Introducing Typekit

When we started Small Batch Inc. last year, our goal was to explore what’s now possible on the web. That exploration has taken many shapes: bringing together a community at The Start Conference, working with our friends at Twitter for a few months, and digging deep into data with Wikirank. Now we’re focusing on an entirely new idea, and we’d like to share that with you. It’s called Typekit.

Typekit Home Page Screenshot

We’ve been following developments in web browsers very closely, looking for new and smarter ways to build stuff. Last fall, we started seeing renewed interest in linking to fonts via Cascading Stylesheets. While the W3C working draft has been around for years, a new wave of browser support will finally offer designers more control over fonts on the web. A particularly cogent article from John Allsopp, followed by frequent conversations with him, helped us understand that there was a significant opportunity here.

Web fonts today

So here’s the situation: Every major browser is about to support the ability to link to a font. That means you can write a bit of CSS, include a URL to a font file, and have your page display with the typography you expect. For designers and developers, this is a significant step forward. No longer will you need to trap your content in images or Flash just to express yourself visually. Pages will be more usable, accessible, and indexable. This is a massive upgrade for the web.

But there’s a problem. While it’s technically quite easy to link to fonts, it’s legally more nuanced. Almost all fonts are protected by copyright — even those available for free — and very few of them allow for linking via CSS or redistribution on the web. This is understandable; font files represent countless hours of finely detailed labor. Appropriately, type designers are concerned that they’ll lose control of all that hard work.

The Typekit solution

That’s where Typekit comes in. We’ve been working with foundries to develop a consistent web-only font linking license. We’ve built a technology platform that lets us to host both free and commercial fonts in a way that is incredibly fast, smoothes out differences in how browsers handle type, and offers the level of protection that type designers need without resorting to annoying and ineffective DRM.

As a Typekit user, you’ll have access to our library of high-quality fonts. Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup, tell us what fonts you want to use, and then craft your pages the way you always have. Except now you’ll be able to use real fonts. This really is going to change web design.

We’ll be launching this summer with a great collection of beautiful and hardworking typefaces. We’ll offer a free version of the service to get you started, and a low-cost way to grow from there. A truly scalable professional version will follow soon after.

We have a lot more to share as well. If you’d like to stay connected to what’s happening with Typekit, you can subscribe to this blog’s feed, follow us on Twitter, or sign up for a preview and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.

328 Responses

  1. Kevin Yank says:


    In one fell swoop this renders moot almost every aspect of the raging Web fonts debate, and paves the way for Microsoft to support unencumbered font linking in a future version of Internet Explorer.

    Can’t wait to hear how independent font designers can get in on the action too. This could easily trigger a rebirth of the art of font design.

    Designers, start your engines!

    1. Ivy says:

      How is this different from sifr?

    2. Alex Grande says:

      At Pop we use SIFR and graphics to handle typefaces. We long for the day of font embedding via CSS.
      Unfortunately your solution is not ideal. It still requires javascript to handle legalities that otherwise could be handled with simple CSS. Recently there was a debate in the Economist ( whether copyright does more harm than good. Along the lines of typography, copyright holds creative progress back.

      This javascript solution is just another roundabout solution to a bigger problem.

    3. Muzzer says:

      >>>>This could easily trigger a rebirth of the art of font design.

      HAHAH good one kevin mate!! you are clealy not very well informed about what is hapening with typeface design these days!! might want to move out of the 60’s and into this century!!

    4. you must be a designer… did you not read that line that says “Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup”

      What this means is you going to have to load in a 100k js file that then has to parse your entire page and your stylesheets to find what font to use and then start downloading the and replacing the styling..

      In IE your talking minutes to load if a page is large… Of course as its js the page wont change till the js file has loaded, so slow connections arent going to like this.

      You think a user will be willing to wait for this junk to load? Is your site that important to them? I think not, they will just go back to google and pick the page below that loads in seconds.

    5. This is excellent news; it made my Friday!

  2. Rob Weychert says:

    Thanks for the hard thinking and hard work. I can’t wait to see what the web looks like a year from now!

  3. Ryan Merrill says:


    Thanks guys. Really excited about this.

  4. Japh says:

    This looks very exciting! I’ll be keeping up to date 🙂

  5. This is an amazing idea and I will be signing up right after this. I’ve been working in the web since ’94 and fonts have always been an issue. I have long-ago resigned myself to the comfortable safeness of Arial, Verdana, and Times and later with Tahoma and Georgia.

    I’m excited to see how this works out.

    1. it wont work… do you seriously want to pay font foundries regular installments for the pleasure of using a font? who are you going to explain that one?

      “Hi Client,

      You loved my design using random_font as the main body, by the way that will be an extra $50 a month. Sorry about it being dog slow, its because i wanted to indulge myself and use a custom font instead of something built in to all browsers so everytime you got a page you have to download a font and then parse the entire page and all the css files! Still like my design?”

    2. DemusDesign says:

      @engine stalled

      I think we’ll still see that tier of really expensive, proprietary fonts mostly for print media.

      But how many free fonts are out there? If there’s anything we’ve learned in the 2000’s, it’s that free is the only sustainable business paradigm on the web.

    3. Jason says:

      Since you’ve been working in the web since ’94 it has become boring and the same over and over again – to you. The people that don’t work in the web, that visit your clients’ sites don’t care that much. It’s like working in marketing, you see the same freaking image over and over because it’s being used in everything from brochures to billboards so you get tired of it and start to hate it. That same image that you hate because you see it everyday is building cohesion and recognition with your audience. Does typography have the same effect in your audience, of course not, so it wouldn’t matter either way. And if it doesn’t matter either way, I’m not going with an extra cost, or a solution that requires loading another js file and then having to search all my code for the hook to apply the style to.

    4. Shane says:

      @Jason- um, yeah typography DEFINITELY makes a difference. You obviously know nothing about typography, or design for that matter.

      Typography can help set the tone of an entire brand, hence the reason their are a ton of logos which only use a font (Pottery Barn).

  6. Myk says:

    Wow, that’s really smart. Way to stay one step ahead of the game, you guys will all be able to retire in the next few years if this takes off, and I see no reason why it wouldn’t. Congrats.

  7. Wow, sounds exciting. How does it work then?

  8. DanC says:

    Sounds awesome! Good work and this is going to make life much easier for most web designers out there!

    1. designers are so easily sucked in to these things is scary! This has to load in a shit load of js, scan your entire page and all the css files and download the font and then start replaceing the styling on your page… you have any idea how slow this will be? go to any sifr site in ie and you’ll see…

      until font-face is supported properly your going to have to controll those wild font rendering dreams.

  9. Craig Burgess says:

    Wow, all I can say is Wow….this is so overdue. Great job, looking forward to seeing it in place.

  10. Wow! Great! Wish I’d thought of this! 😀

  11. Sounds like a great idea. You’ll probably get bought by Microsoft or Google 🙂

  12. I love typography and look forward to seeing the next gen of design possibilities on the Web. This is exciting!

  13. apartness says:


  14. Can I finally throw away sIFR? praise due indeed!

    1. DN says:

      Since it relies on Javascript, I’m not seeing how this is all *that* different from existing solutions. It sounds like an okay service–but not a solution.

    2. DN says:

      To qualify my own objection — I do see that this could be beneficial for paragraph-level fonts, where sIFR and Facelift, etc., have a hard time.

