For years, we wanted to use more than just the few boring fonts that are web standards. Sometimes you need to show creativity to convey your message with typography and Arial, Helvetica or Times just doesn’t cut it. In ancient times (the 90’s) we would create graphics with our typography and insert the image into our web design. In recent years, Flash has been the tool of choice to get our message across uniquely and creatively.
But, both have always had fundamental problems. Images, well, are images and not text. You can’t search or even copy it and search engines can’t see it. Flash is a little better but not much. You have to do a lot of action scripting to get anywhere with search engines, Updating is a pain, using a CMS is a pain, and so on. Not to mention mobile devices are not compatible with Flash. Flash is a desktop solution and always has been. There is no support for touch, multi-touch and gestures on the new devices and it’s a power and memory hog.
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has made the best argument for the death of Flash. he has let the world know Apple is moving forward and implementing HTML5 (a web standard) for all of their devices. I totally agree with this decision. No special plugins needed, lower bandwidth and power consumption and you can be as creative if not more than Flash. Also it’s a breeze to update and add CMS systems.
Now back to the font issue. Extensis has been quietly working on a font management system called WebINK that uses CSS to let developers use real fonts on your site! No flash plugins, no images, just straight text! With HTML5 and the new @font-face tag, most browsers support using fonts that are stored on a web server. WebINK handles all the technical code of using web fonts and let’s developers focus on what they’re good at – design.
Extensis has done an great job with the site design and has made it very easy to use.