i have recently started using @font-face to specify fonts. i am wondering why when this is available so you can build sites with any fonts people still use the original ‘websafe’ fonts most of the time? there is probably a good reason but i dont know and thought i would inquire…

There is not a lot of reliable support in browsers for @font-face, so it can be a bit flaky. And most fonts have copyright restrictions, so you can’t just make them available for anyone to download. That’s why companies like TypeKit and FontDeck store the fonts for you and let sites access them without the user being able to copy them. It’s a very tricky area at the moment.

sounds logical. thanks for the input!

Different browsers support one of three different font formats for @font-face fonts. To support all the browsers that support @font-face you need to supply the font in all three formats within the @font-face command.

Some browsers will then download all three formats slowing the page loading even though they can only use one of the formats.

Some browsers that don’t support @font-face will ignore all the fonts you specify and use the operating system default instead if the list of fonts includes one from an @font-face.

The licence for most fonts does not permit you actually sharing the font with anyone else and so the number of fonts that can actually be used legally with @font-face is a very small percentage of the total fonts available and those fonts that can be used legally are more likely to be amateur rather than professional fonts.