized so that visitors can easily navigate it without having to hunt for what they need. This is why simplicity has become one of the hottest design trends during the last year, because a site without a lot of clutter helps ease navigational issues. While there are many technologies available that can assist developers in making navigational elements more user-friendly, one of the best ways to improve navigation is with typography.

In fact, an innovative use of typography can help developers highlight specific areas of a site. This is because variations of font, such as colors, placement and size, help developers showcase the hierarchy of content on a Web page. And luckily, developers aren’t restricted to using a limited amount of fonts for online projects anymore because the Web is full of resources offering a plethora of fonts that are available for online use, including the five services that can be found below:

Google Web Fonts

Since there is rarely ever an industry that Google doesn’t dabble in, it is no surprise that Google offers typography options. In fact, Google’s service makes customizable open source fonts available to developers. Users have the ability to browse font families and add their favorites into their own Collection. Then, users can refine their collection and have the option to view their favorite styles in a sample layout. The service is free and fonts are easy to implement onto a website.


Typekit

This platform provides developers with a subscription-based library of Web fonts. Currently, the company has more than 250,000 customers, including The New York Times and Twitter. Typekit gives users the ability to preview fonts on numerous browsers and operating systems. Furthermore, users have the option of extending their Typekit account to gain access to additional fonts from participating foundries. Although a trial of the service is free, subscription plans start at $24.99 a year.


Fontdeck

This Web typeface provider offers developers a catalogue that contains thousands of fonts that are enhanced for on-screen use. Fontdeck hosts all font files so that the company can handle browser complications to ensure fonts are reliable. Developers simply need to add a few lines of CSS to implement the fonts, and they only pay for fonts that are live. While each font is priced individually and users pay annually per website, the company states that the typical price is $7.50 a year for each font.


Webtype

This typography service offers high-quality, Web-optimized fonts. Implementation of fonts is easy because users simply need to copy and paste a chunk of code into their site’s HTML. The service hosts all fonts to ensure that all typefaces are automatically upgraded and display correctly on every browser. Webtype offers 30-day free trials for all fonts, with plans starting at $40 per year for sites that receive less than 250,000 page views.


Fontspring

Unlike the aforementioned services, Fontspring offers downloadable fonts for self-hosting. Users simply need to purchase a font type and then they can use the fonts on as many projects as desired with no annual fee. Moreover, this service also offers app fonts, which can be used within mobile applications.


What is your favorite Web font service? Let us know in the comment section below.

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4 comments

BetsyjoK 12-06-2012 2:35 PM

My favorite is dafont.com

Steve Balduino 12-06-2012 3:40 PM

I've enjoyed both google and Adobe Edge Web Fonts.

JeffS 12-06-2012 6:48 PM

Fontsquirrel.com is worthy of mention here. They feature hundreds of free fonts, @font-face kits for the fonts they host as well as a @font-face generator to Upload your own fonts and create a custom kit.

Web Design Firm 03-11-2013 5:55 PM

Allison on the ones you mentioned Fontspring is my favorite. Usually can find what I need there.

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