July 30, 2012
TypeCon2012 kicks off this week in Milwaukee, and Typekit’s excited to be a part of it. Serving as a headline sponsor, we’ll be co-presenting Linotype: The Film on Friday night, along with UW Peck School of the Arts and TypeCon organizing body SOTA. If you haven’t got your ticket to TypeCon, it’s not too late: registration is still open. We’ll see you there!
July 13, 2012
At approximately 1:00 PM AEST/3:00 PM NZST on Friday, 13 July, our font network began to be unavailable for many users in Australia and New Zealand.
Our font network consists of a worldwide system of computers run by a Content Delivery Network, or CDN. Requests for fonts are routed to the nearest server to give the best performance. Unfortunately yesterday there was severe congestion on the link between two major internet service providers, Pacnet and NTT, and this in turn caused problems when trying to access our servers in Sydney. This meant fonts were unavailable for users in that region. According to our monitoring systems, this lasted approximately 2 hours and was resolved at 2:55 PM AEST/4:55 PM NZST.
Typekit font serving is back to normal. We know that our customers have high expectations for our uptime and performance, and we regret the impact this had on many of you. Going forward, we’ll be monitoring our vendor’s network performance closely and working with them to minimize any future interruptions.
The nature of the Internet means that occasional interruptions are unavoidable. For this reason, we encourage Typekit users to consider using our asynchronous loading pattern any time you need to eliminate the possibility that a problem loading the kit could interfere with loading the rest of the page. This approach ensures that your page won’t wait for the kit in the event that something goes wrong somewhere between the font network and the user.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 23, 2012
We’re growing fast, and that means we need help. To keep pace with all the amazing things happening at Typekit, we are looking for two engineers to join our San Francisco team: a Rails engineer and an API engineer. You’ll get a chance to join a fine-tuned development organization with some of the best people working on the web today. More importantly, you’ll get to work on making life better for all of Typekit’s users.
January 25, 2012
Starting today, Typekit is rolling out a new way to browse fonts: lists. Lists have been curated by Typekit staff and feature an editorialized means of browsing. Each list features fonts organized by theme, intended use, or defining characteristic. Some of our favorite lists include a list of great rounded fonts, a list of fonts that are good for longform, and a list of condensed headline fonts.
Lists are a great place to start when you aren’t quite sure what font you’re after. Need something casual, but aren’t sure what that means? Start with the this list of casual fonts and see where it takes you. Tired of Georgia, but don’t know what else to use? Check out this list of good Georgia alternatives. Looking for something with impact, but daunted by the number of choices? See which fat faces are our favorites.
If you find a font you like, you can add it to your favorites or to a kit.
We’re starting with a small number of lists, with many more to come — take a look and let us know in the comments if there’s a list you’d love to see. Meanwhile, we’re continuing to work on a number of other projects, including improvements to search and more robust font detail pages — all of which will help you find and evaluate fonts quickly and expertly. Stay tuned!
December 20, 2011
Update: As of January 30th, we’ve now reached 5 billion font views per month, up from 4 billion per month less than three months ago.
A year ago, we gave our first close look at the numbers behind Typekit’s web font service; since then, web fonts have moved from an exciting frontier to the mainstream, with adoptions across a range of sites (both large and small) and continued, exceptional growth.
Today, Typekit delivers nearly 4 billion font views per month. What’s more, font views have consistently doubled every four months for the past two years: an amazing rate that shows enthusiasm for web fonts is in no danger of waning.
And this traffic is global: over 100 countries serve more than 1 million font views each month, from Australia to India, South Africa, Brazil, and nearly everywhere in between.
Moreover, web fonts are not merely the province of blogs and designer portfolios. Typekit’s Enterprise Plans serve fonts to really massive sites, including The New York Times, Wired, Zynga, The New Yorker, Gawker, and more. Together these sites serve more than 2 billion fonts per month—just over half of our total traffic.
And we’re still growing: bigger sites (and more of them) are on the horizon, as web fonts move from nice-to-have to can’t-live-without. We’re honored to have come this far, and excited for what the future brings. Here’s to a great new year.
December 1, 2011
It’s been just two weeks since we released favorites on the Typekit website, but one thing is already clear: you have great taste. Here, in descending order, are the most popular fonts from the Typekit library, based on the number of people who have marked them as a favorite.
November 15, 2011
Today we’re pleased to release an oft-requested feature: favorites. Log in to your Typekit account, and you’ll see two new additions: “heart” buttons on every font, and a new tab called “My Favorites.”
