Font subscription services and the #fontpocalypse

by Evie Lees on 14th Aug 2015

On August 10, 2015, the internet got ugly. 

Typekit, one of the most popular font subscription services out there, experienced technical difficulties in the early hours of the morning, resulting in websites worldwide losing their branding and reverting to the most basic of fonts. 

For those of you with a million questions following this first statement, let’s backtrack a little...

Font subscription services allow users to sync chosen fonts to their computer and use them online. 

Before the existence of web fonts there were only a handful of fonts safe for display on the web: if you didn’t have these downloaded to your desktop then what the designer may see as a fantastic font, you may see as average Arial. 

One way around this was to take your font and use it as an image in the site: a pain when it comes to changing the content but even worse, a valuable piece of text that could help your search rankings is now sat there as an image. 

Low and behold the arrival of the web font! A subscription allowing users to sync the font, use it as standard text and show it off to the world (wide web).

The user chooses from a number of subscription plans to suit their requirements and pays a monthly fee to display synced fonts across their online creations, allowing all users with access to the site the ability to view it as it was meant to be. 

If every silver lining must have a cloud, then it’s the possibility of your chosen provider's networks going down as Typekit’s did recently, causing momentary hysteria on the web in the form of a hashtag - #fontpocalypse!

However with the issues lasting a matter of hours and luckily no major panics, it didn’t taint our view on Typekit and doesn’t outweigh the many benefits gained from using an online subscription service: hundreds of beautiful fonts at your fingertips, safe in the knowledge your work-of-art is being seen the same, worldwide. 

If you have any question, queries or quibbles regarding these services or this article, please feel free to email hello@seegreen.uk, call 01904 500500 or drop us a Tweet @seegreenmedia.

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