22.02.14SeriesWeb Font / Web Font Overview

Web Font Overview 03: “Issues on Web Font”

The glamour and advantages of web font were described in the previous article. However, there are several issues with web font.

One issue is the fee. Most font distribution services and self-hosting licenses are charged, which seems to be an obstacle. Also, when a website needs to be maintained for a long period of time, web font may be incompatible with the rate structure of the current font distribution services.

“As a designer, I would like to implement web font, but it seems difficult for the client’s budget…” – It is believed that such cases still exist. In this series, I wish to introduce the positive points and effects of web font in further detail, so as to fill in such gaps in feelings towards the value of web font.

Font data capacity stands as the largest technical issue.

Because Japanese fonts have a great number of characters, the font data capacity increases. From this, the display speed of the web page may decrease; in the case of a large scale web service, implementation may have to be abandoned due to large server load caused by font data distribution, etc.

As another technical issue, it is necessary to consider how to display the page while downloading web font. Depending on the implementation, a phenomenon called “FOIT (Flash of Invisible Text)” that causes the characters to disappear while reading the page, and a phenomenon called “FOUT (Flash of Unstyled Text)” that causes flashing after displaying an alternate font while downloading web font, when switching to web font. As these characters can be seen by anyone, these phenomena cause stress when reading.

In this series, I would also like to introduce specific solutions for these technical issues.


Series archive Web Font / Web Font Overview