Monday, March 12, 2012

Fonts on the web

I had a client [over at] who was all worried about the fonts on her brand-new site. Given I knew about her level of technical expertise, I knew some explanation was in order.

Below is what I wrote, explaining how fonts on the web are completely different from fonts "on paper". The situation: we've had a temp page up for over a month, waiting on her and her writer to fill up the site with content, pictures, etc.

You need to think of the fonts online completely differently than in graphic design. Once something is printed on paper, it’s fixed. On the web, the images are RECREATED every time they are viewed – and the look of the re-creation is totally dependent on the capabilities of the machine you are using to view it.

A practical example: Let’s say we set the site to use the font Minion. it looks great on your machine – because you have Minion installed on your machine. If I pull up the site, and do NOT have Minion installed, it will look completely different – and what font is substituted will completely depend on several settings on my machine. The designer has NO control over it.

The look of the site and the content of the site are totally different. At this particular moment I strongly suggest just getting something up on the site so we can pull the “temp” front page.
Worry about the look later – because we can specify the fonts in ONE spot which will automatically change every usage of the font across the site. [There are several "depending on...." things there, but I've loaded this up with too many details as it is].

Bottom line:
Get the content posted first. Deal with the design later – the search engines look at the content only, so the sooner we get something posted the sooner you can be found online.