  15. Holy smokes! I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to state that if this works, it could be one of the most important things to happen to the web, ever. We all owe you guys a huge congratulations and thank you for helping to move web design forward in such a big way.

    1. thats a huge exaggeration… you owe them nothing, js replacement has been about for years already! no one with any sense uses it as it makes pages horribly slow! do you really think a user will wait several minutes for your 3000 word article to load in and be manipulated when they can go to the next page in google that loads in seconds?? wait till font-face is supported before you start throwing those non web fonts around!

    2. James Leslie Miller says:

      It’s not a huge exaggeration at all. Implementation hasn’t been the primary hurdle. It’s coming up with a licensing model that is acceptable to many companies that have been entrenched in an archaic way of doing business. That’s the big deal. I didn’t say it’s a technically ideal solution out of the gate, or even that it’s going to be widely implemented. But it’s paving the way for more ideal solutions.

    3. I wonder if our resident anonymous coward is being paid by the maker of the only browser to support EOT.

      You know who you are.

  16. Brian Alvey says:

    This sounds like an amazingly clever solution to what feels like a century-old problem.

    Best of luck!

  17. Ivo says:

    Sounds very interesting. I’m looking forward to see how it looks like in detail.

  18. Efrain Lugo says:

    Can’t wait to use this! I’ve been starting to use Cufon on a number of projects, which is good but would love to see what typekit can do.

    Thanks, Efrain

  19. unattendedtest says:

    Wow, this is big. Thanks for doing this! I am looking forward to a full launch.

  20. Andy Johnson says:

    This just makes too much sense. Congratulations on the soon-to-be launch of Typekit! Can’t wait to take it for a test drive!

  21. Chad M says:

    The only concern I see is the performance and availability of the servers hosting the fonts. If you’ve embedded a twitter feed in your blog or site you know what I’m talking about.

  22. Chad M says:

    I am excited though. Very good news.

  23. This does sound interesting indeed. It’s been a long time coming, and certainly i would be in full support of something like this. great work! looking forward to more information coming soon.

  24. Lee Thomas says:

    Fantastic! Still can’t believe how I have to explain every single time why they can;t have just ‘any’ font in their logo and more importantly as the body text on their site.

    Tremendous solution afoot it seems!

    1. they still cant… did you miss the bit about the loading in javascript? so loading in 100k of js and downloading a few hundred k font file means you site is going to crawl.. everyone likes a pretty site, but if its slow they will go somewhere else thats faster… i wont be bothering with this, wait for font-face if you have any sense.

  25. Schuyler says:

    Absolutely brilliant.

    May I ask how you intend to sustain the service financially? I know it’s early, but will you be taking donations, getting grants or monetizing your service somehow?

    And I don’t mean monetizing as a dirty word, I think what you are doing has an incredible & literal value. Just curious how you plan to pay the bills when/if typekit becomes ubiquitous.

    1. absolute $$ says:

      of course they are! you will have to pay a regular license fee, why else would you need authorisation? good luck telling your client its going to cost them $100 a month for the fonts on their webste..

  26. Sam Wilson says:

    This system will be fantastic for designers and profitable for the foundries… a win-win.

    1. im sure you typography lovers will be praising them for years to come, however the speed of loading this kind of thing just means any user is going to go back to google and pick the next one down thats quick.. o, lets not forget the extra ongoing cost, you dont think companies like adobe will let you use fonts for cheap do you? Have you seen the cost of photosho et al lately? try passing that bill on to your clients every month!

  27. Juanma says:

    The most awesomesque news I’ve read today. GREAT. All we need now is a type designed specially for “web”

  28. Peter Kaizer says:

    Amen!! It’s about time….

  29. Great news! Congrats.

  30. Michael O. says:

    This is going to change everything. I can’t wait to see how giving this amount of leverage to designers will change the face of the web.

  31. Guy Flynn says:

    This is changing the (type)face of web design. Thanks to advances like this, not only is the space becoming less limiting for designers, but at the same time, more usable, practical and compliant. Look forward to experimenting.

  32. Dan Gayle says:

    What technology will you be using? You mention smoothing “out differences in how browsers handle type”, but not your intentions as to how?

    I’m assuming some sort of browser/object detection and then serving either a standard OTF file for the modern browsers or EOT fonts for IE? If that’s the case, and you do it automatically, then that is super cool. Making EOT fonts is a pain.

    Or do you intend on using some sort of sIFR/Facelift/Cufón solution?

    1. Ned Baldessin says:

      I agree, I don’t understand the love fest going on in the comments when we have no details about the implementation.

      I’m guessing this will work like a content delivery network (like Akamaï and others) for fonts, coupled with an account handling system (you pay to link to the font domain by domain, etc).

      Two possible problems that would make me think twice before using such a system on a large client account:
      – the uptime and latency of the CDN (even S3 has had downtime…)
      – the fact that JS files if linked to directly will block other requests (see ), which means that maybe the OTF/EOT files will be loaded after that, which means you might get a “flash of default font”.

      Anyway, I’m just thinking out loud here, I’d love to hear implementation details about Typekit.

    2. Harlan Lewis says:

      Very good points Ned.

      Regarding “flash of default font”, this is already the case with @font-face.

    3. designers says:

      the love fest is just because the only people posting are designers… all the devs are ignoring it as it a) will cost a fortune b) will be slow c) unrelible – anyone remember early days of twitter, try telling your client im sorry your site will only look like the design 50% of the time

    4. Harlan Lewis says:

      I must say I’m impressed at how many anonymous naysayers this one person can pose as. I’m less impressed by his willingness to attach a name to his comments.

      Point by point:

      a) Cost hasn’t been revealed.

      b) Implementation hasn’t been revealed. It’s entirely possible a CDN font repo would be a step up for many. Regarding JS font replacement, as the anonymous have decried across many posts, the method hasn’t been revealed. It appears most likely that javascript will be used for license only, and the actual method of replacing the font on the page will be @font-face. But again, that hasn’t been revealed. Straight JS-replacement is very unlikely.

      c) People who build web sites already have to explain this to clients on every site. Viewing conditions are too variable, and I don’t just mean the differences between IE6 and IE8, and that’s pretty significant all on its own. If you’re doing it right, you’re building with progressive enhancement, and the fact that your viewers will get different experiences based on the technology they’re using is already a part of the process. In other words, it is no less reliable than using @font-face and relying on browser support.

      If you mean reliable in terms of access to the fonts in case of connection difficulties, that’s an obstacle than be overcome. If you mean unreliable in terms of what if the service goes belly up in a year, that is a valid concern.

  33. Octave says:

    Just exciting! Congrats.

  34. Scott says:

    Can. Not. Wait.

    Seriously, I’m glad there really is work happening on making something like this a reality because it’s pretty clear the current trajectory of browser vendors and type foundries won’t get us there fast on their own.

  35. Nick says:

    An amazing piece of work, thanks for cutting through the issues so effectively. I realise you won’t be making pricing announcements now, but I’m wondering how you’re going to go about it. Will the licence follow the web developer or be tied to the site? I’m currently a freelancer and am not necessarily required to stick with the sites I develop. Thanks tho, you’ve seemingly brought these separate industries together in one move. Genius.

  36. Gary Barber says:

    And the World of Web typography changed for the better!

  37. Nolan says:

    What about users that have JavaScript disabled? Once font embedding becomes the norm in mainstream browsers, what would compel a designer to use TypeKit, as opposed to using the normal features of the browser?

