FontShop is constantly at the forefront of font technology, developing innovative tools to facilitate and enhance the work of (web) designers. Today the world’s leading retailer of digital type and publisher of the largest library of original contemporary typefaces launched its latest project. WebFonter aims to become an indispensable tool for anyone designing for the web. With it you can test-drive thousands of webfonts from FontShop, in your desktop browser and in your own design, for free. It was developed by Rob Meek, the brain (and heart) behind the free online font editor FontStruct, the FontShop Plugin(s) for Adobe Creative Suite applications, the FontShop Font Renderer back-end, and FF Mark and FF Kievit microsite development.
Aiming to make the web design process as seamless as possible, the new FontShop Webfonter allows designers to “try before they buy,” by previewing actual typefaces in any existing site, for free. Users can replace headline or body text, specific fonts, or, using custom CSS selectors, anything they want with fontshop.com/webfonts. The tool can be used as a Chrome extension, browser bookmarklet or by entering a URL directly at webfonter.fontshop.com. Although they all share the same code, the three flavours offer different features. The extension and bookmarklet in particular make the WebFonter extremely powerful and useful.
WebFonter also has an advanced browser component with features like search, favouriting, a history and “find similar” families.
A significant current trend in web design and development is towards in-browser design – partially or completely bypassing layouts in Photoshop or desktop layout tools – and doing layout directly in the browser. WebFonter aims to become an integral part of this modern design process without forcing you to design in the cloud (in contrast with TypeCast).
WebFonter is a continuation of the revolutionary FontFonter which was developed in collaboration with Tim Ahrens. Rob Meeks spoke with Tim at the start of the project, who gave Rob the FontFonter code. After analysing the original (and learning a lot in the process) Rob built WebFonter from scratch.
Rob Meek | “Tim’s FontFonter was the first of its kind and a brilliantly-executed concept that soon found imitators. Over the years it began to show its age, and WebFonter is its replacement. In a sense WebFonter is a super-sized FontFonter, simply because it provides access to so many more fonts. But it also has a lot of additional features that make it, I think, a more useful and robust tool for today’s design processes.”
“Our aim is to continue WebFonter development in the future, and to refine the existing features and add new ones.”