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Monotype deal helps Google's fonts escape the Web

Google's Web fonts now are available through Monotype's SkyFonts technology, which lets people download fonts from the Web and use them on their computers.

Google Fonts offers hundreds of fonts for free use on the Web.
Google Fonts offers hundreds of fonts for free use on the Web. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Through a deal with font specialist Monotype, Google's free fonts for Web publishing are spreading beyond the Web.

Monotype now lets designers use Google's 624 freely available fonts through its SkyFonts software for managing fonts on Windows and Mac machines. Although Google offers fonts for use on Web site, designers often need local versions on their computers for use in design software.

SkyFonts can be used to rent fonts from Monotype's library for short-term use. Tapping into the Google library of fonts, though, is free. Using the software will ensure people get the latest versions of the fonts, for example updating them when new characters are added, and speeding up Web-page display speeds in cases in cases where the font is already downloaded, the companies said Wednesday.

With the fee-based part of SkyFonts, customers pay credits to rent fonts; 15 credits costs $15, with prices going down as more credits are purchased. Software on the customer's computers downloads the chosen fonts as long as the customer is authorized. Paying 1 credit will grant rights to use a font for 24 hours, or 3 credits will grant rights for 30 days.

The partnership dovetails with Google's recent move to change the Google Web Fonts project name to just Google Fonts.

Google launched its fonts project in an effort to encourage more elaborate typography on the Web, moving beyond the limited set of "Web-safe" fonts so that site designers can be more expressive.

Also Wednesday, Monotype announced a new $100-per-month Master subscription plan for its service that offers customers access both to Web and desktop fonts.

Corrected at 7:08 a.m. PT to note that the Google fonts are available for free use through the SkyFonts technology.