Webtype: Five Years of Better Fonts for Better Websites

five

This fall we celebrate Webtype’s fifth anniversary! We officially announced in August 2010 and started serving fonts a few weeks later. Webtype was among the earliest web font services on the market, but the goal wasn’t to be the first, but the best. Typefaces from Font Bureau and our other early foundries didn’t make it to Webtype customers until they were thoroughly tested on and tuned for the vast array of screens and rendering environments. This commitment to quality meant that Webtype has never had the biggest library of web fonts, but certainly the most useful and reliable one. No where is this more apparent than in the Reading Edge fonts, designs that aren’t just hinted adaptations of existing print-based typefaces, but new designs drawn specifically for the screen.

We also believed in a different way of selling web fonts. From the beginning, we offered a modular, per-font licensing model which gave customers the flexibility to get only what they need and what they use. This method also sends more cash back to the type designers, which attracted the world’s premier foundries — and continues to do so, with 15 labels now on board. Webtype was also unique in the way it worked for users. It was cleaner and simpler from the start, requiring just a single line of CSS rather than external JavaScript. All this has always been backed by a free 30-day trial that lets users prove for themselves if the type and technology really suits their needs.

It didn’t take long to see that lots of other folks agreed with our approach. As Webtype fonts began to appear around the web, designers and developers noticed the difference and joined in. Seeing how our customers use Webtype is the best part of our job, and it’s the best evidence that all the decisions and work truly pay off.

So let’s look back at some of the most interesting Webtype uses over our first five years and note some milestones along the way.

5 Years of Webtype

Big Sites

Our infrastructure has the muscle to deliver webfonts to even the most high profile websites. Heavy hitters such as TechCrunch, ESPN, and Ford are pounded with millions of visitors per day and Webtype keeps their typographic style in tact without interruption. In fact, since implementing our new serving architecture last year, we’ve had 100% up time.

espn.com

5 Years of Webtype

Smart Sites

Some of the most groundbreaking examples of current web design and technology have employed fonts from Webtype. These include creative navigation and infographics like those on Nike’s LeBron 11 microsite, or editorial sites, like the rich and responsive experience of Rolling Stone’s “Greenland Melting” feature, or the clear and informative “Origins of Common UI Symbols” from Shuffle Magazine created on Readymag’s Webtype-powered platform for making your own magazines.

Readymag

5 Years of Webtype

All Kinds of Sites

Webtype users aren’t limited to any particular industry. Thanks to our flexible set up and variety of typefaces, all sorts of companies rely on Webtype: automotive companies like Lamborghini and Lexus, fashion brands like Fossil and Levi’s, and online magazines and newspapers like New York magazine and Más Por Más. Our fonts are found in every sector, from international finance to Hollywood.

And now, some numbers

Font Collection

50

type designers

150

font familes

1,850

font styles


Font data served

2010

0.2

terabytes per month

Today

30

terabytes per month


That’s more than

500,000,000

fonts served per month

Sites Served

8,000+

Domains (Estimated)

Uptime

100%

Since September 2014


Despite all our growth, we haven’t lost sight of what separates us from other webfont providers: attentive support, reliable service, easy implementation, and above all, superior typefaces. (Psst, we have lots more type in the pipeline. Keep an eye on the blog!) Here’s to another five years.

Typefaces used in this post: Marat, Planet, Blesk, ITC Franklin, Benton Modern RE, Harriet Display, ATF Poster Gothic, Shift, Helsinki.

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