WOFF2 support added to Typekit

As part of our ongoing work on improving our web font serving performance, we’re adding support for the WOFF2 font format. The WOFF2 format succeeds the ubiquitous WOFF format and offers better compression than any other font format.

Before adopting WOFF2, we’ve extensively tested it on our font library and have seen significant compression gains over WOFF. On average, WOFF2 compresses 30% better than WOFF. The improved compression rates mean smaller font files, which in turn result in faster-loading fonts.

Compression gain from WOFF2 support means smaller file size for fonts.

Most fonts on Typekit are about 30% smaller with WOFF2 compression, compared to WOFF. The x-axis is a spread of all the fonts on Typekit. A few end up super-compressed, and most of them are somewhere in the 30% range

To get support for WOFF2, you’ll need to republish your kit. You can do this by going to your kit management page and pressing the “Publish” button. That’s all there is to it.

Once your kit is republished, we’ll serve WOFF2 to the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. We hope and expect that Microsoft Edge and Safari will also adopt WOFF2 in the near future (at which point we’ll start serving WOFF2 to these browsers automatically). Until WOFF2 is supported by all major browsers, we’ll continue to show the WOFF kit size in the kit editor.

If you have any questions about this change or performance in general, feel free to email support@typekit.com — we’re happy to help.

3 Responses

  1. That’s great news! I’m wondering why you need to republish your kit — isn’t shipping this automatically to every current kit a quick win for everyone? (Oh, and while we’re at it, how do you guys determine if you’re dealing with a capable browser?)

    1. Bram Stein says:

      Republishing is necessary because fonts in a kit are versioned. Our system will only grab the latest version of all fonts when you explicitly republish your kit(s). This mechanism prevents us from pushing unexpected font updates (i.e. changes in metrics) to your site.

      We generated WOFF2 in our latest font processing run, which you’ll upgrade to when you republish your kit. This is technically only necessary for customers that are using static subsets because they are pre-generated. Language based subsets are generated on the fly and should be serving WOFF2 already. Dynamic kits also automatically switched over to WOFF2. Our user interface makes it hard to see at a glance which kits use static subsets, language based subsets, or dynamic subsetting, so we generally advice people to republish their kits as it will guarantee they get the latest version.

      How we determine WOFF2 support depends on your kit type. Normal kits (i.e. ones that do not use dynamic subsetting) use user agent sniffing, while dynamic kits use feature detection (by loading a small test font to see if it loads).

  2. Jess P says:

    If you have 100s of kits, is it safe to go through and publish all without necessarily testing all sites?

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