I’ve used Candara as a font on my initial design. Now, can I safely use this on a website. What are possible alternatives?
You can ‘safely’ use any font you like, as long as you don’t mind that not everyone will have that font! If your design is so tied to a particular font that it breaks if you use a different one, you’ve got bigger problems with your design to worry about…
Candara is part of the Microsoft 2007 package, and is available free to people on older systems as part of the PowerPoint 2007 Viewer, so depending on your target audience, you will probably find that between about quarter and half of visitors will have it installed.
Those are numbers worth working with. If you think it looks best in Candara, but works with your second/third choice of font as well, use Candara as the top choice. A good alternative would probably be Lucida Sans - this is broadly similar, and fairly common. And of course, finish the list with sans-serif as a catch-all for anyone missing Candara, Lucida Sans and any others you want to include in the list.
Thanks for the reply! Yes, it looks pretty good in Candara, but also sans-serif! So I’m good!.
Sloppy thinking. The “sans-serif” font instruction can result in any of a number of fonts, according to how the user has set their default fonts. Actually in most browsers it’s perfectly possible to set the default “sans-serif” font to a serif font!
Your default font is not necessarily mine nor anyone else’s. You need to test with a variety of the most common fonts. You may have set your browser to default to Candara because you like it, and that means a setting of “sans-serif”
will show you Candara anyway.
Bottom line, you have precisely NO real control over how folks will or won’t see your chosen fonts. If your site breaks if the font is changed, then your site was broken in the first place.
At the very least you need to test all the most common sans-serif fonts unless the basic design is font tolerant (which is perfectly possible though, alas, uncommon). That includes both windows, mac, and linux fonts.
Actually in most browsers it’s perfectly possible to set the default “sans-serif” font to a serif font!
As far as I’m concerned, if someone insists on viewing my site in Times New Roman, then they’re welcome to: I will not bother checking my site in that font to see if it looks bad or ugly (I do not use bizarre font sizes that would screw up based on font, otherwise, sure, I’d test… like if I have Impact in teh font stack, that one can get pretty unreadable very fast).
I don’t have Candara or Lucida sans, but I do have DejaVu sans which is close enough, and frankly most web readers aren’t typographic snobs enough to know the difference between one sans-serif font and another… so usually you are indeed fine by adding “sans-serif” at the end. Anyone who sets their default to anything else should be allowed to do so, and you shouldn’t worry about them.
Fine by me, too. My sites are designed so that they are useable in whatever fonts the vistor prefers. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you know. If some vistor finds reading times new roman easier than a sans serif font, it’s no skin off my back.
Anyone who sets their default to anything else should be allowed to do so, and you shouldn’t worry about them.
Well, but you understand the nature of the web. Nevertheless people still design sites that they feel only look proper in a certain font and at a certain viewport size. It’s not hard to design sites that look fine in the vast majority of fonts available, but there are people out there who still insist on pixel perfect presentation.
I say again, if the “wrong” font choice by the visitor breaks the site then the site is broken, period.
The simple answer to this issue is font stacks, just ensure you have a decent stack of fallback’s that gracefully increase the “install” chances and you’ll be OK. I use both Candara and Constantina on my website but have taken the time to build a stack to help it degrade gracefully.
As for the fonts themselves, you missed a pretty big element Stevie. While it’s true that Office 2007 and the Powerpoint Viewer both equally have the typefaces installed (giving it a fair shot of being available on a few PC’s), it’s also available within the latest version (Office 2010), the mac version (Office 2008) and if that wasn’t enough… Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 have them installed by default. Granted there will be plenty of XP users on Office 2003 (or lower) who won’t have it… but saying that things will only get better, and the new typefaces actually look really good on the web (at least I think so… Constantina is lovely).
Let me be a big old self-promotional wh0re:
There’s a ton of info in that article about using Vista fonts in designs, so it’s not completely self-serving.