typography

FontFonter

A very neat tool: FontFonter allows you to see any web site with different fonts substituted for the defaults. Here is how this web site looks with different fonts (very handsome, if I do say so myself). And here is the New York Times refonted. Great tool for web designers, great toy for everyone else.

I recently began using Typekit for this site to allow more elegant fonts than standard browsers are capable of. (For a discussion of the technical limitations that have crippled web typography until now and how they are being overcome, look here.) The typefaces you see on this web site now are FF Tisa Web Pro for text and FF Dagny Web Pro for the smaller bits in sans serifs, with plain old Arial/Helvetica for headlines, still, because I have not been able to settle on a more interesting sans-serif that renders properly in all browsers (damn you, Internet Explorer!) and lower-resolution monitors. But I’ll keep fiddling. That’s what web sites are for, no?

Update (8.12.10): So much for the Typekit experiment. I found it was slowing down this site much too much. At times, page loads were taking over a minute, an eternity if you’re sitting in front of the computer waiting. The problem, I found — and this is true nine out of ten times that a WordPress blog slows to a crawl — is that plug-ins and calls to external RSS feeds were slowing things down, especially because WordPress requires that most of these processes be completed before the page will load at all. Typekit seemed to be one of the culprits because every page load required the download of all those pretty fonts from a remote server. So it’s back to the boring but reliable “web-safe” fonts for me. I’ll miss you, FF Tisa Web Pro. [sniff]

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