FF Chartwell is a pretty fantastic use of OpenType features. It’s just too bad that FontFont decided not to offer a web font option. There’s so much potential here…
There’s a lot of buzz around icon fonts for web design these days. It will be interesting to see if FF Chartwell, the typeface for creating simple graphs from strings of numbers, builds upon the flexibility of typography on the web. Do these OpenType features work when embedded on a web page?
Update: According to Yaron Schoen, who built this nifty demo of FF Chartwell on the web, it is possible to embed the font on the web and use its chart creation features. Unfortunately though, the FontFont EULA for FF Chartwell doesn’t allow for embedding on web pages. That said, even Travis Kochel (the font’s creator) sees a possible use for the web and suggests letting FontFont know that the web font license should be included.
Another Update: After sending an email to FontFont explaining why a web font for FF Chartwell would be well received, a response came in this morning from Veronica of FontShop. Her friendly reply gave three reasons why a web font is not planned: 1) The font family is more complex than the version 1 Travis Kochel originally created, 2) the lack of layout features in browsers, and 3) large file sizes for the font files.
While the first reason is on point, the second and third reasons don’t hold up. In the first iteration of Chartwell, Travis even provides a set of browser samples to show the web font he originally created for Pies, Lines and Bars which includes support for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and even Internet Explorer 6 and up. And the individual WOFF files for these v1 web fonts come in at 121kb, 64kb and 24kb respectively (see the web-based example for yourself). Depending on which chart types you need, and the repeat use of those charts on a page, these file sizes don’t seem so out of the ordinary (especially compared to the work and file size involved in creating and serving static chart images).
Clearly the work involved in creating web-specific fonts for each member of the FF Chartwell family is not trivial by any means, and the expanded features may mean increased file sizes, but there is still a lot of potential here for web use. Take a minute and let FontFont know there are other designers and developers out there that would be willing to purchase a web font version of FF Chartwell.
Go ahead and contact FontFont and let them know.