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Hey, Google does fonts too!

Published 4 years ago, in Blog, Technology, Web

Yesterday, at the Google I/O conference, the search behemoth released, among other goodies, the brand-new Google Font API. This new API lets developers easily embed fonts into their pages for usage with the CSS font-family directive. And it’s really drop dead easy to include a font.

You can insert any font in Google’s catalog simply by linking to it as if it were a stylesheet:

<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Droid+Sans' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
</link>

After this initial step, all you need to do is use the font as you’d normally do for regular, web-safe fonts:

body { font-family: 'Droid Sans', arial, serif; }

Easy as can be, right? Oh, and here’s the kicker: the behind-the-scenes voodoo allows browsers all the way down to IE6 to take advantage of linked fonts!
The catalog is pretty barebones right now, but this is Google, and this is sure to be a project that will soon gain traction and favour among the Web Development community. I’m sure pretty soon the list of available fonts (which are all open-source, by the way) will grow exponentially.

What does this mean for the upcoming CSS3 @font-face directive? It’s potential is definitively great, however browser adoption and legal issues have prevented it from becoming as commonplace as other CSS3 novelties. Will Google change the way we think about typography on the Web?