So you’ve undoubtedly heard of the exciting announcement of Typekit, but being the pessimist that I am, I’m already a bit wary of the projected solution to our
While things are still hazy about exactly how this new service would work, I’m rattled by the following section of the opening announcement:
We’ll be launching this summer with a great collection of beautiful and hardworking typefaces. We’ll offer a free version of the service to get you started, and a low-cost way to grow from there. A truly scalable professional version will follow soon after.
The issue with
@font-face has largely revolved around licensing issues and the complications from the lack of DRM that it provides. Understandably, the type foundries are not willing to allow their hard work to be easily downloaded from linked font files.
The problem, at the moment, lies in this complicated licensing that is a result of technology failing to amicably meet the needs of type foundries and designers. As a result of this, it appears as if we’ll be renting our typefaces from a third party entity.
I already pay for a license to use typefaces within my design applications, and now I’ll need to pay again to use them in the final produced site: a recurring fee because files don’t host themselves.
While I’m excited that a group of influential people (who I admire) have taken this step towards making
@font-face a more realistic tool, I have to wonder why we’re solving what is essentially a technical issue with yet more complicated legalize and extra money out of every designer’s pocket.
If the technology to link typefaces exists, designers can and will do so regardless of licensing. This will become the same battle DRM has been for the music and film industries, with the same outcome. The people who properly work through Typekit to protect the rights of the foundries will be the ones who pay extra money, while the ones who just link their font-files with abandon will be the ones truly enjoying
Perhaps this is just a rant over lunch hour about something I don’t fully understand — and while I sincerely appreciate the effort — I think we may still be headed down the wrong path. Hopefully I’m just blowing smoke, because I’d love to see this service succeed.