Favorites can be filtered and browsed just like all the fonts on Typekit, so you can quickly find the font you need. And as we continue to add more and more fonts, we’re also committed to working on tools to help you navigate the library.
You’ll need a Typekit account to save favorite fonts, but signing up is free and takes only a few seconds. So get started today!
Update: We’ve added a favorites link on the font detail pages, too.
Typekit’s Communications Director, Mandy Brown, interviews Christopher Slye from the Adobe Type Team about the past, present, and bright future of web fonts.
Mandy Brown: Hi Christopher! Tell me about what you do at Adobe.
Christopher Slye: Hi Mandy. In the last couple years, I’ve handled all kinds of work related to fonts on the web. Most of my previous years at Adobe were spent doing font production, so I have a technical and design background which has helped me understand and explain some of the issues — internally and from customers — that make web fonts so complicated. Over the years here I’ve also been involved in various font licensing issues, and of course that’s a big part of the web fonts equation as well.
So, like a lot of people on the Type team here, my work covers a fairly wide spectrum of tasks. I meet with product groups around Adobe to understand and help with their font needs. I evaluate new technology. I am Adobe’s representative in the Web Fonts (WOFF) Working Group, and I try to stay involved with Adobe’s related Standards efforts. I often field questions about licensing. I write the occasional blog post and I help with type marketing by creating graphics and ads once in a while. And of course I’ve been coordinating our web fonts partnerships. I don’t really do font production these days, but every so often I get to help by answering a question or offering an opinion about something. A lot of us have been around here a while, and we all have some accumulated knowledge that often comes in handy.
MB: You’ve witnessed a lot of change — both from within Adobe, and external to it — regarding fonts over the years. How do you feel about where we’re headed? What has surprised you? What are you still hoping for?
CS: Well, I don’t know if the resurgence of interest in type and typography these days is truly unexpected, but the relative swiftness and force of it does surprise me. Many people have noticed by now that fonts on the web have caused a revival that is very much like what happened with desktop publishing in the late eighties. I was a young designer back then, and what I’m seeing today reminds me of how I felt when PostScript fonts emerged: the sudden availability of typographic variety and the technology to use it was thrilling. Everyone got on board, and it spawned a new generation of typophiles — the veteran type designers and other type professionals we have today. Now, it’s not that type is merely making a comeback — there’s a palpable typographic movement among web designers who are suddenly getting access to something they didn’t really have before.
So obviously I think that’s exciting! What I’m hoping for — as a designer, along with everyone else — is better integration of web fonts with the web and print workflow. It’s a problem everyone’s working on now, and the technical and legal barriers make it harder than it seems, but I know it will get better.
MB: You’ve worked closely with the Typekit team for over a year now. How has that collaboration affected your work?
CS: Probably in many little ways. Since Typekit is a shipping product, it has forced us to confront some practical realities about web fonts, such as choosing font formats and setting vertical metrics. Whereas we might have imagined a more ideal web font world, the Typekit team, from their hands-on experience, have given us many reminders about the limitations with all the browsers out there right now.
One thing it has certainly done is gotten me out of the office more, literally and figuratively. Anyone who works at a big company like Adobe can easily find they haven’t really left their office for several years! We can get our heads down on a big project and tune things out. One of Typekit’s strengths has always been its engagement with the type and design community, and that’s spilled over to its foundry partners — it brings us all a little closer together in a way. In addition to all the online efforts, Typekit has hosted all these events and gotten me mixed in with them and their users more than I might have been. Not only is that fun and interesting, but it has also given me something to bring back to the office. Everyone here has heard about web fonts and wants to understand them, and fielding those questions has kept me very busy. Aha, there’s your answer — the collaboration has made me very busy! [Laughing.]
So Typekit has been a great conduit to keep in touch with what’s happening out there, and now I’m much more involved with all kinds of different teams here at Adobe, and I can pass on what I’ve heard and learned. But the collaboration has also been such a personal pleasure. Everyone at Typekit is always available, very generous, and curious. It’s been a reminder that doing great work doesn’t have to be drudgery.
MB: Adobe has long had relationships with other foundries, but the Typekit acquisition brings new — and many independent — foundries into the fold. How do you see this benefiting them?
CS: I think they’ll have everything they’ve liked about being a Typekit partner; and on top of that they’ll be getting more exposure to all Adobe’s customers, and the opportunity to participate in the new features and functionality that are yet to come.
