Typekit and Google Announce Open Source Collaboration

Here at Typekit, we believe good typography is good for the web. We’re working towards a world where all websites have both rich visual communication and content that is searchable, accessible, translatable and delivered as quickly as possible. This is why @font-face is important, and why we originally built our service.

We are not the only ones who believe this. We’re happy to announce that we’ve teamed up with Google to make webfonts ubiquitous and more accessible. Starting today, we’re making our Typekit font events an open source project called WebFont Loader. Now you can have complete control over how fonts are loaded and what happens when they’re rendered. You can download the code and use it however you like, or link directly to the latest version via the Google Ajax APIs.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve worked very closely with developers from Google to ensure the code is as broadly usable as possible. You can use WebFont Loader with fonts on your own server, links to the just-announced Google Webfont API, or any Typekit account. We’ve also made sure the code is modular, so other font hosting services can add to it in the future. You’ll find full documentation, examples, and information on how you can contribute at our GitHub repository.

Additionally, we’ll be supporting Google’s new collection of open source webfonts. We’ve just added these fonts to the Typekit library for all account levels, so switching between either service is as easy swapping a couple lines of code. Our goal is shared with Google: to make it as easy as possible for anyone to start using webfonts.

Using real fonts on the web is no longer something to look forward to – the technology is ready, the industry has responded, and designers are building sites with them every day. We are excited to be part of this shift in how the web works, and we’re happy to be able to give back to the community through open source.

31 Responses

  1. Darryl Ring says:

    Yeah, I know it’s a cliché, but this is an epic win.

  2. Auré says:

    Good news, I just have seen a tweet about Google Webfont…
    It’s a good news, really.
    Here is another article : “Details on the new Google Webfont API” by Paul Irish.
    LINK : http://bit.ly/bKEIDA

    The future of web typography should been interesting.

    Now, web designers have to learn more about typography in order to better use these new communication tools which are typefaces.

  3. Nick Chhan says:

    Well done, this what the web (and it’s designers) needed. Good job and good luck working with google.

  4. Victor says:

    Cheers, Typekit! What a bold move! Specially these days™…

  5. rbalfre says:

    Wow! Exciting news, twitter is going nuts about this.

  6. I look forward to digging into TypeKit more soon. This is great news!

  7. toto says:

    Great. But I tested Typekit and maybe I’m wrong but I had mixed feelings about it. Actually not a good feeling. The price range looks it’s interesting when you are a developer, but here is how I see things

    – you have to pay for it, and it’s expensive
    – you can’t add external fonts to it if eventually you need to, so you’ll have to process @font-face manually
    – manually processing @font-face is piece of cake. You can even find generators if you still can’t.
    – you will rely on Typekit’s servers for the design of your website
    – the font market has been going in a very good price mood for a few years now, making very possible to buy new fonts for new websites.
    – the sites you create have to be sustainable even if you stop your design or developer activity. What will happen to you dozens and dozens of client’s site when you’ll stop paying for your Typekit subscription? if one sub for one site, how much one font is going to cost over ten years of site exploitation?
    – a big catalog of font is no good for creativity. Too easy. How many designers will finally give their clients access to Typekit catalog to chose their own fonts?

    I am not at all saying “prove me wrong”. But I open this discussion. I am paying for a pretty decent amount of subscription over the net and web services etc… but I couldn’t pass the Typekit demo.


    1. hwalker says:

      Good questions, toto.

      I’m interested in hearing any responses to these questions.

  8. Beau Vignes says:

    Very nice.. I am excited!

  9. I am so excited for this its not even funny. I’ll have to add this to me Cufon vs Sifr vs Flir post. Congratz @typekit for partnering with Google and taking initiative to help the web evolve!

  10. Rob says:

    This is very exciting. Looking forward to checking it out!

  11. Régis Kuckaertz says:

    I just checked the archives and it’s amazing: recently you started announcing a new feature approximately every 5 days.

    Anyway, this is a really bold move, kudos to the Typekit and Google teams!

