Posted in Typography

A font-identifying website that really works

Like Jen over at Digital Scrapper my font-identification attempts on the various websites that purport to be able to do this for me are frequently thwarted. Many thanks to her, then, for the recommendation of WhatFontIs.com

Most of the alternative tools “recognise” a promising-looking selection of elements from the sample you’ve uploaded, asking you to match those elements to your keyboard characters in a way that in theory should work. Unfortunately, in an attempt to get the name of a font just now that’s a pretty core component of the typographer’s toolkit (Didot) so you’d think success would be likely, I found over and over again that automating the whole process just didn’t cut it. Scraps of  letters were getting interpreted as unique characters (eg the dot and the stroke of the i). I was having to turf the elements entirely, since neither was an “i”, and in the process the set of identifiers grew smaller and the pool of matches returned would come to suck.

WhatFontIs.com addresses this problem by letting you drag-and-drop the two estranged elements on top of one another where they’re combined in a happy reunion, maintaining a larger set of characters to use in the matching process. The result: my font, identified.

My choice in the future’s going to be WhatFontIs.com for sure.

Posted in Typography

Some Handy Typography Resources

Software Bits and Bobs
Learning From Others
  • WhatFont is a tool that can be installed to your browser (as an add-on if you’re using Chrome, or a bookmarklet for Firefox) that allows you to instantly view information about any font used on any webpage in a popup just by waggling your mouse over it.
  • FontFinder is a Firefox-specific add-on with similar functionality, giving you even more information (including CSS styles applied), though the bucketloads of super-useful details you get (in a basic JavaScript alert window) do come at the expense of the aesthetic appeal WhatFont boasts. Decisions, decisions…!
Web Dev Tools and Resources
Other (Theoretical Things)