Monotype Imaging and Google Collaborate to Make Web Fonts Better

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Alan Tam in Archive on January 9, 2012

Monotype Imaging’s Fonts.com Web Fonts team and Google have been brainstorming ways to make Web fonts better. Our main focus has been on file size. The idea is simple. Smaller Web fonts are faster Web fonts. Faster is better.

Looking to reduce Web font file sizes, the Google Web Fonts team began working closely with us to discuss the advantages of our patented MicroType® Express (MTX) algorithm. The results led to the joint conclusion that in order to truly maximize the value of this technology, it needs to be adopted by Web browsers and font tools. Thus, we decided that the greatest benefits would be achieved by sharing MTX with the entire Web community. As a result, Monotype Imaging has agreed to make the MTX format, as described in our W3C submissions, available to the public at no cost, subject to the terms of a license which can be found at: http://www.monotypeimaging.com/aboutus/mtx-license.aspx. Further details on the contributed technology can be found at http://www.w3.org/Submission/MTX.

Our ongoing collaboration will lead to a significantly better user experience, including:

  • Page load speed – with smaller font files, Web fonts used in your branded content will load faster than ever!
  • Font rendering quality – smaller font files enable greater screen optimization of Web fonts for noticeably better display quality across a variety of device screens.
  • Font features – smaller fonts enable more room for OpenType® features.
  • Cross platform performance – With Monotype Imaging and Google working with the W3C, the Web community and other browser vendors on adopting Web font compression technology, you will see enhanced performance of your Web font content across browser platforms. In other words, you’ll be able to deliver great experiences to your audiences regardless the browser.

Initially, Monotype Imaging and Google will focus on font creation tools. Currently, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer® browser supports EOT (Embedded OpenType) font files which make use of MTX compression. Open source tools needed to make EOT files can now be extended and improved. Beyond these efforts are several other interesting prospects including the possibility of adoption by additional browsers. Learn more about this collaboration.

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the Google Web Fonts team and to see how the Web community might make use of this technology. More to come!

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