Since this is more about font integration than simply selling fonts, we’re aware that we are standing in between foundries and our customers more than we have previously been. What we really hope to do is give our users tools which make it easier to use type — seamlessly and consistently among our products — but we also want everyone to have the fonts they need. This means we hope to make things easy for any designer or foundry who wants to participate. The biggest benefit we can offer is the shortest line from them to everyone who is using Adobe products and services.
MB: And how do you feel about the future, now that Typekit and Adobe are under one roof? Where do you hope this takes us?
CS: I’ll bet my hopes are pretty much the same as everyone else’s. Around here I like to say that type is just about the closest thing we have to a common, indispensable element in nearly every Adobe product and service. It’s the most persuasive argument I can make for type’s importance today and in the future. New technologies and media have not really diminished its significance.
Typekit is coming in with a lot of concrete experience with web fonts, and a determination to do a lot more. The Adobe Creative Cloud presents many opportunities for type, and everyone at Adobe is curious to see what Typekit brings. I am already getting emails asking “When can I talk to the Typekit folks?” It won’t take long for everyone to get to know each other, and I know there are going to be some cool ideas coming out of those conversations. Adobe is full of incredibly smart, creative people — a huge accumulation of expertise spanning decades of technology — so we will have some tricks up our sleeve that will inspire the Typekit team, too. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
The bottom line is I want to see great, affordable fonts everywhere. I want font streaming to be seamless and comprehensive. Our customers have been asking for it, so we all know what we have to do.
Christopher Slye joined the Type Development group at Adobe Systems in 1997. Today, as Technical Product Manager for Type, he helps guide Adobe’s type-related technology and initiatives. You can follow the Adobe Type team at @adobetype.
October 20, 2011
Today, we’re excited to release the first of many improvements to the Typekit website. We set out to make it as fast as possible to browse thousands of fonts. Just a few clicks, in a few seconds, to get to what you want.
To start, we completely revamped the tagging system, ditching the plethora of unorganized, and often confusing, tags, and replacing it with a much more robust system designed around font classifications (i.e., serif, monospaced, etc.) and properties (i.e., x-height, width, weight, etc.). This means the new tagging system is derived from the physical characteristics of the fonts themselves — a much more useful means for discovery.
Additionally, we’ve added two new categories of recommended fonts: headings and paragraphs. These categories are handpicked by Typekit’s staff and feature fonts that are both aesthetically and technically exceptional. (All of the paragraph fonts have been manually hinted, and many of the headline fonts are served with PostScript outlines.) If you’re looking for the best fonts in Typekit’s library, start here.
The look of the tags has also changed, trading text links for a visual presentation of each tag. This also aids in browsing fast, and it means you can successfully browse by font characteristics even if you are unfamiliar with the terminology. Helpful tips are tucked away for those looking for more information about the tags themselves.
We consulted with type designers and typographers on the new taxonomy, and our type team then reviewed and retagged every single font in the library. The result is a browsing experience that’s much more intuitive, and fast. Try it and see for yourself.
Under the hood, we’ve worked incredibly hard on performance, taking advantage of the capabilities of the latest browsers, while gracefully degrading in older ones. You can now see many more than nine fonts per page (an oft-heard request, and one we’re very happy to deliver on). In modern web browsers that support pushState (such as the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox), we update the url as you browse, so you don’t have to wait for the entire page to reload. As you click around, the browser progressively loads only the necessary information. (In older browsers, we fall back to the standard behavior of links and reload the page each time.)
There’s a lot more to this new interface on the technical side. We’ll have more to share about the process of creating it in the coming weeks.
And there’s more coming down the line: better search, improved detail pages, favorites (at last!), and new ways to preview fonts — plus even more help finding the perfect font for your needs. Stay tuned!
Update: By popular request, we’ve added a size slider to the browsing pages, so you can now adjust the size of the fonts as you browse. Enjoy!
October 17, 2011
We’re proud to have been sponsors of Letter.2, the second Type Design Competition of the Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). And we’re prouder still to see many fonts from Typekit’s library among the winners, including two designs from our resident type designer, Tim Ahrens.
Among the other winners are five fonts from Robert Slimbach, three of which are available on Typekit: Arno, Brioso, and Garamond Premier. Other winners include Jan Fromm, Jarno Lukarilla, Veronika Burian, Jean François Porchez, Gerard Unger, Alejandro Paul, and many more. Please join us in extending congratulations to all.