An Intro to The Google Font Directory: The Next Step for Web Ready Fonts

If you’ve ever wondered why all the fonts on the Internet look the same, it’s because there’s a very limited number of them for Web designers to choose from. The issue is this: For a font to work correctly, it has to be installed on your computer. If it’s not there, it doesn’t show up.

Fortunately, every single computer on earth comes with at least one font installed. In fact, there are multiple. And because every computer has this specific set, Web designers are free to use those fonts in their designs because they a) know what it will look like, and b) they know it will work.

Being limited to around five or six fonts (Arial [or Helvetica on a Mac], Verdana, Times New Roman, Georgia, Tahoma, roughly) seriously limits the way your designs will look.

But as the Internet grows up, Google is hoping to utilize some new features to allow for designers to use more fonts in their creations. Enter the Google Font Directory.

The Google Font Directory now easily allows designers to embed fonts into a site itself, rather than require the computer to have them installed. (Visit the Directory itself to see the ever-growing list of new fonts available.)

And the best part? It’s incredibly simple!

All the designer needs to do now is drop this line of code…

<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Yanone+Kaffeesatz'


rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>

…in the header, and now it’s available for use in their style sheet! So if they wanted to make all their paragraphs Yanone Kaffeesatz, they can now do this:

p { font-family: 'Yanone Kaffeesatz', serif; }

Pretty cool, huh??

Google hopes to continue to build the list—and there are still some hiccups—but as Web designers, we’re hoping this is another great step towards a much larger palette for us to work with.

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