Web Fonts: The Future is Finally Here

A few weeks ago I saw someone in my Twitter stream retweet an article about using image replacement techniques. My first thought was, “wait, are we in 2007 and someone forgot to tell me?” Sadly, no. It’s 2011, and people are still recommending the use of image replacement.

Please stop! There’s a better way!

A Little History

Fonts on the web have always been limited. Designers have looked for ways to have more than the basic few defaults available for use in their designs. Some of the methods that have been used to get around the limitations in available fonts include:

  • All-image websites
  • Flash
  • Images as headers
  • sIFR & other image replacement techniques
  • Cufón

But this can be a point of contention between SEOs,  who want content to be crawlable, and designers, who want websites to look attractive. The above solutions aren’t great; images and Flash aren’t crawlable, and sIFR, Cufón and others require the user to have JavaScript. They also make text difficult (or impossible) to select, and don’t support web standards.

These were only supposed to be stop-gaps until something better came along.

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