This past Tuesday, 18 December 2012, from approximately 6:00 PM PST to 6:45 PM PST, our font network experienced a partial outage for many users around the world.

Our font network uses a worldwide system of servers run by a major commercial content delivery network (or CDN). Each request for fonts is routed to the nearest server in order to return a response as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, our CDN provider pushed a bad configuration on Tuesday evening, and a change that was meant for only one of their customers got applied to many customers instead, including Typekit. From our CDN provider’s post-mortem:

The outage occurred as a result of a change we made to a configuration in our core caching platform. It’s important to note that this was not a security issue, or even a bug, but a simple human error that was not flagged by our standard staging and testing procedures.

This mistake resulted in font requests failing, which meant that some visitors saw fallback fonts on sites using Typekit for a period of about 45 minutes. The configuration change rolled out slowly, which meant that more and more traffic was affected over time. Typekit Enterprise customers who use their own CDN environment weren’t affected by the outage.

We have external and internal monitoring to detect problems with our font serving network, but our monitoring didn’t pick up on the growing issue until approximately 6:18 PM PST. At that time, we quickly got in touch with both our CDN provider and our customers (via the status blog and Twitter). At approximately 6:45 PM PST, our CDN provider finished rolling back the bad configuration changes, and font serving was restored to normal.

Requests for fonts failed quickly during the outage, and the fallback fonts specified in each site’s CSS were shown instead. This illustrates one reason why designing and implementing good fallback fonts is important. Not only does it improve the appearance of your site during an unlikely outage, but it’s also important for older browsers that don’t support web fonts.

We know that our customers have high expectations for uptime on our font network and prompt communication about issues and downtime. We sincerely apologize for the impact that this outage had on our customers and their visitors, and our delay in detecting the problem. Our CDN provider has responded proactively to prevent this type of configuration error in the future. At Typekit we’re working to improve our monitoring so we can detect and respond to outages like this one more quickly.

If you have questions or concerns, please get in touch with us at support@typekit.com.

Photo © Jason Santa Maria

The historic Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is being forced to shut its doors, and needs your help in finding and moving its vast collection to a new location where it can open them again. From the museum’s press release:

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum will no longer reside in the building that bears its name. The property owners recently informed the museum that the 1619 Jefferson St. building in Two Rivers, Wisconsin will close and must be vacated, perhaps as early as February 2013. Hamilton Wood Type is urgently seeking donations to address this sudden need and to protect its vast collection of wood type, antique printing equipment and rare type specimen catalogs. The museum’s director Jim Moran, artistic director Bill Moran and assistant director Stephanie Carpenter remain committed to transitioning to a new space. [Read the full press release.]

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of wood type, with over 1.5 million specimens. Read more about their history and continued efforts in preserving, producing, and teaching about wood type. And check out HWT American Chromatic, a collaboration between Hamilton Wood Type Foundry and P22 Type Foundry, here at Typekit.

Please join Typekit and Adobe in donating, volunteering, and spreading the word.

Troubleshooting Guide

November 7, 2012

We have released a new Troubleshooting Guide, which covers common issues that you might run into. Based on the questions we get via email and Twitter, this guide is organized into a concise table of problems and solutions, to help you get your site working as quickly as possible.


Screenshot of the troubleshooting guide.

The guide will continue to be updated as new issues arise or existing ones become obsolete.

If you have any feedback on this new troubleshooting page, let us know in the comments. You can also get in touch with the support team directly with questions or comments by emailing support@typekit.com. We are here to help!

On Monday, Microsoft officially announced their new Windows Phone 8 operating system for mobile devices. It comes with a long list of new features, but we’re most excited about the new web browser: a new mobile version of Internet Explorer 10 that finally brings support for web fonts and the standard WOFF font format to Windows Phone. Today, we’re announcing official Typekit support for Windows Phone 8 and up.

Screenshot of Typekit fonts rendering on a Windows Phone 8 device
Screenshot of Typekit fonts rendering on a Windows Phone 8 device.

Windows Phone now joins iOS and Android in supporting web fonts on mobile devices. We’re excited about this release because it increases the number of mobile devices that support web fonts and the latest web standards.

We began working on initial support for Windows Phone with Microsoft in July of this year. After collaborating with them to add and test support using developer devices, we launched experimental support to kits published after August 16. Now that Windows Phone 8 is officially launched, we’re making our support for the platform official as well.

