What folks are doing with Web Font Specimen

Web Font Specimen is available under a Creative Commons license for the betterment of typographic style and practice. Download it, make it your own, and make it better. If you publish a new version, just mention that it’s a derivative of Web Font Specimen. Here are some ways folks are using Web Font Specimen right now:


Typekit’s entire library now has a custom version of WFS built in — browse hundreds of typefaces, and see full page specimens with no setup required.

Good Web Fonts

Laura Franz’s type choices for web text, with thoughts on what makes each look good on screen as well as a WFS Laura modified just for Good Web Fonts.

Soma FontFriend

Matt Wiebe’s fantastic bookmarklet for experimenting with CSS-typeset text on the fly. Try it with WFS to quickly and thoroughly exercise type on the web.


Santiago Orozco’s jQuery demo for handy typeface previewing uses Web Font Specimen.

Compass plugin

Eric Meyer’s port of WFS as a Compass plugin.

About the project

Visit Nice Web Type and Follow @nicewebtype on Twitter for news and new projects.

Because web type renders differently with only subtle CSS adjustments, seeing it exercised in a variety of ways helps web designers typeset, and helps them decide which typefaces to purchase for their projects. Web Font Specimen and its accompanying article at ALA have emphasized the importance of context in evaluating type for web use.

Web Font Specimen was created by Tim Brown (that’s me), author of Nice Web Type and Type Manager for Typekit. In 2009, having typeset some web font examples and been invited to preview several type delivery services, I realized the need for this proper type specimen and bounced the idea off of Jason Santa Maria, who also recognized the need for such a resource.

Special thanks to Typophile for the excellent community in which this idea was incubated, and to James Puckett for getting me thinking. Thanks to everyone who follows @nicewebtype on Twitter, and a special shout-out to my fellows in the trenches. You fuel projects like this. Finally, thanks to my wife, baby daughter, family, friends, and coworkers. Making this took time out of their lives too, and I appreciate the sacrifice.


Web Font Specimen (this site, not the specimen) uses Typekit-served Proxima Nova and Proxima Nova Condensed by Mark Simonson. Coded and published with Coda. Dreamhosted. Minted. Egomaniacal. The downloadable specimen relies upon Eric Meyer’s reset.css and Nathan Smith’s 960.gs. Both excellent resources. The home page “download” image was hand-lettered by my friend and professor, George Laws. See more of George's lettering via photos I used to snap in the hallway at Vassar College.