The web has progressed quite rapidly in the way of typography in the past 2-3 years. Great services such as Typekit, Google Web Fonts, and MyFonts offer a very broad selection of high quality typefaces to use on your websites. But Hoefler and Frere-Jones, one of the biggest, most popular foundries, had been out of the game until today – when they announced a webfont service that promises to deliver the beautiful typography they’re known for, straight to your websites. So, how does it work? If you’re familiar with Typekit, Cloud.typography (the proper name of the service) won’t take much time to figure out. All you have to do – after signing up, of course – is select the fonts you want to add to your site, and paste the necessary code into the head of your HTML file.
What makes the service even better is the fact that you can use all the fonts you’ve already purchased from H&FJ with Cloud.typography. And here’s the kicker: you can serve H&FJ fonts to as many domains as you like (but keep in mind that this freedom may encourage you to eat into your allotted pageviews). There are also some useful features that web developers will love – including an aptly named Development Mode:
Cloud.typography’s Development mode delivers fonts directly from the cloud, using the Development Bandwidth that’s included free with your subscription. Font delivery works through the CSS Key that you add to your pages. This link points visitors to the Delivery Agent that runs on every Cloud.typography server on the network, where requests are automatically answered by the nearest server. For 90% of internet users, the nearest server is just a single network hop away. Once you’ve settled on a palette, switch into Production mode to start serving the fonts from your own server infrastructure, alongside the rest of your site’s assets.
How much do all these features cost, you ask? Subscriptions start at $99 a year for 250,000 pageviews per month, and go up to $299 a year for 2 million pageviews per month. There are also bigger plans available that require you to pay monthly.
Will the introduction of this long-awaited service change the way your favorite websites look? Possibly. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing brand consistency across platforms (no more Proxima Nova instead of Gotham on websites that use the latter on print materials).