10 Web Font Libraries for Web Designer
As a web designer you now have a much larger library of web enabled fonts available to you. You're no longer limited to the standard web safe fonts. The newer and easier methods of implementation have made these web font libraries an ideal choice for any web designer to give website that creative edge. As these services improve and evolve we'll start to see older methods of font embedding like SiFr, which works on Flash replacement, phase out.
The @Font-Face CCS2 rule added back in 1998 made it possible to call in and import web font for rendering if the user doesn't already have that specific font. It wasn't actually made possible to only recently when popular web browsers started adopting this CSS method and making the available for web designers and developers.
The legal implications of using the fonts and delivering the fonts correctly made it hard to adopt and start using fonts but has given rise to many free and subscription based font services.
Some web font directories do provide their services completely free such as Google Fonts, Open Font Library, or Font Spring. Other services with a huge font library offer their services on a subscription basis.
1 ) OpenFontLibrary
OFL has a nice collection of 86 fonts available for download and implementation on your website. Simple browse through all their fonts and simply grab the code to implement it. Easy as that.
2 ) Typekit
As TypeKit states, it is the easiest way to embed real fonts on your website. There is a huge library of fonts available from TypeKit, http://typekit.com/libraries/ full with many more being constantly updated. Pricing is done as a subscription service and is quite cost effective for the large range of fonts that they have available.
3 ) Fonts Live
Fonts Live has a massive collection of fonts. All of these fonts are hosted on their servers and have yearly costs as low as $10 a year! That is very cost effective for anyone that is wanting to add that little bit of extra style to their website.
4 ) Font Deck
Font Deck is very similar to FontsLive in that they have a huge library of fonts and allow you to embed the fonts on your website for a yearly fee.
5 ) Font Squirrel
The difference with Font Squirrel compared to the other is that their collection of fonts look like some of the most professional commercial fonts available. Further more, the way that Font Squirrel works is that the fonts are downloaded and uploaded on to your web server. This means that it doesn't rely on a third party service to host and distribute the fonts. The majority of the fonts are also license under Creative Commons licensing which means their just about free to use and for any budding new designer that is a good price.
6 ) Fonts.com
We haven't looked in to the fonts that Fonts.com are providing as yet but being one of the biggest Font foundries on the internet I'm sure they will be providing a huge amount of fonts for the web.
7 ) WebINK (Discontinued since July 2015)
WebInk use to be a great service until the stopped in mid 2015.
8 ) Fontspring
Fontspring works in the same method as you would regular fonts of your PC or MAC. Simple find the font that you want, implement it on to your website and away you go. Fontspring offers its users all of their fonts on a per font basis without any subscription unlike many other services.
9 ) Google Fonts
Google Fonts, provided obviously by Google, is one of the fastest font directories available riding on the Google infrastructure. Unfortunately there aren't that many fonts available from Google Fonts but I'm sure in the future there will be many more fonts being released. Google also have recently launched their font previewer that makes choosing one of their fonts just that little easier.
10 ) Exljbris
Last but not least is Exljbris. I have no idea how to pronounce this. Exljbris provide but free and paid fonts for download and embedding on your website.
Do You Know Any More?
Do you know any other font services, or are you starting up another one? Let us know so we can add them to our list.