cufón - fonts for the people
If you're looking for the cufón generator, I'm afraid you're too late. Originally launched in 2008, the online cufón generator was discontinued in early 2017. The source code remains available at github.com/sorccu/cufon for those who may still need it. No support will be provided, however.
If you were hotlinking to the cufon.js file on this site (bad you!), consider migrating to the cdnjs hosted cufon.js instead. If you need to generate a font, you'll have to host the generator yourself.
Seriously though, you should be using standard web fonts by now.
Why is it gone?
The server, while still operational after all these years, was horribly out of date and becoming a security risk. Furthermore, it cost on average $20 a month to keep it running, including the VPS and Route 53 fees, which hasn't been great value for a long time. Unwilling to provision a new server and update the codebase to work with new software, the decision was made to shut it down.
Why did development stop?
I've thought about this a lot over the years. It boils down to a few main causes.
- Inexperience and the inability to say no. Promises that in the end turned out to be empty were made simply due to not wanting to disappoint.
- At the peak of cufón's popularity, I spent an average of 2 hours per day just answering emails. At first I found great joy in providing a useful (at the time) tool for other developers, and received intelligent and well thought out feedback in return. Over time as the project gained popularity, these questions slowly became more and more focused of figuring out why the WordPress template they bought from who knows where wasn't working quite right. There was no enjoyment in this work and I began to resent many of these users.
- Lack of automated testing and attempting to support every version of every browser. At the time, automated browser testing (especially for a graphical utility) wasn't really a thing at all. It became extremely daunting to make any potentially breaking changes. At the same time, vendors were only accelerating browser development, making the issue even worse to deal with.
- Too many things going on at once. In addition to work, I had at least 5 other major projects going on.
Combined, these reasons caused me to wake up one day and realize that I was no longer looking forward to returning home from work to continue playing with the project.
Uploaded fonts were anonymously logged since July 8 2010. Since then, 3,316,175 fonts were uploaded to the server for conversion. The recorded data includes dates, filenames, font names, font weights and not much else. No private information whatsoever is included. Any researchers interested in this data (perhaps to understand past font trends) may contact me.
Google Analytics was set up in early 2009. The steady decline in popularity over the years is apparent, but you can imagine what it was like running the whole thing as pretty much a one man show during the peak years! Note that aside from a Typekit referral link, the site stayed ad-free till the end.
You can still follow me on GitHub where I occasionally publish new things.