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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New Google Web Fonts

Apparently Google is adding new fonts to their font directory fast and furious. There were originally 19 fonts on launch, and there are now 25 fonts, plus new alternate weights on Josefin Sans. The new additions are:

  1. Arvo
  2. Cuprum
  3. Josefin Slab
  4. Neucha
  5. PT Sans
  6. Philosopher

I’m really impressed with the range of weights available with Josefin Sans – you can do some very refined work with those fonts. I can’t wait to see what folks out there do.

EDIT: Has anyone else noticed that most Google Web Fonts now suddenly work on the iPad? Still no love for the iPhone – I’m not sure why that is. There are also a few fonts – like most of these new ones- that don’t work yet.

EDIT (5/12): As of iOS 4.2 (late November 2010), Google Web Fonts work well on both the iPad and iPhone. See the comments below.

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