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Google Releases Free Fonts and New Open Source Tool


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Google has released 18 free fonts for the web in an attempt to leave the boring old fonts behind and move into the future of downloadable text-styles.

In a Google I/O conference on Wednesday, the company released 18 freely usable fonts and an open-source tool, Google Font API, designed to smooth over browser issues in displaying these downloaded fonts.

“With the Google Font API, using these fonts on your web page is almost as easy as using the standard set of so-called “web-safe” fonts that come installed on most computers,” said Ralph Levien and David Kuettel of the Google Font API team in a blog post.

Downloadable fonts have been plagued with licensing issues from the beginning, but with Google’s new move into the foray of font designing copyright issues may become a thing of the past.

The post goes on to state: “Since all the fonts are open source, you can use them any way you like. We also have a separate project hosted on Google Code for downloading the original font files. Since they’re open source, they can be used for just about any purpose, including for print.”

The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) formatting standard and even more recently the Web Open Font Format technology paved the way for web fonts but ultimately fell short due to copyright concerns. This is where Google has made the difference by offering 18 free fonts (a number that looks like it will be expanded) and announcing a new interface allowing web designers to browse through a catalogue to find their desired fonts more easily called the Google Font Directory.

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Source: GoogleCode Blog, CNET

  1. Not great. Still needs work. Font size is pretty inconsistent cross-browser and cross-platform. IE7 surprisingly does a lousy job. I’m more pleased with the look in IE6. And why is Chrome’s display of this technique awful?

    I’m hoping for better work on this going forward. I think this needs to go back in the oven for a few minutes.

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