Cufon emerged as a serious contender to sIFR and image replacement techniques for displaying rich fonts on web pages in 2008. The Cufon project had four major goals that it sought to achieve in order to provide a significantly better experience than sIFR:
- No plug-ins
- Cross-browser compatibility
- Simple setup and usage
- Speed, even for large amounts of text
The replacements are made right over top of the existing text, which is then hidden with CSS, allowing the markup to remain semantic. Because neither flash nor images are required, Cufon is extremely fast, and fully backwards-compatible in case the relevant technologies are not enabled in the browser.
Until @font-face gains traction, I will continue to use Cufon, as it offers the best performance and easiest setup of any of the font-replacement technologies out there.
Cufon at Github
Examples of several different fonts rendered with Cufon