It was quite boring before Google fonts came on to the scene. Graphic designers, like myself, had only a handful of fonts to choose from for websites. Fonts like Ariel, Verdana, Times Roman, and Georgia were amongst designer’s staple choices. These “web safe” fonts were system fonts, meaning people had them on their computers by default.
Then in 2010, Google fonts were born. This was revolutionary! Google fonts reside on a server online (maintained by Google, hence the name). This really opened up my world (and yours), because now we have many, many choices. No more worries about these fonts not showing up and getting replaced with something else (wreaking havoc on a website).
Here are some good, if not great, reasons to use Google fonts…
- Choices, choices and more choices. Google has given us a lot of fonts to work with – Approximately 915 fonts (as of today). Explore their library and you’ll be amazed what you find. The service is used extensively with over 17 trillion fonts served. This means that on average each of its fonts has been downloaded over 19 billion times!
- It’s Free. Many, many options and free too; wow what a deal! On occasion you may need to purchase a brand font (for your client), but nothing like pre 2010 when purchasing fonts was the norm, not the exception. Businesses all over the world have saved on buying licenses for each department and/or office. Vendors and designers also needed to purchase licenses. Plus, if you hate the way one Google fonts looks, you have the freedom to go back and use another one – for nada. Pretty fantastic in my book.
- Bye, bye OS font dilemma. In the past sometimes cross platforms (Mac/PC) would display fonts incorrectly. As a result, your website would render the text improperly. This was a frustrating problem I came across from time to time on different platforms. Well, say goodbye to that problem. Google Fonts supports all major browsers, as well as a huge variety of mobile devices. Yay!
- No restrictions on usage. You can use Google fonts however you please. Yes, that’s right. Since no license is needed, there are no restrictions. There is also no limit to the number of fonts used online or downloaded either. Go to town with these fonts for both personal and business usage!
- Easily attainable for all. Google fonts allows the browser to connect to Google to get the fonts you want. No wasted time looking on your computer. But more importantly, this is how every user can see the Google font, regardless of previous installation on their computer. As a designer, this makes me very happy!
- Speedy on the download. It’s the worst waiting for anything… And time is money! The cool thing about Google fonts is they are better compressed for fast downloading. This allows web sites to download their pages in a split second on any platform. Integrity of the fonts is always preserved.