  12. …so you’ll have to process @font-face manually – manually processing @font-face is piece of cake. You can even find generators if you still can’t. – you will rely on …

    And do you have a license to use that typeface in a web application and are there enough financial incentives for high quality typography to continue to be produced? I think it’s great that nice high quality type is available via open source licenses, but unless there is an incentive to produce full ranges of type for varied applications it will not be produced.

    1. toto says:

      I wasn’t talking about open source fonts at all. I am buying my fonts, for each project. And then, this purchases are increasing my company or activity value, because it becomes something I own, for future projects.

      I am paying for a font something between $50 and $500. It can happen to be more.

      You can pay fees to Typekit for 100 years and at the end you’ll own nothing, you’re never increasing your company value.

      Also I have no clue in what conditions Typekit is buying fonts, how much they pay to creators / distributors to be able to exploit them as they do.

  13. Wow this is great news. Good to see typekit and Google playing nice on launch day for their directory/api. It’s fun watching webfonts gain steam over the past several months. Congrats typekit!

  14. Congrats Typekit! This is amazing and who better to work with than Google. Rock on

  15. zeldman says:

    I just checked the archives and it’s amazing: recently you started announcing a new feature approximately every 5 days.

    Agreed, and this is an especially interesting move. Well done.

  16. Aaron says:

    Congrats Typekit.

    Looks like these guys saw you coming -> http://bit.ly/d8DmQ1

  17. Ryan Carson says:

    Congrats guys 🙂 So cool!

  18. Shali says:

    So excited for this!!!

  19. Tom Watson says:

    Congratulations guys, this is a huge step forward for type on the web.

  20. Michael Troy says:

    I have just applied the anti flash javascript solution in my yet-to-be-launched website. Works a treat. Thanks 🙂

  21. panorama says:

    This is very exciting. Looking forward to checking it out!
    rest of the article is an interesting read, thank you.

  22. I think this is very cool and exciting. I’m a massive fan of Typekit and already using it’s font service on many sites. Just got back from Future of Web Design London, where I was singing it’s praises. This is just another massive leap forward for web typography.

    I’ve personally come from mainly a web background and not print/graphic design, which will be the case for a lot of people I’m sure. I haven’t learnt the history behind fonts and typography, when to use them and how to pair them. This is something I need to remedy, as will a lot of people, otherwise we might end up with some hideous sites using a multitude of fonts just for the sake of it, without actually serving a purpose or thinking about why we’re doing it.

    Just food for thought. Use these beautiful fonts, but think about why. Something for myself to mull over as well.

    Keep up the great work guys!

    I’m not a massive quoter, but here’s a couple of good ones:

    “Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing.”
    Emil Ruder (1914-1970)

    “Use fonts with meaning, not just to look pretty”
    Simon Collison – said at FOWD (19/05/2010)

  23. Nicholas McGee says:

    Can’t understand why they’ve not just bought the product/company up?

  24. Vincent says:

    Whats the difference of this compared to something like Sifr or Flir? Except this uses AJAX and they use Flash. This looks way more confusing.

  25. anne bebe says:

    I look forward to digging into TypeKit more soon thanks man good jıb

  26. Craig says:

    wow, can’t wait to start using this. very exciting.

  27. Max Barrett says:

    @toto – where are you buying your fonts from? The best place I could find was FontShop which states:

    “The Web FontFont license applies to the the organisation whose websites will be implementing the fonts. Each client will need their own licensing for use on their websites, depending on their number of monthly page-views. The “User” would be the client, even if the developer is writing the CSS.”

    and therefore you would need to have a separate license for each commercial site. Thus it would not add value to your business…

    Having looked into Licensing from various foundries it is clear that many are slow to realise the business potential of @font-face. Some charge up to €15,000 for using one typeface on one commercial site. But I could get the same typeface via Typekit for $50 annually.

    However, I am also concerned what I would do if/when I decide to cancel my Typekit subscription and my client’s sites revert to default fonts. As I would be taking something away from my clients that they have paid for, for which I am responsible.

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