Wir Designer leben in großartigen Zeiten: wir haben @Font-Face für den Fontimport in HTML-Dokumente, es gibt Webkit für das legales Font-Hosting und Fontshop starten gerade ihr Webfont-Angebot. Warum sollte also irgendwer noch eine Flash-basierte Font-Replacement-Methode verwenden wollen? Nun, auf dieser Site setze ich eine eigene Font-Replacement Methode ein, bei der es sich zugegebenermaßen um einen ziemlich häßlichen Hack handelt. Der Grund? Nur auf diese Art ist es möglich, Matthew Carters großartige Galliard zu verwenden, ohne irgendwelche Lizenzvereinbarungen zu brechen. Und da ich SIFR hasse und außerdem Acionscript 3 und Flashs fortschrittliche Font-Rendering-Methoden nutzen wollte, fand ich mich zu guter Letzt dabei wieder, eine eigene Font-Replacement Methode zu basteln.

As designers we live in great times: we have @Font-Face for font-embedding, there is webkit for font delivery and fontshop is about to start their webfonts. So why should anybody still want to use a flash-based font-replacement-hack? Well, this site uses my own flash-based font-replacement method, which is basically a big, ugly hack, and there is a reason for it: It is the only option to use Matthew Carter's beautiful Gallliard on this page without breaking any license-agreement. And as I didn't want to use SIFR (I dont think I'll ever get it) and I wanted Actioscript 3 with its advanced font rendering capabilities, I found myself developing my own font-replacement method in the end.


2 Responses to “Font-ReplacementFont-Replacement

  1. Comment by Norke 01/05/2011

    Good job. Just a few comments:

    Right click and mousewheel click are unavailable, i can’t open a link in a new tab or window by clicking on post title. Font replacement using flash requires… flash player. Apple mobile devices can’t see your fonts. And it took a little more client side time and memory to load.

    So, this method kills two natural functions of the mouse, needs a plug-in and adds network job to the user.

    Think about it.

    – A frustated visitor.

  2. Comment by Dirk 01/05/2011

    Hello Norke,
    right click and opening in new tab actually *should* work (what configuration do you use btw. ?). Anyway, it was not my intention to tout Flash-font-replacement as the *best* method, but as a good-enough method as long as the font you want to embed isn’t available as webfont. I’m currently redesigning this blog and am experimenting with some different font techniques, so stay tuned.

    Having said that, most of your critique can be attributed to any other font-embedding technique as well:

    – dependance on certain client side technology that is not supported in every Browser (i. e. Canvas, javascript, @font-face in combination with different font-types)

    – loading time, which is actually higher for most @font-face embedded fonts compared to flash (the 35k flash on this site is loaded only once and then stays in cache).

    All this can be handled as long as you degrade gracefully. My visitors will see beautiful Georgia, which still is a nice font after all :). @font-face support on iOS-devices (which is a different beast btw.) isn’t an option anyway, as Galliard is not available as SVG webfont and Cufon is considered illegal by most foundrys.