So, you want to use a custom font on your website – i.e. something other than Arial or Times? To ensure it looked right, the only way to do this used to be to encode the font as a picture. Bad idea. Enter web fonts.
Smashing Magazine have compiled rather a nice round-up of the different services on the market at the moment (as of October 2010). Embedding web fonts is an infinitely more elegant solution than creating an image of your special font. Using images breaks a number of WCAG regulations, and you can’t change the text (unless you upload a new image). So dynamically-updating websites are out. And search engines, like Google, are going to have a hard time knowing (exactly) what you’ve written.
It’s still a pain in the backside to embed fonts, as you’ve got to test them on lots of different platforms (different browsers on PC, Mac, Linux, then mobile devices, such as iPad, iPhone, Android etc.). At least with an image you know it’s going to look the same.
Google have now entered the foray, which is exciting news as they will (in most likelihood) keep their service free, and, it all should work nicely.Most importantly, it works on my Android phone.
Updated! 15Feb11: We recommend embedding using the New Bulletproof syntax. Now you can grab your fonts on Font Squirrel, get it to generate some nice code for you, then manually edit the CSS (will only take a few minutes). This now supports everything including Android, so I’m happy.