LINK: Newish Google Font – Open Sans

Open Sans – a family with 10 variants

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the font that Google announced a few weeks ago – seriously, check out Open Sans, by Steve Matteson.

I feel like this one is the gem in the crown for Google fonts. It’s a real workhorse type sans-serif, but one designed with web in mind. It’s like Helvetica in it’s utility, but screen friendly like Verdana. But unlike Verdana, it’s not ugly over 11px.

I hope to see this one used on a LOT of websites in the future.

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Why the focus on Google Fonts?

I’ve been wondering lately why I’ve taken such an interest in Google Web Fonts. After all, why focus on that service as opposed to any of the other web font providers out there?

I’ve come up with a few reasons:

  • The price– I’m not going to lie – the fact that it’s free is pretty compelling. I can understand Googles motivation – the less images on the web are contained within I mages, the better for them. But because of the free nature of the service, I feel like I can play around with it and experiment. The for-pay services are great when you have a finished design in hand, and you know what you need.

  • It’s CSS based– I like the fact that it doesn’t rely on a JavaScript call to load. The for-pay services rely on a JavaScript call in order to make sure that the site in question has indeed paid for the font’s use. But I like to know that if someone has JavaScript turned off, my font choice will still be displayed.

  • Google’s CDN – I have a lot of faith in googles servers – but I also truthfully have yet to hear of people having issues with any of the big name font providers either.

  • You can download the fonts themselves – i’m not sure if the for-pay services allow that. it definitely helps during the design stage.

  • The open source nature of a lot of these fonts – which yes, means that quality will vary wildly, but there are some real winners in the directory.

This does not discount the value of the other font providers out there – just why I’m paying more attention to Google Web Fonts. What do you think? What font providers are you finding success with? Let me know!

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Google Web Fonts I/O presentation

Google gives a look back at the last year of web fonts, and an exciting look at what’s to come. Some highlights:

  • Their aim is to have 1000 fonts in the directory by the next calendar year
  • They are working behind the scenes to make their serving of fonts event faster
  • They are going to have a Developer API (starts at about 34:40 into the presentation) – which is exciting for someone like me.

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