Ignorant web question HTML code for typefaces?

kristin's picture

I am just barely web savvy. I have somebody asking me what the HTML code is for a particular type face. Is there such a thing?

I advised them to outline the type and make it art if they wanted to match the face exactly. Am I right?

Chris Rugen's picture

Yes, if it isn't a 'web face' such as Verdana, Times, Georgia, Trebuchet MS, Courier... I'm sure there's a complete list somewhere.

You can technically just specify any font you want with the 'font' tags, but that's not going to work if the viewer doesn't have the font on their machine. Also, if you specify a face incompletely, the machine will just throw in the first one it comes to, which can be bad if there's an Ornaments font, which comes before the Roman.

This is a very brief explanation. Not an end-all official version.

Here's a helpful HTML cheatsheet for them.

aluminum's picture

You can specific type with CSS:

p {
font-family: futura, gills sans, verdana, sans-serif;
}

When the page loads, the browser will look for the faces in the order you specify on the end-user's computer. If it can find Futura, it will use it. If not, it'll go on to Gills san and so-on.

The catch, of course, is that the end-user has to have the font installed on their own system. That will rarely be the case.

So, for most online typography, stick with the common fonts out there.

You *can* embed fonts using either a proprietary IE/PC method or NN4 method. There isn't anything out there for newer versions of Mozilla browsers, and it's really not worth the effort to do so.

So, yes, your hunch is correct. If they really want a specific face, they need to make it an image (probably a GIF) or else use Flash. Note that there are drawbacks to using images for all of your text. If you do use images, be sure to include the proper alt attributes for screen readers/text browsers/search engines.

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