Twitter made waves recently when it decided to roll out a more modern font as its primary typeface. Many sites do it, but the ubiquity of Twitter made the decision more prominent, enough so that they even announced it on their support handle.
Starting today, we're rolling out a new font on http://t.co/zDdcbPwclU, moving from Helvetica Neue to Gotham.
— Twitter Support (@Support) May 30, 2014
Twitter’s move to adopt Gotham, which gained prominence quickly through President Barack Obama’s campaign materials, was controversial by many, but highlights the evolution of the web from using a small core of web safe fonts to having the ability to make a site unique through services like TypeKit, fonts.com, or free fonts through Google Web Fonts (which I’m employing here for the headlines).
Fonts can make a site look or feel quite different, even in the absence of any other changes, and the reactions were swift and varied. Twitter, which has backed off other changes, has stuck to its guns so far with this decision, and it’s likely to stay that way, as other sites continue to implement the technology (a close friend of mine reacted when he saw a subtle shift in Facebook’s fonts recently).