    1. Schuyler says:

      The legal issues have been at the forefront of this debate for a long time, and the AGES old question of “what if they have javascript disabled” jumped the shark a long time ago.

    2. Schuyler says:

      By which I mean – they’ve cleared the legal hurdles, that’s what’s exciting.

    3. Nolan says:

      How has that question “jumped the shark”? (I don’t think that phrase means what you think it does)

      It is a valid, and innocent, question.

    4. misuba says:

      When JS is disabled, pages will presumably degrade gracefully – same as they will in older browsers without font support – unless the designer is incompetent.

    5. Nolan says:

      Why would a designer want to rely on JavaScript to deliver a font face, something that the soon-to-be-here browsers will able to do natively (read: sans JavaScript)?

      I’d actually feel more incompetent relying on third-party JS to do something the browser could do out of the box.

    6. Harlan Lewis says:

      The issue is not the browser technology of loading and displaying fonts. The issue is retaining font licensing, preferably embedded in some way (as opposed to a simple CSS comment within the @font-face declaration, which is too easily lost or separated from the actual resource).

      From what little has been revealed about implementation, @font-face still appears to be a better technical solution if we choose to ignore legal concerns. But legal concerns are legitimate, and must be taken into account.

  38. Dan B. Lee says:

    Subscribed. Very interested to see how this is going to play out and shape the web. Keep us updated.

  39. Sounds interesting but I’m generally suspicious of claims to have solved the web font problem. Keep an eye on it though.

  40. Jonas Dees says:

    Congrats guys! I’m really looking forward to this. Good luck.

  41. Henrik says:

    This is huge! Looking forward to follow the development of typekit! Just wrote a blogpost about it,

  42. eraevion says:

    Genius idea – exact solution that web needs right now! Thanks, can’t wait!

    1. haha! fool, all they are doing is ripping off sfir etc and making you pay for it!

  43. This is just great! no more of using images or flash swfs to display a specific font. But I wonder if typekit will include other languages typface (Arabic, Armenian etc. etc.)

  44. Pableaux Johnson says:

    Keep it UP! Get it GOIN’! Congrats all around.

  45. Blake says:

    As much functionality sIFR gave us in the short-term, I’m definitely ready to chuck it for the future. Here’s looking forward to Typekit.

  46. Doug Logan says:

    Great job guys. We should all get behind this to help push it forward. At the same time, we could rally together and boycott IE!

    1. dont be silly! this will be stupidly expensive and slow! use this on a large block of copy, try it in IE (still 60% – cant boycott market leader, i think you mean ie6), still want to use it when page takes minutes to load? thought not

  47. Milan says:

    Nice, I hope it may be hosted on Google App Engine? Would be extremely fast (like

  48. This is massive. Wow.

  49. Todd Dominey says:

    I was just talking the other day about how I’d pony up $ every year to help compensate type designers for their work and to operate within the bounds of the EULA, if that was the big hang-up on future progress. Now it looks like this may be a reality.

    Standard concerns about site reliability, uptime, and backwards compatibility apply, but hey. This is all trending in the right direction so that everyone benefits.

  50. Nice work! Can’t wait to try it out.

  51. Wow this is beyond huge I’m interested to see how this all plays out.

  52. So exciting, can’t wait for more information about it all.

  53. Iaax Page says:

    Such a wonderful news counting day till summer!

    I cant wait to see it working!

  54. David Randall says:

    Congratulations guys!

  55. …and the people rejoiced! This is great news and I am excited to try out typekit. I look forward to the summer launch. Good work!

  56. Matt Dempsey says:

    I cannot wait to get my hands on this, I can’t thank you enough for trying to find a solution to this problem, you’re heros to web designers everywhere!

    Mmmm, Gotham for everyone :).


  57. John Ryan says:

    Interesting to see how this plays out. Looking forward to designing some beautiful type based sites!

  58. Totally stoked about this! Congrats guys!

  59. Steve Avery says:

    Cool… I can’t wait for this to happen!

  60. Paul Irish says:


    Thank you for not joining the “fuck the foundries” crowd, but instead, crafting a solution that works for them as well as us developers.

    You guys may become the de facto solution once FF3.5 and Saf4 go stable. Also, it may be a bit early to ask but… Any plans for open-sourcing? 😉

  61. B.L. Ochman says:

    This is great news. My family owned an advertising typography shop named Franklin back when there was such a thing :>)

    I love type. Have always been so disappointed by all the ugly type online.

    But I wonder – will you also educated web designers about type design and history? Somebody needs to!

  62. Awesome! Are there plans to offer version/license for non-profit organizations? I’d love to use Typekit at work (i.e. Calvin College).

  63. wow, thanks!!! this is a big surprise. a very smart solution for the fonts problem. can’t wait to test it!

  64. Lisa Wood says:

    Sounds interesting – interested to see it in action!

  65. Tom Watson says:

    Excellent. Looking forward to seeing where this ends up, but I love the idea.

  66. Alex Giron says:

    I really can’t wait to see what will come of this. The web will be transformed I foresee!

    Great work!

  67. Tyler Galpin says:


    I literally did a little dance. This is a huge step in changing the web forever. Imagine: SEO compatible, legal, and easy-access to some big, bad, beautiful Gotham Bold. Or Meta. Or Sentinel. CROSS BROWSER! I’ll stop now.

    Thanks guys for your hard work and efforts – it really is appreciated.

  68. Boris Anthony says:

    That’s all fine and dandy, but by having a centralized service, you are actually making something totally un-web-like. The web is distributed.
    This isn’t solving the core problem: the opening up of typography. At best, you are going to make money on a stop-gap interim solution (which is totally fine. Bravo for spotting the opportunity!)

    (I’m amused by how music, movies and books have been getting all the attention for having their business models blown apart by easy sharing, when I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has paid for a font (other than professional print designers of course).)

    1. Nolan says:

      I’m with you, Boris.

      The essence of this problem is the same one that DRM has been having forever. How do you get people to pay for the rights to something when they don’t have to?

      Most of the time, DRM only frustrates the honest buyers. What if the TypeKit server goes down one day? The only people that will be able to continue to use their purchased (or otherwise fonts) will be the one taking advantage of the browser’s native font-face CSS declaration.

      It seems that this project, while well-intended, will seem to be operating on the honor system, and at the same time not providing anything over the browser’s native functionality.

      If I’m a web designer that has legally purchased a font, I can use the font-face declaration to deliver it to the client. How is this different than what TypeKit is doing? It seems the native way is a lot less hassle.

    2. ron says:

      I also agree. This idea is not that great for all the reasons given. Does anyone host their site’s images with some 3rd party? Why would I want to host fonts with a 3rd party on their servers that I don’t control and pay a fee for the privilege? why can’t I purchase the same rights to the fonts and host them myself just like I would do for stock images?

    3. Doug says:


      “If I’m a web designer that has legally purchased a font, I can use the font-face declaration to deliver it to the client.”

      But you can’t unless it’s allowed in the EULA of the font. The thing about “all right reserved” is that unless the foundry tells you can use it in an @font-face declaration, or any purpose, you can’t. There are a ton of “free” fonts out there that you can’t use in commercial projects because they don’t give you that right. In fact many of those EULA explicit state you cannot use a font in commercial projects.

