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Typography definitely plays an important role in enhancing or diminishing the overall look of any web design. And all the web designers/developers were stuck with certain font families, even if they wanted to use the font of their choice, they couldn’t do it freely without compromising on various aspects. Of course, there were other ways too and I would love to include all those methods along with their pros & cons.

siFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement)

Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR) is an open source JavaScript and Adobe Flash dynamic web fonts implementation, enabling the replacement of text elements on HTML web pages with Flash equivalents. sIFR embeds a font in a Flash element that displays the text, preempting the need for a font to have been manually pre-installed on a user’s system. [via : wikipedia]

In even simpler words, instead of showing the normal text – it is replaced by Adobe Flash’s text and the font embedded in that flash file is used to display the text. You can add shadow, effects to the text and the best part is that its cross-browser compatible and thats why its loved. However, siFR is often criticized for making the pages load slower and is not supported by iPhone.

Cufon

Cufón aims to become a worthy alternative to siFR, which despite its merits still remains painfully tricky to set up and use [This is not the case, if you are using WordPress]. Some of the benefits of Cufon over siFR are that it loads faster, no plugins are required. [Via - Github]

Of course, nothing comes with cons. Cufon comes with the inability to highlight and copy/paste, not all fonts are supported. However, still its one of the preferred methods of using other fonts. We are using Cufon on this blog, so it can be a good example for you to look at.

There are other ways as well like Typeface.js, FLIR (Face Lift Image Replacement), however as browsers are getting better in supporting CSS3 – the better its becoming to improve the typography of the webpages. Although, with this method, copyright issues often come into play. In order to avoid these issues, few web services have come up with a model where by paying some fee, web designers will be able to choose various fonts (without worrying about licenses) for their website and the fonts will be served from their servers. Here are these services -

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Typekit

Typekit is one such service that has partnered with type foundries and have taken care of the legal issues. They let you choose the fonts using their web based editor. They have a plugin for WordPress, that lets you integrate this service with ease. There is an option of free plan and if you have one blog, you should definitely try this service.

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FontMeUp

FontMeUp is another service that allows you to use any font on your website. They have a similar concept and have hundreds of fonts to choose from. They also have a free plan and a WordPress plugin.

So after, looking at the benefits of these services, I’m tempted to use these service for this blog. I’ll notify as soon as this will be applied and will try to post the results as well. Personally, I see no reason for not trying these services and why any one else shouldn’t. Will you be using these to improve the typography on your blog or will you be going via existing ways?

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