[thelist] font questions

Robert O'Rourke rob at sanchothefat.com
Tue Nov 20 07:29:50 CST 2007

Nan Harbison wrote:
> Hi All,
> The graphics artist that designed a website I am building specified Din as
> the heading and all subheading fonts, Din Light, DIn Medium and Din Bold. I
> didn't have this font on my computer, so I had to purchase it - I purchased
> the package she directed me to, but I still don't have the light and medium,
> only a bunch of others, like Din RegularAlternative, etc.The graphics artist
> thinks people do have these fonts on their computers.
> I am pretty sure that if a website specifies a font, and the computer
> viewing the page doesn't have this font, it displays as some default font,
> like Times New Roman. Is that correct?
> Second question, do you think most computers come with these fonts? My
> husband checked at his office, 75 computers and none have these fonts.If
> not, is there a way to embed the font in a website without having to create
> graphics as the headers for every page so they will display as Din? (I
> didn't include this in my price!!!).
> I have told the artist that I prefer to use as much text as possible, not
> graphics, because it is easier to make changes to the text and it loads
> faster. She doesn't think that would be a problem, but she has been pretty
> clueless about other web-related issues. 
> Thanks!
> Nan


    You can't rely on that font being on anyone's computer, I've never 
even heard of it till now. It's best to find a similar common font then 
in the CSS do something like:

    body { font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;  }

The website will render with the first available font in that list back 
to the user's default sans-serif font. Even if the user has Din 
installed it might not look too good in a web browser.

You can either quote your client for the headings or look into something 
like sIFR, it uses flash to replace headings with nicely anti-aliased 
custom fonts while maintaining accessibility.


It will still take some time to implement though...

As a reference for yourself (and pass it on to the designer too) this 
site lists the most reliable fonts to use for regular website text: 


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