      Typekit will give designers an avenue to get a license to fonts that were previously restricted from being used in @font-face declarations. In turn Typekit lets foundries protect their intellectual property from being lifted from servers like any other JavaScript, CSS, or image file.

      I don’t see how this works on the honors system at all. Typekit will be paying the foundries a licensing fee and will be collecting subscription fees to cover that cost and others. The honors systems would be you embedding “Adobe Garamond” in your CSS and trusting no one will download the file from your host to use in their own work, thus getting around paying Adobe the $70 for the font.

  69. Aaron says:

    This is some of the best news I’ve heard in a long while. I love the use of cool typography, but have never been into the idea of SiFR or Cufon because of their limitations. Can’t wait!

    1. you wont use sifr, which is js replacement, and this is essentially the same but you have to pay for it? ha!

  70. Andy Clarke says:

    As I just wrote,

    “Typekit will revolutionize the way that we work with and purchase typefaces in the same way that iTunes revolutionized the way we buy and listen to music and the App Store opened the doors to millions of iPhone/iPod customers for their developer community.”

    1. so you think letting a 3rd party keep control of fonts that you basically rent but can be turned off, changed, corrupted ant anytime is a good idea?

      typekit will only change things for short sighted designers…

      do you really think a service that has to parse your entire web page and css files will be fast?? your going to regulary get people seeing default fonts on first load and then it strangley changing, do you think the user will like that? never mind the slow page load times it will cause…

      looks over substance/useability hey?

  71. Shanna Korby says:

    This is the best news I have heard all day.

  72. bcarter says:

    Excellent. Looking forward to the future developments.

  73. WOW! this is great!!! This is quite a giant step!

  74. Wahoo! I’m amped! Congrats!

  75. Josh Teague says:

    Congrats! Can’t wait!

  76. Ben M says:

    Can’t add anything that hasn’t been said already. Really looking forward to this. Thanks for your efforts for this.

  77. Scott says:

    As a designer and developer, I like this solution. I’d like to have more options for font embedding as a designer, and if it only uses one JavaScript call to use, then it’ll still be lighter than other current solutions to this issue and would satisfy the developer side of me. I’ll be interested to see how well this is adopted into the industry.

    1. includes says:

      so if i made a 5mb js file you wouldnt mind including it because its just the one? you do know a js file can include other js files dont you?

      how do you think it will be light? it will have to load in your entire page, parse the css and then download all of those custom fonts? doesnt sound light or fast to me…

      the issue wont be sorted till everyone supports font-face and we’ve removed font foundaries from the equation

  78. Ben Matewe says:

    The best news i have heard in a long time.

  79. Beth says:

    I assume this is going to be a lot like the google API where the domain name has to match the API key.

    I don’t mind paying for resources, but my concern is that you’re going to be charging me to use the fonts that I’ve already purchased for use on the web. Judging by the wording of the post I’m going to have to purchase a license for every site, or pay more for a larger scalable “professional” license.

    I apologize if I don’t share in the excitement for having to pay someone in order to use fonts that I already own.

    Maybe you could possibly shed some light on your early pricing structure and more details on how it will work. I just hate paying a middle man, it’s the principle of it more than anything.

  80. Krystyn says:

    Farewell siFR installs and Flash requirements!

  81. Nice one! hopefully this will be the universal solution that is so badly needed

    1. no.... says:

      nope… thats font-face.. this is just an attempt to make money of fools who cant seem to see how bad this is?

  82. Mark Seymour says:


  83. Thank you! I’ll be staring at my inbox impatiently waiting for the preview notice.

    Good work!

  84. Fred K says:

    Good, good, good. Beth (#105) makes a good point though, regarding paying again for fonts you/I already own. Will follow this.

  85. Whooo, this sounds exciting. Already following you on Twitter, can’t wait 🙂

  86. Chris Lozos says:

    Bravo for entering the frey and building a solution. I hope it works as described. Keep up the good work, there will be plenty of interested parties, please keep us informed.


  87. Matt says:

    Sounds good.

    Even if I don’t think we need more fonts on the web anyway.

  88. Kyle Meyer says:

    I’m in the same boat as Beth here, I’m concerned about the pricing structure.

    At first glance, this appears to be yet another layer of licensing complexity to cope with the failure of @font-face to properly handle DRM for the foundries.

  89. Beth Dean says:

    This is a great idea, and I appreciate you guys putting your money where your mouth is and working towards a real solution.

    However I have some concerns; I don’t care to host my type with a third party, and I would like a solution that doesn’t rely on javascript. Will I be able to license a single typeface, or will I have to license in tiered groups?

    Additionally, this idea and ones suggesting some sort of web add-on license, essentially require me to pay twice for a typeface I have already licensed. Why is the problem of theft passed along to me? It’s like me having to pay another $1 for something I buy from iTunes just in case someone steals the file from my computer.

    I want to protect the hard work of type designers, but that should be at the foundries’ expense and not mine.

  90. tiffany says:

    This. Is. Awesome. I’m not sure there’s much more that needs to be said.

  91. Kevin says:

    Thank you.

  92. You may just be about to change the whole planet. And probably buy a big chunk of it to live in for yourself. Brilliant idea.

  93. David Horn says:

    Wow. Just ‘wow’ – this is great. Great work, great product, just great. Did I mention ‘wow’?

  94. Matt Thomas says:

    I think it’s safe to say that all of us at Automattic who care about typography are excited to see Typekit in action. And it’s good to have you on 🙂 Please let me know if I can be of any help. It’s a hell of a good cause!

    1. no.... says:

      no, you should be backing font-face support.. this

      a) costs money
      b) controlled by a 3rd party
      c) done via js

      why on earth would you want to use that? is it because you cant design within the constraints of the web? are you a print designer disguise?

  95. Best news I’ve heard all day. Roll on summer!

  96. This sounds fabulous! I do have a question about the JavaScript. Will it link back to libraries hosted on TypeKit’s website? I ask, because doing so would create a point of failure and much website mayhem if a fail whale event occurs. If that is the case, I would suggest web developers implement this much needed blessing in a way that will have a fail font to take over, keeping websites from suffering a case of the uglies.

    1. it will indeed be a central storage point or a cdn, it will fail under load etc. i would be more concerned about the load time, that much js and all those font files to download?

  97. cori says:

    Wow. Revolutionary.

  98. manville says:

    S O L I D!

  99. Jason says:

    This is bomb. Eagerly await. Thanks!

  100. Chank Diesel says:

    Ok, sounds pretty good to me. I can’t offer my fonts up for free all the time; so if there’s a way for you to offer “low-cost” versions of my fonts for people to embed in web pages, that’s a whole lot better than “no-cost”. Better for font designers, anyway. And fair to prospective users, too, I would guess.

  101. So this is what you’ve been up to, Jeffrey! Very interesting indeed. What little I’ve read so far sounds like it could provide an elegant user solution that at the same time revitalizes what I’ve lamented of late as the dying art of type design. So much creativity to be unleashed once folks have effective DRM to protect their designs — and an easier way for designers to access, of course. Can’t wait to learn more — and for our designers to be able to try it out!

  102. Neal G says:

    Sounds like great news to me.

    A few questions. Will this method work in IE6, IE7 and IE8? It doesn’t support @font-face, so perhaps the JS file will circumvent that?

    Too bad some sort of full fledged organization couldn’t host the file such as the W3C rather than a private company. Since the W3C will probably be around longer than private companies.

