I attended the launch of Fonts.com – web fonts yesterday. It was interesting to see the vast array of fonts they’ve secured, around 7,5k in total with around 3k in the free subscription tier. The boundaries of web and print really do seem to be crossing over in several areas and nowhere more than font design. With the popularity of the ipad and other large screened mobile devices, users are happy to read text heavy sites or apps, such as some of the magazine apps, on the move. Whilst web designers have always been interested in great site design and often looked to print for design theory, I now feel that the two mediums are getting closer.
With Google already in the font marketplace it is going to be hard to shift with its global reach, easy setup and chance that popular Google fonts will be cached by site visitors (in the same way that Google serves JQuery and swfobject). However Fonts.com – web fonts has made a good start by offering an expansive collection. Fonts.com will appeal to those looking for that unique look, maybe print based sites looking to closer aligned their print and online offerings, and micro sites looking for that explosive impact. Having such a large vault of fonts for designers to get their claws into will potentially provide a whole fresh look to websites – particularly H1′s, sliders and internal promos. Having to subscribe for fonts use based on a subscription tier, may be a concern for some but smaller sites should fall below the 25,000 page views per month. Although the competition is fierce and I have already been impressed by others in the font arena (Font Squirrel, Google fonts) Fonts.com -web fonts will be interesting to watch over the next few months and is definitely worth a second look.