Adventures in sIFR

July 8, 2008

I enjoy the challenge of learning how to do new things. Working with the Web is a great fit because there are always things to learn. Over the past year, I have tried to incorporate something new into every Web design project that I do.

I am currently working on a new design for Campus Crusade’s Summer Mission Projects site. It is an exciting project because it is the first to be a total package. Our team is working on the promotional videos, print brochure, sticker and Web site. The video has been the lead player in determining the common design thread that will weave through all the pieces in the package.

For the Web site, I am using “real-life” elements of a desk and it’s contents and combining it with illustrations that create a fantasy world within the video.

As I have progressed with the design, the headings typography was begging to be a scripted style that fit into the theme of a sketchbook on a desk. Now I was faced with the problem of how to create those headings in a scripted font. I decided to use image replacement for navigational elements. But as I thought about it, sIFR seemed to be a good solution for the content headings instead of image replacement.

I have never used sIFR before and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I found a tutorial, This is How I Got sIFR to Work. The author’s intent was to distill the “official” documentation into a simplier form. I give him kudos on accomplishing that intention.

I was very excited tonight when I finally got it to work. I had been working with it for a couple of hours last week but never had success. Now I am not always the best at following instructions so tonight, I decided to go back and go through each step. (I never follow the owner’s manual of a new electronic toy. I would rather play with it and figure it out myself.)

One of the first things I found was the swf file I created last week did not work correctly so I went back and created one according to the tutorial. Also the first time I was working through the tutorial, I did not download the latest sIFR from the place the author suggested. So as I had worked through his tutorial, several things were not matching up. That had really been frustrating. It was so much easier to have the right version and be seeing the same things the tutorial was describing.

I am so glad I stuck with learning. I think this is an appropriate and smart solution. I will not have to create images for every heading and it was also cut the download time.


  1. David Yeiser

    July 9th, 2008

    Glad the tutorial helped! Maybe one day we’ll have an easier way to embed “exotic” typefaces.

  2. Bookmarks about Sifr

    September 18th, 2008

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  3. Bill

    September 14th, 2009

    I guess you’ve discovered CUFON by now seeing as this post was written over a year ago.

    It’s way easier to implement than sIFR:

  4. Jeff

    September 14th, 2009

    I am aware of Cufon but I have not yet used it. The drawback of Cufon in my implementation was that I needed to embed a file in Flash so I could use it. It was not a free font and from what I understand, you need to link to a free font.