[thelist] Breaking away from "Standard" Fonts

Canfield, Joel JCanfield at PacAdvantage.org
Fri Mar 10 10:16:08 CST 2006

As always, a *boatload* of good points, Christian

> As for pushing the envelope: Restriction or forcing users to get what
> you or your client considers great and the only right solution

Not at all what I meant. Sure, I might like a book where I could choose
the font, but if I'm the *author* of the book, and I choose the font for
the cover and spine, I feel it diminishes the artistic integrity of my
book if you can set it to Arial Bold. As for the font I chose for the
inside, maybe; maybe not. Sometimes it's an artistic choice; sometimes,
it's a practical choice. Both are valid, if used responsibly.

I'm not advocating taking control away from the user agents - I can
already do that by making my text an image, which allows me to use any
font I want. But I do that sparingly, and only where the client and I
agree that it's important. Having column after column of Carolingia
would be insane; using it in my band's logo is absolutely vital.
Shouldn't I be able to use that font elsewhere, for artistic reasons,
without taking the time to create an image, and using up the visitor's
bandwidth and time while they download said image?

As for the 450K font download - that's exactly the opposite of what I
was saying. I want to embed a font, and *not* break usability or
efficiency in any way. (When I open a local document in a word
processor, I don't suffer any loss of efficiency if it's in a 'special'
font instead of Times New Roman.) If I can create an image that's 10k,
the embedded font concept has to be less than that, and function just as
well (or better) or, of course, it's not an advancement.

The fact that you remember the days of text only on the internet helps
explain your depth of knowledge (and passion) re: this stuff. How 'bout
an analogy that comes closer to what I meant - the switch from hand
copied manuscripts to the printing press. I don't think we (okay, not
me; I wasn't there, whatever you've heard about my age) condemned
readers to a diminished experience by making books easier to create,
less expensive, and more usable.

I wasn't advocating the egregious misuse of these technologies we often
see today, I was advocating exploration of ways to give designers and
developers a way to be even more efficient and responsible to both
visitors and their clients. I want my cake, and I want to eat it.


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