  103. Firestorm says:

    you… are… heroes – work it out!

  104. Mark says:

    Since when are fonts protected by copyright? Are you talking about outside the U.S.? Or are you getting copyright confused with trademark?

    Or perhaps you’re referring to the legally untested Adobe contention that digital “fonts” are “software” protected by copyright?

    Letterforms have never been protected under Title 17. That was clear in the legislative history, and was tested in court. They fall under the “usable object” exception, like the shape of Fiskars or a Luxo lamp. Design patents are available, and some fonts have received them, but they last only 10 years.

    1. Christopher Slye says:

      Not sure where you got the idea that font software copyright protection is “legally untested” or some exclusive Adobe “contention”. Thomas Phinney explains on Adobe’s “Typblography” (

      “… digital fonts are widely recognized (in the US and many other countries) as being protected by copyright as computer software. This principle has been explicitly upheld in US federal district court in the very informative summary judgment rulings in the Adobe v SSI case (1997).”


      Christopher (Adobe Systems)

  105. Marc says:

    “offers the level of protection that type designers need”

    Reading between the lines, that sounds like some kind of copy protection. Which makes the next section quite strange: “without resorting to annoying and ineffective DRM”.

    I don’t see how you can have protection without encryption or DRM.

    I can’t say I’m interested in adding JS or using a centralised service either. All the best with the service, but it sounds like it only has niche appeal. It’s not THE solution we’ve been looking for.

    I’ve paid for some very nice (and expensive) fonts previously, and I’ll do it again. I don’t see a way out of this one for the foundries though. It suffers the same problem as music. If a song can be played, it can be copied. If a font can be displayed, it can be copied. Unless… unless you’re using bitmaps for the fonts, and only sending down the sets of bitmaps required for the sizes used. That would be awful. I really hope that’s not your solution.

  106. David says:

    It’s still hard to believe that we are almost to this point. It will be incredible to see the change designs take as they add this new element.

  107. Signed up, followed, psyched! Great, great news for web typography!

  108. Doug Bowman says:

    Congrats on getting close enough to be able to announce this. Looking forward to the coming months.

  109. Jan Vantomme says:

    Looks promising. Hope to hear more very soon.

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  111. This is just what the doctor ordered!

  112. Irene Au says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  113. Caimin says:

    Wake up people! This idea has been around – and in use – for years.

    The only innovation here is the new & exciting idea of charging money for it.

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  115. Gercek says:

    Awesome! Looking forward to it…

  116. Jason Carlin says:

    Caimin, I suspect you don’t fully understand the problem and/or the solution. None of this has been “around for years,” and it is, indeed, a very useful innovation.

    Moreover, I’m put off by your attitude. This isn’t Gawker, and you haven’t earned the right to drop in and cop an attitude. Not even if you were, as your post would infer, smarter than the 146 people to comment before you (and the project’s creators).

    If you think you spot a hole in the story, point it out, but don’t be a dick.

    1. Caimin says:

      When did you appoint yourself as the Comment Police?

      Is it so awful that people have different views on the same subject? That’s debate, not attitude.

      Now wash your mouth out with soap – your mother might be reading this.

    2. luke says:


      Unless I’ve misunderstood completely Caimin is correct. This makes use of @font-face, but does so in a way that keeps the font foundries happy.

      The thanks should go to the originators of @font-face – thanking typekit is a little bit like thanking Apple (via itunes) for inventing mp3 distribution.

  117. Oli says:

    Congratulations! The Golden Age of the web truly is dawning

  118. Mister Snitch says:

    At last, after all these years. Jeffrey Veen is God.

  119. Ryan Artell says:

    I’m skeptical of this. They don’t really offer specifics and the random part about pricing sent up a warning flag. Does this mean that we will have to re-purchase type sets we might own already. Also what font-foundries have signed up or have agreed to offer fonts. I think this isn’t as revolutionary as they are saying it’s going to be, but we will just have to wait and see I guess.

    I’m hoping!!!!!!!

  120. Greg Hoy says:

    Nicely done. We are all looking forward to this.

    And for all of you budding entrepreneurs out there, just identify an area that is a true pain in the ass and fix it.

  121. Brad Weaver says:

    Oh please let this actually work, this is going to revolutionize our work.

  122. This is the best web design news I’ve heard in a long long time. A very sincere thank you and congratulations to everyone involved.

  123. Vin Thomas says:

    I’ve been using Cufon lately, and it’s nice. But this would just be AMAZING!

  124. Verily says:

    This *is* effectively DRM. Does it restrict the how or the where users are able to use the content(fonts)? It sure sounds like it based on this writeup. I don’t know how you can possibly say “without resorting to annoying and ineffective DRM” when that’s exactly what this boils down to.

    Don’t cry to me about homeless type designers either. DRM is evil no matter what color lipstick/bow you try to slap on it. I would rather see every webpage rendered with comic sans than support the proliferation of DRM.

    1. Henk says:


  125. Geoff Barnes says:

    This is a thousand pounds of unmitigated awesome. Hearty congratulations.

  126. Nice work. Congrats!

  127. “[…] just add a line of JavaScript to your mark-up.”

    By this, of course, you mean a link to a file that is in fact quite a bit more than just one line? I’m interested to know more about how exactly this will work. At this point, typekit seems like a paid alternative to a free and superior option.

  128. My concern is performance and how will it handle ssl/secure sites that require authentication? I’ve seen these types of promises in the past and am skeptical but hopeful.

  129. Pariah Burke says:

    This sounds like a fantastic service that answers a genuine need. I can’t wait to give it a try!

  130. Adam Wride says:

    The beauty of typekit’s innovation is only partially technical. The real innovation will be in the business model: making it easier/less painful to use high quality fonts and reward the creators.

  131. Henk says:

    It seems like I try out something like this every year. If it works out without being a clunky javascript or plugin solution, without having a large download overhead, and works across all browsers, I’ll be thrilled, but I have had my hopes up before (many times).

    I know this may make some graphic designers wet their pants with glee; but if you must force a certain font on your viewer, making them download a bunch of code or some other encumbrance, you’ve put a speed bump into the simple and clear communication that should be happening online.

  132. Adam Wride: Except it’s not making it easier, it’s actually a complication of @font-face. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate being able to reward font designers for their hard work and excellent typefaces, but to rely on a third party and valuable kilobytes worth of javascript added to every page is a hefty price to pay.

  133. Eric Carl says:

    I’m really not understanding the reaction this solution is generating. I can’t add much more to Boris Anthony’s reply above, he’s on the mark.

    Who wants to rely on a 3rd party, external service when something like @font-face is already putting the control in the hands of the designer/developer? What if the service goes down? What about fonts I already own?

    I’d rather jump through the hoops of sIFR knowing I have real control over such an important part of my website than leaving it in the hands of a service. As has been said, this is just one more unnecessary layer of complexity, more moving parts.

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  135. Sam says:

    What happens when we want to come up with a Photoshop mockup using fonts offered by the service? Will the licensing restrictions stop people from doing this?

    Also, to those criticising this service for charging money: if you don’t want to pay for it, don’t. Come up with your own solution. This isn’t the only solution as others have mentioned, and the people who developed it certainly don’t owe anyone the free use of the service.

  136. matthias says:

    sounds VERY interesting! Could be another big step for the web to become a mature media…

  137. luke says:

    sIRF isn’t ideal, and neither is something like Cufon.

