HTML and CSS Reference
Designers, especially those who come from print media and are used to having thousands
of typefaces at their disposal, often wonder why it's not possible to embed fonts into a web
page. CSS 2 did define mechanisms for downloadable fonts, but they weren't implemented by
most web browsers, partially due to concerns of font manufacturers (called foundries ), who
felt it would enable piracy of their fonts.
In short, it is simply impossible (without using some additional technology such as images
or Flash) to force a particular font upon a user of your web site. You can string together a long
set of preferred typefaces in hopes that your reader may have one of them, but there are no
guarantees. The small selection and relatively low quality of typefaces we can count on to be
installed on most computers compounds this problem and frustrates many designers. We can
use CSS to make the fonts we do have available look as good as possible, though, and there is
at least some hope that quality typefaces that we can use well online will become available in
the near future.
The Microsoft Vista Fonts
There is some small amount of relief on the horizon, though. Microsoft's Windows Vista oper-
ating system and other upcoming products will bundle a set of six typefaces optimized for
on-screen use that are of higher quality and that are more flexible than what we can use today.
These faces have been designed by renowned designers, including Lucas de Groot and Jeremy
Tankard. It remains to be seen whether these fonts will make their way to users of older ver-
sions of Windows and users of other operating systems, such as Mac OS X (although Apple has
previously licensed fonts from Microsoft, so it's certainly possible they'll do so again). This
new set should provide designers with an exciting new core for typographic exploration. The
so-called “Vista Fonts” appear in Figures 9-15 through 9-20.
Figure 9-15. Calibri (sans serif )
Figure 9-16. Candara (sans serif )