The World Wide Web is constantly evolving; there are developers inventing novel solutions to some of the internet's most daunting problems.
Rob Laucius, Senior Developer at Siren Interactive, contributes this post:
The healthcare industry isn’t widely considered to be perched atop the bleeding edge of technological advances. Many doctors’ offices still employ wall-sized shelves of paper-based patient data. Major pharmaceutical corporations are not making many friends on Facebook. Despite obstacles like these, my position at Siren Interactive allows me to infiltrate this technologically-impaired world and plant seeds of advancement. One new technology that has caught my attention is called Cufón, and it’s a brand new solution to a problem that has plagued the World Wide Web since its inception.
Cufón is a font-replacement technology that has been gathering attention in the last several months. Typically, websites are limited to using fonts which are universal to users. Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, Georgia – the vast majority of the web is written in such fonts as these; including the blog post you are reading right now. Fonts can convey much more than what their characters spell out — a small font pallet can limit a message. Conversely, an expanded font-toolbox (employed everywhere else in the world, e.g. print advertising) can be used to promote a much stronger presence. Current options either have poor support (CSS3 font-face, Microsoft’s EOT) or lack configurability/performance (sIFR).
Cufón attempts to solve this problem by introducing a method in which a developer can insert any font into a previously narrow list of options. And Cufón accomplishes this in an open-source, cross-browser solution; it’s easy to use and it works well. Cufón utilizes a motley crew of technologies, including SVG, VML, JSON and the HTML5 canvas element. The end result of this acronym orgy is a fast, efficient font replacement technology that allows the purveyor of web content to emphasize and focus on a message without concern for reliability or performance.
While it may not be the perfect answer to using special fonts on a website, it’s the best I have encountered so far. The World Wide Web is constantly evolving; there are developers inventing novel solutions to some of the internet’s most daunting problems. I will continue to evolve my technological toolset and bring with me as I traverse through beige PCs and manila filing folders.