Commercial font vendors starting to allow @font-face embedding

When Apple introduced its @font-face support in Safari 3.1 in March 2008 it caused heated debates in the type industry, because in order to embed a TrueType or OpenType font in a website, the fonts need to be uploaded to a public server, free for everyone to be downloaded. But the users keep requesting the use of commercial fonts on websites.

Now more and more commercial font foundries have overcome their shock and have announced to support @font-face embedding for their fonts. Most notably, David Berlow of the Font Bureau has just announced that their fonts will soon be available for @font-face embedding. Font Bureau introduces a new permission table included in the fonts, but this table is currently not technically enforced in any way, so there are no limitations like the URL-binding feature of the EOT format. 

I am keeping track of foundries supporting @font-face embedding on this Wiki page.



  1. Mark Greve 2009/05/20 at 1:46 PM #

    This is a little like running the headline “PORSCHE TO PRODUCE CARS THAT RUN ON PURE WATER!”, and then adding in paragraph two, “as soon as someone figures out how that’s technically possible.”

    The post on the Font Bureau site is not an endorsement of @font-face, nor a commitment to support it. It is a proposal for extending the OpenType format to include light DRM. How anyone feels about that is their own business. Rolf, would you consider changing the headline of this piece to reflect that?

  2. ralfherrmann 2009/05/20 at 7:01 PM #

    The permission table is a side issue and I linked to this article for anyone who is interested in this topic. My post itself is about the fact that several foundries just announced to support @font-face (with TT/OTF fonts) or already support it – see the link to the webfonts wiki or this Typophile thread.

  3. John Allsopp 2009/05/22 at 1:56 AM #


    even half steps in the right direction are to be applauded! But, one thing foundries must note is that

    For over a decade, this has been technically possible with IE
    A tiny fraction of even leading edge web professionals use font linking (and those who do, overwhelmingly link to TT/OT fonts[1] )


    I think it’s very important for font linking/embedding to be as simple as possible for developers to experiment with and use. Creating EOT files is frankly a royal pain, so the barrier to explore is really high.

    But, I feel in my waters the day of font linking is coming to the web. I also suspect, in the long run the foundries will be very happy when it does, and kick themselves for the missed opportunities of the last decade or so (the online stock photo turnover is over $2 billion [2], so what would the font industry leaving on the table?



  4. Peter Bilak 2009/05/29 at 11:44 AM #

    We at Typotheque will start supporting @font-face embedding for our own fonts this summer.

  5. blum 2009/07/08 at 9:54 PM #

    ttf2eot has worked fine for me. It’s not complicated at all.


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