You’ve carefully researched and chosen your brand colors, logo, and company typefaces, and you’d like to, naturally, carry this brand across all your print and digital communications. Sounds like a short order, right? Well, there’s no straightforward way to accomplish this in your web content. The good news is that there are workarounds.

Consider all the browsers on all the computers in all the world. What are the chances that every one has your corporate fonts? Slim to none, unless your corporate font is one of the half-dozen or so that are supported on web browsers. To use your company’s selected font on the web, designers have few options, most of them clunky: use web-safe fonts (expected, but not branded), convert text to images (images slow down your site, they’re difficult to update, and search engines don’t like them), or use a font-replacement script.

A font-replacement script (like Cufon) is a piece of code that converts regular ol’ text to a typeface of your choice. If your visitor doesn’t have Javascript enabled, no problem: the text displays, fully-readable by search engine crawlers and real people alike, in good old Verdana (or whatever you’ve chosen). It’s pretty lightweight, which means a faster site and happier users. All in all, the result is a brand that’s more consistent on the web; it helps your site stand out.

These are exciting strides for the marketing and design community. As these technologies emerge, expect to see more opportunities (like CSS3, which allows for native embedding) to keep your brand consistent and strong from print to web.

(Also: Font Embedding is a great resource to learn more about the intellectual property issues surrounding fonts on the Web. Give it a read, and start thinking about the possibilities!)