    We do need another solution… at present @font-face is going to become the norm, whether the foundries like it or not; simply because the browser manufacturers have gone (or are going to go) ahead with implementation.

    @font-face will work beautifully on it’s own. If a user doesn’t have the font your site requires; they will be provided with it in the format the font has been created in (OTF or TTF). Your text will be rendered. End of story…

    BUT no, this isn’t good – because it means that each site visitor gets a copy of the ttf/otf in question. So how can the foundries be appeased?

    [1] EOT -> Microsoft’s solution donated to the W3C, which is a little like a DRM re-encoding of the font. It will allow you to put yr font into the encoder, and get a specially crippled version of the font out the other end. There are quite a few problems with this; and I think on the face of it, it’s really just a token gesture designed to make the foundries feel better. Imo, DRM just simply doesn’t work, because it goes against the very nature of digital content (i.e. that it’s infinitely copy-able)

    But EOT would allow us to use our currently licenced fonts at no extra cost.

    and then we have…

    [2] Typekit -> a _platform_ for typography .. ‘revolutionising typography on the web’ in the same way that itunes revolutionised the sale of music.

    It still works with @font-face – but the fonts are served from official servers. A new service is provided and the foundries aren’t just appeased -> they’re given a new revenue stream. I wonder which will win.

    In my opinion, the sale of IP is a dying-game – most consumers can see the hypocrisy involved in selling digital assets for a fixed cost; however the sale of a service is actually sustainable. If the model offered by typekit becomes the norm, I only hope that the market is opened to allow more than one key-player; because otherwise, I’m going to do my very best to shun it.

  138. jkl; says:

    In addition to the JavaScript issue several others have raised, another major concern is that the faces ultimately comprising the Typekit library are indeed “beautiful and hard working,” as is written above. Of course, having more options to choose from will be great in many situations, but there is the danger that some designers lacking in restraint will abuse this ability. In design—both print and web—there is little worse than a piece that arbitrarily makes use of more levels of typographic hierarchy than is necessary.

    1. Henk says:

      I was thinking that myself – we can all remember when “desktop publishing” became available to the masses…

  139. Wow, AMAZING! Congratulations Jeff, so happy for you!


  140. Noel Hurtley says:

    This sounds really fantastic. I look forward to giving Typekit a go.

  141. Sam says:

    This is a really nice idea, look forward to seeing more soon thanks

  142. One small step for coders one giant leap for web design! Cannot wait to see what fonts you’ll include in the set of “hard working” fonts.


    1. js replacement has been around for ages, this is no better. in fact its worse!

      how exactly are you planning on explaining to your clients that not only are they paying for your design once, but every month just because of the font face your using?

      What happens when they look at it in ie6 and the home page takes a couple of minutes to load?

      Main body copy, titles etc should be in a browser supported font. until font-face is supported your going to have to suck it.

  143. Andrew M says:

    Looks promising and congrats for bring something new to the table.

    Still questions to be answered. Not sure if this comparison has been made but this sounds like a music like service (iTunes/Napster) where you pay per font or pay a monthly fee. And if this is the case it’s drastically different than the way type works on the web today which is why some people are questioning this. The ideal solution should not come with a cost especially for something so core to the web.

    Maybe I’m still made that I have to pay for water.

  144. Winthrop Snow says:

    Nobody will use this because nearly identical fonts will be available without having to go through this. There are an amazing number of really good fonts that can be used without any trouble at all.

    Anybody who uses this is just asking for trouble.

    1. Jeremyorion says:


      Assuming the price is reasonable, people will use it. Especially people who care about the differences between high-end typography, and their free (but not-quote-the-same) counterparts.

      I do agree, however, that there are increasing numbers of really great, free fonts to use. Which is why I fear TypeKit.

      Something to consider: Would you prefer…

      a). an every increasing number of high-quality, free, display/web-specific fonts that can already be used with @font-face; or,

      b). a tool that allows a large(?) number of pre-existing fonts to be used on the web legally, thus removing any incentive for option 1 to even exist?

      My fear is that tools like this will quell what I believe to be the REAL revolution in web-typography: the development of beautiful type that is tailored for the web.

      We will have to see what fonts are available, how foundries respond, and the details about pricing. Until we know more, we should all be skeptical.

  145. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  146. Jen says:

    So what is the scenario like when you set out to start a design comp – check that Typekit has the font you want to use? Or, if you look for a cool font to use that exists on Typekit – how do you get your own version of that font to use in design comps?

    1. you dont says:

      sorry but if they dont have it you will either have to pay a fortune for them to install it and then of course dont forget the regular license cost.

      just a warning but you do know that using this will slow your websites to a crawl in ie? if i was a user going to your site and had to wait for fonts to load i’d leave your site.. users are impatient…

  147. Ryan Given says:

    Thanks for all the work guys. This is really exciting! Glad to know there are changes on the horizon for how we can creatively design and develop for the web, while still maintaining speed, usability and standards compliance. I’m going to post this up now and link to you guys!

    1. maintain speed? but this is javascript replacement, its always slow! sorry designer, your going to have to wait till font-face is supported before you can use non-web fonts safely.

  148. John says:

    Wow, this is pretty much exactly what I was suggesting on my blog

    1. another designer that cant work within his medium im guessing?

      do you have any idea how slow this would make a page to load in? if you have to swap out a few thousand letters for images via js you think thats acceptable? how do you think it would look to a user when half the copy disappears as the font hasnt loaded yet?

      O yeah, you wouldnt think of that as you dont have that problem in yout psd do you?

      Learn how to design with the contraints you have before you try to push heavy javascript on the user

  149. Andrew Pryde says:

    This is crap really. I would rather use SIFR than this rubbish. We don’t want as solution like this. We don’t want further dependency on javascript for design. We want to link font files from our CSS. I don’t care how the foundries make their dosh and its not Microsoft’s place to worry about it. For gods sake just support CSS3’s font embedding!


  150. Stephen says:

    Yeah, but does it slice, dice and juliene?

    I love this idea.

  151. Nicole says:

    Interesting. I have to admit I don’t know how I feel about people starting to render enormous masses of body copy in different faces that were not designed for screen use.

  152. frank says:

    I can not wait for this to be a reality. Wow. What a great idea!!

  153. laurent says:

    that’s look really good, GD library will be dead for typo

  154. Billee D. says:

    Awesome. I’ve been looking forward to the day we can use real typefaces in webpages for, well, ever since the beginning. Thanks so much for pushing things forward a bit. Type foundries better get with the program. 🙂

    1. so wrong says:

      They havent pushed anything forward at all! js font replacement has been around for years already! no one with any sense uses it as its seriously slow. All they are doing is trying to make money off idiot designers who cant contain their urges to use random fonts.

      How long do you think it would take a 2000 word article to load and then swap each letter out for an image? and then double that for ie, which is still like 70% of all users?

  155. Gil says:

    It’s a side issue, but I’m having visions of websites abusing the ability to link to fonts (regardless of the linking method used) to litter pages with an ungainly variety of type styles just because they can.

    Site visitors will waste bandwidth downloading multiple font files for each site they visit, with every site using their own set of preferred font faces – slowing down the average user’s browsing experience and chewing up bandwidth.

    I’m all for appropriate, elegant typographic design on websites but I’m betting that having a greater range of fonts on websites will lead to few more examples of bad typography than good.

