While us UCWbLers are committed to our belief that writing is a multifaceted and active endeavor—encompassing not just the transcription of thoughts a writer has prior to writing but the creation of thoughts as one writes—and thus we encourage the writers and instructors we work with to focus not only on local concerns, but more global ones as well, we know that every aspect of how one presents her work plays into how audiences interpret that work. Thus, we—like any writer—need access to cool fonts for our blogs or websites. Enter web fonts. Like this one you’re reading now, Arvo.
Up until the early 2000s, writers making their own websites or the newly-emerging genre of the weblog—or “blog”—had to rely on code that told web browser software like Netscape, Explorer, or Safari to display text using fonts that were loaded on whatever computer a reader was using to access the web. Thus, writers and web designers looked at what fonts were most likely to be installed on computers and discovered that nearly all computers, owing to the centrality of Microsoft and the then-bit-player Apple, had certain fonts loaded. Since the “web” began in 1993 or so and until the early 2000s, we pretty much read text online in four fonts: Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Trebuchet (of course there are exceptions to this claim, thus the conditional, “pretty much”).
The history of web fonts starting in the early 2000s gets pretty interesting and varied (at least to typography and design geeks), but the present-day situation means that we can use the slab-serif font Arvo on this blog and know that when you read UCWbLing, unless you’re using hasn’t-been-updated-in-years web browser, you will see our words how we want you to see them.
A range of services exist to help writers online have access to high-quality web fonts that ensure our words look how we want them to on pretty much any and all browsers. Here at UCWbLing, we use the free Google Fonts and use the WP Google Fonts plugin to load Arvo. Pretty cool letters, yes?