Fun and games with Typekit

If you’ve popped by this blog at any point over the past 24 hours or so, you may have noticed some wonky typeface situations.

If you’ve been following the blog since the Squarespace incident, you’ll know that my only real gripe with WordPress is that I couldn’t change the typeface from Georgia. I tried any number of solutions, including Typekit, the WordPress CSS edit addon, and, of course, Squarespace. The less said about that the better.

I decided to live with it until very recently, when I saw people having a lot of success with Typekit and thought it would be worth revisiting.

I played around for a bit, and whilst I could get one section of the site to change, it didn’t look great. Then I couldn’t change it to something else, I could only take off what I’d done completely. A quick glance at the Typekit help pages suggested I was missing some integration with WordPress that should be obvious, but wasn’t. I tweeted.

I should point out here that Typekit replied to me in pretty good time suggesting I contact support if I was struggling. They did this the second time I moaned as well, which is good form.

In a bit of a strop, I deleted my account, and then Mr C convinced me to give it another go. Upon signing up, I found a whole range of options that had been invisible to me before. The perils of being an early adopter I suppose!

Typekit is pretty clunky. It takes a while to get used to what you’re doing and where you’re supposed to be adding typefaces to. And don’t get me started on the caching issue. You click update and there’s no telling how long it will be before you actually see the change in your browser. At one point I had three browsers and an iPad all refreshing in the hopes of seeing something. Anything.

Having said that, Typekit is the de facto way of getting typefaces onto your website – taking all the hard work and complexity out of everything and it just works. Give or take ten minutes.

I’ve settled on the typefaces I have for now, after quite a lot of changing my mind. It was a stressful couple of days trying to sort it out but above all else I am so unbelievably happy to have got rid of Georgia, that I would recommend Typekit to the world.

As an added bonus, here’s some knowledge I just picked up today – the difference between a typeface and a font.

Essentially, the typeface is the style of the type. The curly bits, the thickness of the letters, the spacing. It’s what you are seeing.

The font is the presentation as it gets to you – so you might select size 14 and that is a font, or you might select italic and that is a font, but they are both fonts of a typeface.

There’s a great description here, including the analogy that the typeface is like the song, and the font is like an mp3 or CD.