I updated my wife’s home page to use embedded fonts (in this case the Fonthead GoodDog typeface for headings) with the @font-face CSS primitive. With the introduction of Firefox 3.5, all the major browsers now support embedded typography.

As usual, Microsoft had to do its proprietary thing in Internet Exploder and devised a crackpot font format called EOT (Embedded OpenType), ostensibly at font foundries’ request, with weak DRM-like metadata that allows the font supplier to restrict which sites the font can be used on. Microsoft has an incredibly convoluted tool called WEFT (Web Embedded Font Tool) to do this, but I used the open-source and incredibly easy to use ttf2eot tool instead. The only hitch in this case was that this tool takes a TrueType TTF font as input, and GoodDog is a (PostScript-ish) OpenType OTF instead. Fortunately, TypeTool can do the conversion.

We finally have semi-decent typography on the web without having to embed images (bad for page load times or accessibility) or the even worse sIFR hacks using the noxious Adobe Flash. The only question remains whether type foundries will follow. Fonthead has enlightened licensing policies for GoodDog (free for up to 5 sites, no insistence on DRM). Typeface design is a painstaking craft and designers certainly deserve what they charge for their fonts, but I hope the typographic industry does not follow the RIAA in its self-destructive crusade against its own customers.

Update (2011-03-03):

One option for hassle-free embedded font licensing is TypeKit. It does require JavaScript in the browser to work, unlike a pure CSS solution like the one I used, but the convenience can’t be beat. We use it on Apsalar’s public website.