Font Pro stacks | Joe Workman | $49.95
In the early days of Rapidweaver, if you wanted to move beyond the typographical limitations of websafe fonts, you had to choose a theme that incorporated some extra choices and use whatever the developer was serving up that year.
Of course, it was possible to buy and implement your own fonts but this was expensive and well beyond the reach (and pocket) of the majority of RW users. Then along came Google Fonts in 2010 and changed all that. Suddenly, with a line or two of code and a bit of CSS you had access to a growing library of fancy fonts; then Stack developers moved in and made it even easier – and Rapidweaver sites have never looked better.
But for those designers who were really into their typography and who believed that the web could be as good a home for elegant, accurate fonts as the printed page, it was still probably better to roll your own.
Font Pro changes all that, and – for the patient and the organised – gives you oodles of typographical controls as well as easy access to font libraries like Adobe Typekit and Hoefler & Co – along with smooth integration with Google fonts and the ability to call any font libraries you purchase and install yourself.
Font Pro includes three stacks:
Font Families which allows you to select the fonts you want to use and apply them, perhaps to a specific page, or elements on that page (paragraph text, headers, lists and even a custom CSS class or selector); or to one of eight font vaults, which can be applied directly to those stacks that support them – see below.
Font Styles which allows you to specify the individual characteristics of a font – for example, line height, letter and word spacing, font size across four different break points, whether and where individual words break, as well as more decorative elements like opacity, colour and shadow
Font Box which is a container for other stacks where you want to be able to apply your fonts but don’t include the right ‘hooks’ to take advantage of Font Pro
While Font Pro will work with any theme, allowing you to apply your chosen fonts on a page-by-page basis or to specific elements, it comes into its own when used in conjunction with stacks that have been designed to work alongside it – these include the Paragraph and Header stacks included with the author’s Foundation theme along with a range of stacks from Big White Duck such as HeaderPro and ParagraphPro. (Rapidweaver Central’s new PriceThing stack also integrates with Font Pro very nicely and I’ve been assured that further WeaverThings will soon follow suit.)
This third-party support allows you to create complex font style rules and then apply them to your content in very sophisticated ways. When used in combination with Stack’s built-in Partials feature, it’s possible to build powerful font rules which can then be applied across an entire website.
Font Pro won’t appeal to everyone. The price of entry is relatively high for Rapidweaver users who just need to apply the odd Google Font here and there – and many modern themes do a fine job of providing a good selection of interesting fonts to choose from. For Foundation users however – or those who rely on stacks like ParagraphPro and HeaderPro – who value exceptional control over their typography and understand the difference between applying a bold font and just clicking the ‘B’ at the bottom of the edit window, this is a more than sound investment. It takes some time to get to grips with – the terminology and workflow isn’t necessarily as clear as it could be – but if you want proper control over every aspect of your website’s typography, Font Pro is a remarkable piece of work. It’s plugged into some of the biggest and best font libraries on the web, allows you to work with fonts you’ve purchased and offers granular control the like of which Rapidweaver users haven’t seen before. For that audience, Font Pro is highly recommended.