In the past, we’ve been told not to use serif fonts due to its readability on low resolution monitors and poor rendering in WindowsXP. Now, with display technology advancing and IE7+ supporting ClearType by default, I think it is about time to change that rule. Take a look at the example sites that I’ve collected, you will probably agree with me that serif typeface will be the next web font trend.
If your target audiences are designers, don’t be afriad to to use the non-web-safe fonts such as Baskerville, Adobe Caslon Pro, Garamond, and Goudy Old Style. If your visitors are designers, the chance of them having those fonts installed are very high plus some are pre-packaged in the Adobe suite. Below are some good sample sites that use non-web-safe serif fonts.
Sushi and Robots (Hoefler Text)
Jina uses Hoefler Text as her main heading and body text. The headers look amazing by combining the uppercase and italic style.
Jon Tangerine (Baskerville)
From head to toe, you’ve got to agree Jon has a beautiful sense of typography. I was impressed to find that the logotype is not an image, just CSS. The main font used in this site is Baskerville.
Rustin Jessen (Baskerville & Adobe Caslon Pro)
Rustin combines Baskerville italic and Adobe Caslon Pro uppercase to create a nice typographic contrast for the category titles.
By styling the ampersands (&) and the word "by," the overall design is enhanced.
Another great use of Baskerville.
Web-Safe Serif Fonts
Below are some example sites that use web-safe serif fonts such as Times, Georgia, and Palatino. I find Georgia is a bit over used in most modern websites, so I highly recommend Times and Palatino.
Design Taxi (Georgia)
Design Intellection (Palatino)
Black Estate (Times)
Made by Sofa (Georgia)
Design Work Plan (Georgia)
Biggest Apple (Georgia)
Seed Conference (Times)
The Swish Life (Times)
Here are couple solutions for those who want to use non-web-safe fonts but afraid the visitors might not have the fonts installed.
- Image Replacement – Embed your text in an image and use
text-indentwith negative value to hide the text.
- Cufon – An alternative to SIFR, faster and easier.
- CSS @font-face – It allows you to reference fonts that are not installed on end user machine. However, this CSS rule only works in some modern browsers.