Should I Use Google Fonts or Adobe Typekit?

by on August 15, 2016 · 0 comments

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Proper consideration is crucial when choosing the correct font for your website design projects. As we learned last week, in our discussion Typography 101, the tone, legibility, and readability must all be taken into consideration. With the ocean of fonts available online today, finding the right font for the job can become an overwhelming job without the right tools. Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit both work wonderfully in this regard.

What Exactly Are Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit?

Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit are both web font services – tools that through clever use of CSS are able to deliver typefaces directly to your browser to be rendered in your website designs. Essentially, these tools allow you to stream fonts to your web-designs just as you would stream a song in Pandora or a video on YouTube.

Google Fonts

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Integrating Google Fonts is 100% free. This makes it very popular among WordPress designers in addition to theme and UI developers. Typefaces and individual fonts are both easy to integrate into your website designs as well as download for use on your computer. Google seems dedicated to continuing to grow the number of typefaces available, making more choices available for the creation of beautiful and professional websites.

Pros

  • Completely free
  • Load times are generally fast and reliable
  • Font pairing and visualization tools available
  • Creates opportunity for all to submit typeface designs
  • Clean and crisp interface makes it easy to compare fonts visually

Cons

  • Open source nature of fonts can create quality issues in some typefaces
  • Typeface library is limited and you may need to make substitutions in your font choices
  • Finding the correct typeface is more difficult without an understanding of typography

Adobe Typekit

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Adobe Typekit is one of the most widely used and respected webfont streaming services. Adobe Typekit is available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud software bundle. Much of Typekit’s popularity is due to it’s ease of integration with all the Creative Cloud applications like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Pros:

  • Enormous library of available typefaces to choose from
  • Typefaces are high quality designs
  • Smooth user experience and interface
  • Typekit has easy to use filtering tools
  • Included in Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions
  • Typefaces can be easily synched with your other Adobe products for use in any project

Cons:

  • Not free
  • Can be an expensive option for people who don’t use Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Some compatibility issues with older browsers and operating systems

Is Font Streaming Right For My Project?

If your next website project calls for beautiful and contemporary typography, you may want to consider using a font streaming service to deliver the typeface directly to the end-user’s browser.

Webfont streaming services, like Google Fonts and Typekit, provide access to a wide selection of typefaces and fonts. Font streaming is a much more affordable alternative to purchasing each typeface individually. Integrating a streaming webfont into your project is very straightforward. Most modern WordPress themes facilitate their use and provide areas to include webfonts.

The downside of using a font streaming service is potential reliability. A problem on the font-servers (Google Fonts or Typekit) could result in your website not displaying properly. Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit are both very well established and you can expect a high level of stability and reliability.

Alternatives to Font Streaming Solutions

Font Stacking – CSS Font Family:

Font stacking is a CSS technique that specifies a primary typeface and then any secondary options. The CSS code specifies the order in which they should be rendered.

For example, if the primary typeface is not available the CSS code specifies an ordered list of alternatives for the browser to render. This is a free option and loads fast. Font stacking can cause the appearance of the website to vary from user to user. In addition, it relies on the typefaces to be available locally on the end-browser’s computer.

Self-hosted Typefaces:

Many typefaces can be purchased and self-hosted for use in web projects. Self-hosting a typeface requires more technical knowledge than using a web streaming service and requires that you have access to the server where your website is hosted. When self-hosting a font, you will need to make sure that the proper license key is also being hosted.

OK, I’m Sold – Which Do I Choose?

When choosing between font streaming services, one must consider the best fit for themselves. There is no clear winner between Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit. Both have an excellent selection of typefaces to choose from and offer easy integration.

If you are a subscriber to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, using Typekit is most likely your clear choice. Typekit provides the flexibility you want for web projects, with the consistency of using the same fonts on all of your Adobe projects.

If you don’t subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Fonts is probably a great choice for creating beautiful and professional websites.

Conclusion

In the past weeks we have been learning a great deal about Typography in the Expand2Web Experts Group. We’ve learned that through proper consideration the typography in your designs plays as an important role as color.

With font streaming services like Google Fonts and Adobe Typekit we are given access to the right typeface for any project. Their massive typeface libraries, combined with user-friendly online tools, make both of these services winners. Learning to use them in your projects is guaranteed to take your designs to the next level!

Join us this Thursday, August 18th at 5PM PDT/8PM EDT, for our Typography 101 Workshop and learn how to move your typography skills to the next level by learning about font streaming services, font pairings and font identification.

If you are interested in learning more about the Expand2Web summer class schedule, please visit: www.expand2web.com/blog/expand2web-summer-class-schedule/

Inspiration source (and very well written comparison):
Carrie Cousins – Typekit vs. Google Fonts: Pros and Cons

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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