Whoever thought of the @font-face CSS rule has the thanks of us all, whether we know it or not.
@font-face is a css rule which allows you to download a particular font from your server to render a webpage if the user hasn’t got that font installed. This means that web designers will no longer have to adhere to a particular set of “web safe” fonts that the user has pre-installed on their computer.
Fontsquirrel is a great resource towards this end with @font-face kits and a @font-face generator. Intunet described Fontsquirrel just right:
This is a great time saver for designers looking for free typefaces. Font Squirrel.com has taken the time to to find free quality fonts that are licensed for commercial work. Simply browse the fonts and download any that take your fancy. Thank you Font Squirrel. Excellent site.
As you may know, when Google announced in 2010 that they were also entering the web-font market with free, hosted fonts, it got a lot of us excited, and they continue to develop and improve the service.
There are times, however, when permission is given to use a font not available in an online directory. It is for times like this when FontSquirrel shines, providing a way to generate the necessary @font-face kit right from FontSquirrel. Awesome.
The directories of commercial-use free fonts continues to grow and it’s almost effortless to add them to a website, thanks to free services like FontSquirrel.com, the @font-face CSS rule and Google Web Fonts. Subscription-based libraries like Typekit are also out there.
(p.s. Though Cufon deserves to be mentioned, for some reason I’ve always liked @font-face.)