Kay lives here

working with the web

universal-access

Image replacement sucks

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Unfor­tu­nately it’s true.

Design­ers want images for head­ings, but I want search engine spi­ders to have some­thing to read.

Image replace­ment seems like the answer, yes? But every tech­nique seems to have some down­side, whether it’s acces­si­bil­ity, extra markup, browser sup­port, what­ever. They all feel like hacks, and I don’t like using hacks on com­mer­cial sites.

Russ Weak­ley has a round up of some of the alter­na­tives as does Dave Shea over at mez­zoblue.

But how about by-passing that drama alto­gether? I reckon with cre­ative use of fonts, styling and back­ground images, cre­ative vision can be achieved with­out sar­ci­fic­ing down­load speed. After all, these are head­ings we’re talk­ing about, and they’re meant to be read­able, in the end.

So what fonts do we have at our dis­posal? More than just Times and Arial, it would seem. The Vis­i­bone font sur­vey lists some com­mon ones, as does the Code Style Font Sam­pler. Jeff Croft lists some more sug­ges­tions. I reckon any­thing with over 80% sat­u­ra­tion on our main tar­get plat­form, which is still IE5+ on Win­dows despite what we all wish, is fair game.

So go, create!

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