Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cardo and Google Web Fonts

Google recently opened up 18 fonts that can be freely used on the web. (A selection is displayed above. More info here and here.) What is important about this is that it means you can reference those fonts on your web pages and be assured that they will show up as you intend even if the person does not have that particular font on their system. You can get the embed code by clicking on the font from here and following the links. There is a nice font previewer here that even generates the code you want with text effects applied. To download the fonts so that you can use them as you design web pages, grab them here.
Of particular interest is that Cardo--a long time favorite for those using biblical languages because it contains a complete set of Unicode Greek, Hebrew, and diacritical marks--is among those released. Cardo's designer, David Perry, has provided some additional information about this development. He's been working on a updated edition of his resource, and now book, Document Preparation for Classical Languages, which will be released in June. He is also going to provide an update to the Cardo font set which was last revised in 2004. This is all good news!
Now for the disclaimers...
For now, at least, the Cardo font that Google is providing is only a subset and does not include the Greek and Hebrew characters. (I don't know that they will ever do so, but it sure would be nice...) OTOH, Weston Ruter pointed me to FontSquirrel. For someone who is industrious and knows their way around CSS, it makes it possible to create and serve up your own font set.
BOTTOM LINE: Thanks to Google, the web should be a more attractive place and hopefully one more attuned to Greek and Hebrew. Thanks to David Perry, we can look forward to an update to Cardo and a great new resource.

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