So what resources should I be looking at?
Ok, here are a few resources that I have found really useful for my workflow when creating websites as a digital designer at Overthrow Digital:
At Overthrow Digital we use Fonts.com. This is a subscription based service offering access to 20,000+ designs from leading type foundaries. And with such a large library of fonts available it now means you are free to express a brand’s personality consistently across print and digital applications. When it comes to actually designing and if the font is not available it’s not a problem since Fonts.com uses Typecast, a powerful browser based app. Now I am pretty new to Typecast but having used it recently I can vouch that it allows you to experiment to your heart's content changing weight, size and colour with the bonus of building CSS style guides which can then be passed to the developer. Simple!
Another useful tool is Typekit which comes as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription bringing together thousands of fonts from various foundries into the Typekit library. It’s easy and intuitive with categories such as classification, recommended for, properties and language support that allow you to quickly find a suitable font or fonts for your project. I love Typekit as it allows me to choose web optimised fonts and use them when I am designing on my desktop in any of the Adobe CC applications. Thus giving me freedom to experiment during the creative design process
Finally from time to time we have used Google fonts which is an open source font service with hundreds of fonts designed specifically for the web. It differs from Fonts.com and Typekit, however, in that it is FREE with no subscription required. You can search and refine fonts that you are interested in using with the ‘Add to Collection’ feature. Once you are done, you can review your choices using a number of features, the most useful being the ‘Test Drive’ which is a dynamic sample layout. And when you are happy with your choice you can then grab the code and integrate into your CSS styles or pass to your developer.
The downside of Google fonts is that you are unable to use the fonts while designing visuals on your desktop. However from my experience many of the fonts are often available to download from services such as Font Squirrel.
So what does this mean when it comes to designing?
Well, now that there is far greater choice when it comes to fonts and the web it means your company or organisation can transfer its branding holistically onto the web creating a singular identifiable language across all mediums. To achieve this means greater consideration when choosing your brands fonts and making sure that they are available in both web and print formats.
A recent project where we used this approach can be seen at L'Escargot Resturant. The brand font Old Standard TT was chosen so that it would have synergy across both digital and print applications due to its availability for both web and print as well as its aesthetic characteristics.
I have only looked here at a few of the web font services we use at Overthrow Digital, as there are many other services such as Web Type and My Fonts. To learn more about what other design services we offer check out our digital design services page.
Now the only problem you have is deciding which font should I use? But hey, it’s a nice problem to have.