(Update: Typekit is now known as Adobe Fonts.)
Uncertainty about how much Adobe Creative Cloud depends on Internet connectivity makes some users wary of signing up. We already know that annual subscribers can run Creative Cloud applications for 99 days in offline mode before having to revalidate the license online (30 days for monthly subscribers).
But I started to wonder how that works with Typekit fonts. Access to the Typekit font library is a valuable Creative Cloud feature because you can sync any of thousands of TypeKit fonts to your desktop and use them in any application (they’re not just web fonts). Of course, you can’t simply copy the fonts to just any computer and use them; because Typekit fonts must be validated by the Creative Cloud servers they work only for licensed Creative Cloud users.
Which leads to this question: If you synced Typekit fonts from Creative Cloud to your desktop, and you need to edit documents that use Typekit fonts when no Internet connection is available, do you still get to use those fonts or do they disappear along with the Internet? This is a big question because losing access to fonts can make it impossible to edit design-intensive documents.
Fortunately, the answer is the one we want to hear: Typekit fonts you’ve already synced to your computer will continue to work even if you don’t have an Internet connection. When you’re offline, Typekit fonts are kept accessible by the Creative Cloud desktop application; that’s the software you use to install and validate Adobe Creative Cloud tools and services such as applications and fonts.
I originally thought Typekit fonts didn’t work without the Internet, but later realized that was only because I had quit the Creative Cloud application. (I have a habit of shutting down processes such as Creative Cloud and Dropbox when I don’t need them.) But as long as the Creative Cloud desktop application is running, your Typekit fonts will continue to be available in your applications whether you are online or offline.
As with Creative Cloud applications, you’ll have offline access to Typekit fonts as long as you were signed into your Creative Cloud account the last time you were online. But a key difference is that Creative Cloud applications will work just fine when the Creative Cloud desktop app is not running whereas Typekit fonts will not. Even when you have an Internet connection, you still need to run the Creative Cloud desktop app to keep Typekit fonts active.
Possible resource issues
Running the Creative Cloud application all the time may be an issue for those concerned about battery life and keeping CPU cycles available. Some users report that Creative Cloud sometimes consumes more CPU power than expected when idle; and on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Creative Cloud is sometimes listed as an Application Using Significant Energy under the battery icon in the menu bar.
Those observations have caused some to quit Creative Cloud when not using Creative Cloud applications. But if you want to be able to use Typekit fonts in your documents, for now you must let the Creative Cloud application continue to run. Adobe regularly updates the Creative Cloud desktop application and may be able to improve its power management over time.
Update: The Creative Cloud desktop app version 184.108.40.2067 released on October 6, 2014 may have addressed this problem. The release notes for that version include this item: “Save battery life via improved app efficiency.” We’ll have to see how much difference that makes.