All change on the fonts front

· blogging · geekery ·

You might notice a bit of a change to the appearance of the pages around here. I’ve changed the way that I define how the fonts are rendered, and in the process I have switched the fonts that I use. I had used Typekit for about five years, which enabled me to select from a range of fonts and then easily include them in my CSS file with a bit of Javascript boilerplate. It was a nice system, though it did generate a bit of overhead on page loading. Nevertheless, I was quite happy with it. Then Adobe acquired Typekit and doubled the annual subscription rate. There’s now no limitation on how many fonts you use, but given that I only need a handful at most, that doesn’t work in my favour. So I decided to ditch Typekit/Adobe Fonts and load some webfonts myself.

What I really wanted to use was Adobe Myriad Pro for the headings and Adobe Minion Pro for the body, and I was fully prepared to buy a one-off perpetual licence to use them as webfonts. However, it seems that Adobe now only licences these as webfonts when used through Adobe Fonts, which is a great shame. If anyone knows where I can buy a licence for them, do let me know.

I toyed with all sorts of other alternatives, but in the end I went for the IBM Plex family of fonts. I’m using Plex Sans for the headings, Plex Serif for the body text, and Plex Mono for any monospaced text. I think they look quite clean and readable, but friendly with a bit of personality. They also happen to be free and open source, but that’s a nice bonus. I would be prepared to pay a reasonable price for a licence to use them anyway. I will probably do a bit more tweaking along the way (I am still figuring out the best way to specify and load the fonts to keep page rendering snappy), but for the moment I am happy with it. I haven’t changed the design of the site for a few years, so it might take a me a little while to get used to the change in appearance.