    I predict that linked fonts will be something many, many users opt to disable in their web browsers as the practice becomes more common – surpassing the number of people who disable javascript and flash.

    1. BenP says:

      exactly what first came to mind, too.
      Waiting for the deluge of script fonts.

    2. I third this concern. In fact, I wrote an article on it a few weeks back.

  156. Nepal says:

    Thanks for your nice link and solution about Typekit
    and i would like to add my link too. don’t mind plz.

  157. Leonard says:

    The choice of web fonts can make a difference. Readability style, and elegance are the characteristics of a great website.

    Thank you for inspiring articles.

  158. Elpie says:

    Font embedding (Microsoft EOT) and font linking has been around for years (font linking via @font-face has been around since CSS2). None of this is new and exciting. What is new though, is the Typekit announcement, which is really only bringing to fruition one of the ideas that has been around since 2006.

    The problems I have with what we know so far about Typekit include the use of JavaScript to serve font files, and the concept of a central font repository from which to serve those files. The idea of a secure repository was first mooted in 2006 and got a lot of comment in W3C discussions and elsewhere (I seem to recall this being discussed on Typophile too).

    While font foundries may think a secure, central repository is a good idea, this does not serve the web designer/developer community well. It could also set the foundries up for criticism that they are going the way music and recording industries have gone.

    Some foundries have already included licensing terms that allow their fonts to be linked via CSS – see: It is not that hard to license fonts for use on websites.

    My concern over Typekit is that by creating a central font resource it could become the controlling body for font redistribution. Sure, there are legal issues with redistributing fonts, but if foundries feel that locking their fonts into central distribution will work for them, what incentive is there for them to consider licensing for the rest of us?

    Sorry, Small Batch, your announcement fills me with concern, not joy. Maybe when more information comes out I will be reassured, but at the moment I am thinking that some people were excited when the RIAA and other industry bodies launched centralised control over copyright work too.

    1. Doug says:

      Type designers have been around long before RIAA or MPAA was making headlines with copyright infringement. In reality they’re still trying to hang on to the old way just as much as the film and recording industries are. And who’s to say they’re wrong? They’ve got the full letter of the law behind them. Granted, copyright law is a broken law but if they want to enforce it to the full extent, that’s their prerogative.

      I seriously doubt that Typekit will the controlling body for font redistribution. It would’ve been like fearing iTunes becoming the controlling body for digital music when it was first released. Sure iTunes is the biggest game in town, but not the only (and even then it works on a closed system which is really a tangent to this discussion). With iTunes, Apple showed RIAA that people will pay for their digital music and not just steal it on (old) Napster or LimeWire. It’s worked so well that the MPAA jumped on the iTunes boat as well.

      Typekit could be the eye opener for foundries. If Typekit is successful then their business model will be copied. There are many more fonts out there that disallow @font-face embedding than do. If the introduction of Typekit works then foundries have several options on how they can license their fonts and, most importantly for them, make money on those licenses.

  159. mkozakewich says:

    I think this is the most popular news ever. you’ll be getting a LOT of business.

  160. Omkar Shende says:

    This is great! Will this also work for other scripts as well e.g. Indic scripts?

  161. rhuantavan says:

    If this is not a scam I’ll happily go with the flow.

  162. James Gorlick says:

    As for relevance, I thought mashups was the wave of the future. Content providers will need to focus on content. And style will go local. I’m sure I’ll be applying css w/ fonts that I have installed.

    However, I see some good use of font embedding. The mention of Indic fonts (or Hebrew for that matter) is a great example. We absolutely should be able to automate the task of installing a font. The OS vendors shouldn’t be wholly responsible for this task (though their help is appreciated).

    I also expect some horrible use of font embedding. Too much stylin’ isn’t good. It wasn’t long ago that we had to suffer and . np, thanks to Firefox, I’ll be happily applying user-agent style overrides for sites that use fonts for fonts’ sake.

  163. Guys,

    This is a step – no, a leap – in the right direction. Your proposed solution is by far the most progressive bit of thinking about the @font-face issue that I’ve encountered so far.

    Personally, I can’t wait to use it. This could – should – bring about the change in web-based font rendering that we’ve been after for many years.

    However, there are definitely some issues I’d love to hear more about and I share Kyle Meyer’s concerns on

    Actually, my main concern in ‘renting’ fonts (vs. buying an extended license outirght) is the question of time. If one intends to keep a site up for a substantial period, the cost could eventually become considerable (although I’ll reserve judgement until I know your exact pricing scheme), and although this could be likened to hosting costs, I foresee clients lacking appreciation of the service’s value in contrast to the value of hosting; e.g: the designer designs a site using Typekit fonts, the client grows weary of the extra expense after a year, and then requests all subsequent sites to be built with the standard set of web fonts. In other words: back to square one.

    I don’t mean to sound overtly negative and I’d like to reinforce my praise for Typekit being a step in the right direction, but there are certainly some issues that may need ironing out as the service develops.

    Looking forward to it!

    1. this is not a leap in the right direction! js font replacement has been around for years!!! Its not widely used for a damn good reason; it sucks!! Its slow as hell! How would you like to load netvibes in and then have to run some bloated js to change the body copy from tahoma to din?? screw that i’d block that js straight away.

      Lets be honest here, this wont change web font rendering at all… its just not that good an idea; its what font-face is for.

      your clearly a designer… im sorry but your going to have to wait few more years till font-face is sorted before you can use any font you want; until then i’d suggest you learn to design within the contraints of the web.

  164. hmm, so basically you’ve created a javascript font replacement method but one that will require authorisation to use?

    How is this better then the ones that are out there now? As any developer worth their salt should know js font replacement is slow, clunky (you ever tried such sites in ie?) and normally large in size.

    Of course as this is js the replacement wont trigger till the file is loaded or the function called. So someone on a slow connection viewing a heavy web page will see most of the page without these fonts then all strangely change, how does that make a better experience?

    How about download speeds of these fonts from your server? How do pages look while the font is downloading? Most js methods are shocking and blank out the text till the images have loaded, if this is slow then how many users do you think will believe the page is broke and leave?

    All good designers have one thing in common, they design within the limits of their chosen medium. If a print designer wanted to make a leaflet with laser beams and music coming out of it they would be laughed at; so why are you encouring web designers to use fonts that dont exist to the browser?

    On top of what elpie said abot central storage, what happens when that central location goes down? How long till font foundaries what a cut and your srvice suddenly becomes a pay per hit service? As lets face it thats the idea isnt it; why else would you require authorisation for a bit of js thats been around for at least 3 years (and is still considered crap)?

    The only way custom fonts will ever work effectively is for browsers & w3c to get font-face sorted and use the open source fonts to cut out the font foundries.

  165. I find it hilarious the these anonymous haters* think this is a JS-replacement method. The CSS @font-face rule does the font rendering; I’m assuming the line of JS is simply there to authenticate the site with Typekit.

    * If your don’t have the balls to put your name to your comment, you obviously don’t have much faith in your own opinion.

    1. Jack F says:

      I’m with EJS! At least know what Typekit is before having a go at it! And at least leave your name. Gee WHizz!

