I’m currently playing about with Safari 3.1‘s embedded font feature. It’s great, and about time. If you’re reading this blog directly from my website and with Safari 3.1+ then you know what I’m talking about. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until Firefox and Explorer catch up.
I’m not sure I’ve found what I’m looking for in terms of legally embeddable fonts. It actually harder than you might think to find interesting, yet readable, open fonts. If you use this feature, be careful: you cannot embed commercial fonts as this would be the equivalent of distributing them and could get you into trouble. Some web designers have complained about this, but I actually think this is a Good Thing™. We need a more developed open type community — and no, embedding fonts in Flash is not a solution — and this will only accelerate that process.
Which reminds me — there’s this brilliant project currently in beta where you can “build, share, download” open typefaces: FontStruct over at the infamous FontShop. It’s a great service, even if it still needs a lot of work. You can even embed a flash example into your blog or webpage, as in the following Pixel Cube example:
I don’t know how long I’ll be using this font (it has a lot of issues), and for the moment I have yet to figure out how to single out browsers that do and do not support this feature, in order to create the right type relationships for those that do not. For the moment, I’m figuring most cannot see these fonts, and so the sizing is all wrong. But whatever the case I think it’s great to see a community tool perfectly in sync with this complex issue, and if you think my website is now even uglier than before, please give me some time to figure out how to deal with this (welcome) extra layer.