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.
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!