    2. chuck says:

      how do you think they plan on making font-face work most when browsers dont support that? just because you write a line in your css file does not mean it will work…

      it uses the css file setting but to be cross browser it will have to use js to render the font..

      maybe you should stop kissing ass and get some perspective here?

      no, the js line will be auth and including the numerous libaries to run the rendering…

      I think the designers here are getting a bit ahead of themselves, lets see it in action first before you start worshiping these people.

    3. Kyle Meyer says:

      @chuck: The next version of Firefox and Opera will both support @font-face, Webkit browsers such as Chrome and Safari already support it. Other than Internet Explorer (which supports EOT font embedding) @font-face will be available to all major browsers in the very near future.

      My theory is the same as Elliot’s regarding how it will work, it’ll simply use the standard @font-face method with an additional layer of authentication to Typekit, where they can secure the file by domain or some other method to prevent illegal distribution.

  166. German Bauer says:

    Seems you have quite a big amount of work ahead to explain that this is not really about the technology of embedding but about having a legal clearinghouse for using quality fonts in a unified and licensed way. Kinda the istockphoto of web-fonts.

    Congrats on the launch – this was long overdue.

  167. Chris Fynn says:

    I wonder why some of the people writing comments seem so exited by this. Other than being a centralized server, how is this different from or better than e.g Fairy, Glyphgate, SIFR, or Cufón?

    As a couple of posters have already asked, will Typekit work cross-platform with non-Latin fonts for complex scripts (e.g. Arabic, Devanagri etc.)? How about for OpenType features in Latin fonts?

  168. qubed says:

    great article. this looks unbelievable. speaking of fonts, has an awesome selection of free and premium fonts. if you love typography, definitely check it out. it is a private community so you have to be approved before getting to check it all out, but once you are in, there is a buffet of fonts.

    thanks again for the great read, looking forward to this.

  169. Could you explain further how you would protect against unauthorized use? I presume your JS would use a key of some sort like say Google Analytics… In any case, what would prevent someone from copying your JS code and pasting it into their own pages, effectively charging your account for their font use?

  170. Jeffrey Veen says:

    Wow, nearly 300 comments in 24 hours. The response to our announcement has certainly taken off in a way we hadn’t anticipated. I’m really glad we have the opportunity to join the conversation.

    I just wanted to clarify some of the confusion over the mention of JavaScript in the post. Typekit isn’t using any sort of image replacement for rendering fonts on web pages. We’re using the CSS @font-face declaration to link to Truetype and OpenType files. We’re using JavaScript to simplify that process and account for various browser versions (like automatically swapping in EOT for Internet Explorer).

    We’re working on a blog post that explains this in more detail. We’ll have that up soon.

    Thanks everyone.

    1. Yup, I was guessing this is how it would work. But surely there is a way to do it without JS? It’s a piece of cake to handle the EOT issue without JS, so I can only imagine the JS is purely for authentication…

      But since the font then has to come over the channel unencrypted surely it’s short work to save a copy and use it elsewhere?

  171. G. says:

    “…We’ll be launching this summer with a great collection of beautiful and hardworking typefaces…”

    Please don’t forget to include typefaces having characters with diacritic signs (accents, charons and so on). Think of your potential European customers.

  172. Shane says:

    This is gonna be AWESOME! I’m really excited to test this out and for the future of it, and how it is going to change the web all together.

  173. pab says:

    This is really great news. Looking forward to the launch.


  174. If the price is right, I will definitely by using this. Thanks guys.

  175. Albi says:

    I do not speak English, and I translated this page to Google, it does not. Greeting

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  177. Jason says:

    I think this idea is a good example of launching a successful product. It found a niche market that has a gripe, and then it generates profit by coming up with a solution to solve this gripe. I also applaud the attempt to come up with a solution. However, I’m not drinking the kool-aid.

    We need to stop being designers for a second and start being user experience people.

    First question – how well does this solution work with IE? Has it been tested, and if so, is the load time slow like everything in IE? This could easily become a more harm then good solution. If I have to use a conditional and only load the nice font for non-IE users which is 20-30% of most of the sites I’ve done do I get a 70% discount?

    Second question – how many typical users do you think can tell the difference between Georgia and Garamond? Let’s make it easier and pick two web friendly fonts, how many can tell the difference between Arial and Verdana?

    Third question – when did people start thinking that a solution like this would stop font theft? Seriously, people that don’t do design work don’t care about fonts especially enough to learn how to steal them. And people that do do design work, have probably already purchased the font or acquired that font from another designer or their employer.

  178. Mad festering props to @veen & co.

    Sure, it’s a stop-gap solution to a bigger underlying problem, but I’ve been using sIFR et al for awhile (in moderation). Sometimes stop-gaps are necessary. I’m warmly embracing the change.

    It’s my sincerest hope that this will be the catalyst for a much bigger change.

  179. You seem to have sparked a very popular debate with this one. In theory this should be great news. It has always surprised me how it’s just accepted that there are is distinct lack of choice when using text in web design.

    I remain optimistic and look forward to sampling TypeKit when it is released. If this works as you suggest it will then it should be the birth of exciting times for web designers.

    I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on this!

  180. if it’s a good price! then i’ll be in.


  181. Megan says:

    I’m not a designer or a web person, so I might be showing my ignorance of this by asking, but is there a way you can incorporate American Typewriter medium weight into this early on? It’s a font that’s used at the non-profit where I work and having libraries (who the non-profit represents) be able to drop this into their web sites would be huge.

  182. Omar says:

    Thanks for the grate article.

  183. cheng says:

    What I really wonder is the big fonts support, i.e. Asian Fonts (Chinese, Japanese).
    It’s typically several weighs several MBs with thousands of characters,
    making it painful for sFIR (the swf file is huge!).
    And most other frameworks don’t work well either because it does not render the image well (encoding is a problem too).

    I can see the point that Typekit is a neat solution to already good enough Latin font substitutions, but I really want a solution for Asian fonts.

  184. The best thing about your website blog is that your tips are working!
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  185. Rachel says:

    Very exciting! I can’t wait to try it out :O)

  186. Citrus says:

    Web font announcement over at the new Communitype blog…

  187. Is there any literature on what the licensing looks like (from a cost perspective), from typeface to typeface/foundry? Typekit sounds like an elegant solution that can obviate a host of browser related typesetting problems, but it would also appear that there is an opportunity for licensing to push this application out of the reach of the average developer/designer from a cost perspective. I’ll confess I haven’t read every post here, so my apologies if this question has been addressed already. Cheers.

  188. Jason Grant says:

    It is amazing to think that after so many years web still does not have a clear cut, unified solution for fonts.

    I therefore support any initiative that is trying to rectify this problem.

  189. joe ortenzi says:

    Fantastic. Ludicrously, as always, the IP gets in the way of creative expression. No idea why the foundries never looked at a nice easy efficient way to allow a licence to web developers to use the fonts they like on a site without Flash. creating a simple solution is a win-win scenario!

    well done typekit!

  190. Ista says:

    OK, I think I’m going to ban the server hosting the fonts so that I can still rely on my local fonts, not on proprietary stuff that will be stored on the cloud. JavaScript, executed on my own machine to prevent me from copying these fonts: sorry, no way. The fact is that this is plain and simple DRM, and as such it will fail.

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  192. This looks pretty good. Although I don’t really see how it’s going to change the laws regarding the copyright of the fonts, it’s a great idea.
    I really appreciate the fact that someone still thinks about the ‘sanity’ of the web.

  193. Paris Vega says:

    Great news. I’ll be signing up.

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