In order to take advantage of Windows Phone support in your own kits, all you need to do is head over to typekit.com and republish. If your kits were published after August 16, they should already have support for Windows Phone baked in.

Following the pattern for our other supported mobile platforms, we’ve also added an option to disable support for Windows Phone in individual kits. You’ll find this option in the Kit Editor under Kit Settings > Mobile Settings. Uncheck the box for Windows Phone and republish your kit to turn off support. This option is useful if you’re building a responsive site that doesn’t require web fonts to be loaded on mobile platforms, or if you encounter issues with Windows Phone.

Settings for enabling and disabling support for mobile platforms, including Windows Phone
Settings for enabling and disabling support for mobile platforms, including Windows Phone.

As always, if you run into problems with web fonts on Windows Phone or any of our officially supported platforms, contact us at support@typekit.com.

Every font in the Adobe Type catalog on Typekit has now been updated so that its vertical metrics are consistent across browsers. For designers, this means that page layouts will match more closely on all platforms. Just republish your kits to receive the updated files.


Trajan Pro 3 before and after having its vertical metrics updated

In addition, every weight and style of each family has the same vertical metrics values, so that (for instance) emboldening or italicizing a phrase in a paragraph won’t interfere with line spacing. And finally, the fonts also circumvent an unusual spacing problem in IE9 related to Typo metrics (one of three sets of vertical metrics in a font file, each of which regulates glyph clipping and line spacing in different ways on different platforms). After talking with customers about this issue, we found a reliable fix; if you wrote to our support team about IE9 spacing, thanks!

To mark two years of the sites we like column, here are some of our favorite sites from the past year.

Screenshot of Offscreen Magazine

Offscreen Magazine is as lovely on the screen as, well, off. Featuring Calluna and Bebas Neue.

Screenshot of Art of the Title

Soleil and FF Meta Serif team up on the ever entertaining Art of the Title.

Screenshot of Impress a Penguin

Impress a Penguin shows off Robert Slimbach’s oft-overlooked Warnock.

Screenshot of The Design of a Signage Typeface

A fascinating essay on the design of a typeface for wayfinding pairs the rounded FF Netto with the soft slabs of FF Tisa.

Screenshot of XOXO Festival

The XOXO Festival combines Atrament italic with all-caps JAF Facit.

Screenshot of Pilot and Captain

From the Heads of State, the wonderfully retro Pilot & Captain makes excellent use of Brandon Grotesque.

Screenshot of Evening Edition

Mule Design’s Evening Edition delivers commute-sized news with Prenton Condensed and the always classic FF Meta Serif.

Screenshot of Type Connection

Type Connection pairs FF Tisa (and its companion small caps) in a playful typographic dating game.

Screenshot of Michael James Milton

Michael James Milton puts the blocky slab serif Kulturista to work.

Screenshot of The Shape of Design

And last but not least, The Shape of Design stars the bookish FF Quadraat, available from FontShop.

Have a favorite we missed? Share it in the comments!

One year ago today, we announced that Typekit would be joining Adobe. It was a thrilling day for us, both for the acknowledgement it represented and the potential we could see.

When a startup goes through an acquisition, it can be either an exit or a boost. Sometimes, a small group of people build something really cool, hand it over to a bigger company, then take a deep breath and move on to build the next thing. Other times, merging can unlock the potential of the smaller company, and things really take off. Reflecting on the last 12 months, bringing Typekit to Adobe has been an absolutely huge boost.

We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth, and have been rebuilding almost every one of the systems that make up Typekit. After we joined Adobe, we immediately launched a redesign of our font browsing interface to accommodate our ever-growing library of typefaces. Next, we added a way for you to tag your favorite families, making it easier for you to collect inspiration for projects and for us to understand which fonts are most popular. To make it even easier to find fonts, we collected the best of our library into topical lists and launched an all-new search engine. On the backend, we replaced our identity system for logging into your account. And while we were at it, we completely rewrote our entire font serving infrastructure, ensuring we remain the fastest hosted web font service available. So yeah, we’ve been busy!

