Web fonts with @font-face
When the web first started everything was in Times New Roman, black on grey with few images.
Things have moved on a long way since then, but there are still very few fonts. I’ve worked on many sites that have tried to overcome this by various routes.
Creating an image of headline text in the desired font
This can look good but offers poor accessibility and it’s hard to update
It can work well - but performs badly if overused, and can cause problems with z-ordering on some systems
@font-face Part of the CSS standard which allows you to provide font files for download.
However, this is actually quite old technology - I tried to use it back in the days of Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape Navigator.
Then as now there were competing standards for downloadable font files.
At the time both browsers only offered a web specific font format which didn’t look good enough to use.
However; Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4 now support regular TTF and OTF fonts and these look great.
There is still the problem that most good fonts are supplied under license - which prevents you providing them for download.
But with two major browsers providing a good implementation for standard font file we can hope that it won’t be too much longer before the problem is solved.