TypeCast: Font Design Made Easy

Posted Friday, October 26th, 2012 in Reviews
TypeCast: Font Design Made Easy

Designing beautiful web pages is no easy task, but there’s a new tool on the block that allows developers to easily design their fonts in the browser. But, the question is if TypeCast is a tool that will actually save you time and frustration.

 

What Problem Does TypeCast Aim to Solve

TypeCast Simple BlogWeb fonts have become immensely popular over the past several years. Here’s the problem though. According to Process Type Foundry, web fonts are formatted differently than desktop fonts. This means that you cannot download web fonts and then use them in your design projects with software such as Photoshop or Fireworks. This means that you don’t have the fonts that you want to mock up in your designs…

Even if you did have the fonts in a desktop version, there is another problem. You still don’t know how the fonts will look in the browser.

Alternatively, you could work in a text editor or web development software, such as Dreamweaver. But, this means that you would have to download a font kit for each font you wanted to try, coe it up, then view it in the browser. Yea, that sounds painful.

How TypeCast Approaches the Problem

TypeCast is a web app that pulls over 23,000 fonts from 4 services: Google web fonts, Fonts.com, TypeKit.com, and Fontdeck. TypeCast allows you to choose from a few different project types, such as a sample blog article, a side-by-side comparison, a fairly comprehensive elements page, and more. The interface is very clean and intuitive, which makes it easy to style your font.

But, the real win here is that as you style the elements in TypeCast, HTML and CSS is produced for you. This means that you no longer have the two step process of designing fonts in a graphic design program and then trying to make your code fit. Now, TypeCast will code the CSS for you as your design your font. Then, if you want to jump in the CSS and make a few changes yourself, TypeCast lets you do that too!

Here’s a video from the TypeCast team with a better description:

My Thoughts

I think TypeCast is a solid tool that can greatly improve the workflow of web designers. As a matter of fact, the only gripe that I have about TypeCast is that I had trouble finding a way to embed fonts outside of TypeCast. Maybe I misunderstood the TypeCast features page where it states, “test your fonts outside of TypeCast free for 30 days”. I could just be overlooking the location of this feature.

TypeCast is a very solid tool and I highly recommend it to use for your next design project. As of now, TypeCast is public beta, which means you can use it at no cost.

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