The big news, however, is how much we’ve grown. Typekit is now in use on 1.4 million websites, and in the last month alone we served fonts on over 8 billion pageviews for our customers. Our biggest increases have come from our enterprise business, which has tripled in size since the acquisition. We don’t expect this growth to slow down at all. A year ago, only 7% of the world’s top 1,000 sites used web fonts; it’s twice that now. And while that’s great, it also shows how much fertile ground remains.

Moving into a new company is a huge change for a product, but even more so for the people who make it. We remain deeply committed to Typekit, and you’ll see some exciting new things in the coming year: integrations into more Adobe products, some amazing new partnerships, and a bunch of stuff we’re not quite ready to talk about yet. What won’t change, of course, is our passion for typography and for a better, more beautiful web.

Thanks again for all the support.

Insites: The Book

September 19, 2012

We are thrilled to be sponsoring Insites: The Book, a limited edition book featuring interviews with some of our favorite people (including two of our own: Jason Santa Maria, Typekit’s creative director; and Mandy Brown, former communications director here at Typekit).

Insites: The Book features 20 informal conversations with 21 of the web and tech industries’ leading figures, delving into their stories, big wins, and lessons learned, along with the kind of tales you never hear on a conference stage. No code snippets, no design tips; just a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into the names and brands forwarding our industry.

Now available for pre-order.

New Typekit partners

August 9, 2012

One of our goals at Typekit is to make beautiful typography accessible to more people. To that end, we love to see Typekit integrated with other services, making web fonts easy and delightful. Here are some great services which have recently added support for Typekit.

Bourbon

Bourbon is a service that makes it simple to set up a high quality mobile website for your local business. In addition to powerful tools for integrating maps, galleries, menus and other features, Bourbon includes the ability to control key aspects of your site’s design, including layout, colors, and — of course — fonts provided by Typekit.

Bourbon font menu

Choose from a selection of Typekit fonts in Bourbon.

Just choose the fonts you want, and let Bourbon and Typekit take care of the rest for you behind the scenes.

SpaceCraft

SpaceCraft gives you everything you need to easily create, maintain, and host an effective small business website, including fine-grained control of your site’s fonts.

The SpaceCraft homepage highlights a number of great sites built with and hosted by the service, including the official site of Lance Armstrong, which uses SpaceCraft’s integration of Typekit to achieve an elegant design incorporating Futura PT from ParaType.

Lance Armstrong's website

Lance Armstrong’s website incorporates Futura PT via SpaceCraft and Typekit.

Rocketspark

Rocketspark bills itself as “the website that makes websites” — and it really is that simple. With its series of web-based tools, you can create a beautiful website in minutes, choosing from a focused set of layouts, smart color palette suggestions, and fonts from Typekit.

Rocketspark font controls

Choose from a variety of fonts from Typekit in Rocketspark.

The Rocketspark portfolio page showcases great sites created with the service.

With all of these partner sites, you just specify your fonts, and you’re on your way. There’s no need to configure kits or work with the Typekit embed code. It’s that easy.

Do you run a platform that would benefit from a Typekit-powered web font integration like those described here? Drop us a line at support+partners@typekit.com to learn how to get started.

We recently launched some changes to our recommended embed code. An important part of those changes was making an advanced embed code that loads fonts asynchronously available from the Kit Editor. This method has been very useful for developers who want additional control and don’t mind writing some extra CSS to hide the flash of unstyled text (FOUT).

The asynchronous embed code was developed over a year ago and published both on the blog and on GitHub. Many developers put it to use right away, but officially adding it to the Kit Editor has expanded that use and resulted in additional feedback. In particular, this has helped us to uncover two issues with the original asynchronous embed code that have now been addressed:

  • We fixed an issue in IE9 that caused the inactive font event to trigger briefly before the fonts loaded, causing an extra FOUT.
  • We fixed an issue where whitespace between existing classnames on the <html> element could be removed unintentionally.

Both of these improvements are now reflected in the advanced embed code in the Kit Editor. To take advantage of them, simply visit the Kit Editor, click on “Embed Code” and “Show advanced,” then copy the updated embed code and paste it into your sites.

Since the embed code is the only part of a Typekit integration that can’t be updated with the push of a button, we try not to announce updates frequently. To that end, we’ve waited to announce these updates to see if any additional feedback was forthcoming. At this time, we think we’ve captured most of those concerns and an update is warranted. As always, if you have any questions, drop a line to support@typekit.com and we’ll get back to you right away.