[thelist] Breaking away from "Standard" Fonts

Mark Groen evolt at markgroen.com
Mon Mar 13 22:11:50 CST 2006

On Mon, 2006-03-13 at 21:11 -0500, Felix Miata wrote:
> .........Helvetica is a 
> bitmap font on Linux and so is really best avoided entirely, and the 
> relative giant Verdana has its own problems as a result of its large 
> size. http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-helvetica.html 
> http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/verdana.html

The Helvetica and Verdana links look fine and scales well for this Linux
user, apparently your mileage may vary.

Depends on what distro you have, most of the Linux users that I know
install at the very least the basic M$ TT fonts.

If you still don't have the Core Fonts you can get them here:

Also, a large portion of the Linux users have a legit copy of Windows on
a partition somewhere on their hard drive and either copy or mount the
fonts that come with it to make them available for their daily OS.

Stephen makes a lot of *very* broad generalizations that have little to
do with design and more to do with making the web the way he wants to
see it. IMHO, that's fine for him and if he doesn't want to see what the
web designer had in mind for a nice looking web page then so be it, his

I believe a vast majority of computer users never change the default
font settings that come with their Windows OS, a fairly larger
percentage of graphic designers will experiment, and almost all Linux
users do eventually if they have root access. 
> favorite, and by so doing you also guarantee huge numbers won't see the 
> physical size of their choice either (regardless if your CSS is 
> user-default based on nominal size or not). Compare them yourself: 
> http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/fonts-face-commons.html

You are assuming that "huge numbers" change the default fonts and sizes
that come with Windows and Mac, that is not the case afaik.

> So, usually I set body copy simply to sans-serif, and limit use of 
> common and uncommon families to font samples, menus, headings and other 
> peripherals, and recommend others do likewise, or less. 
> http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/userdefaultbased.html

I recommend otherwise - that designers use what ever combination of the
default fonts that come with Mac and Windows they want, and make their
page look the way they or their client wants it to be.

If it matters, set a font-family and if it doesn't, then don't - but
leave the designer blameless for wanting to create a nice looking web
page, judge not etc. eh :-)

If there is a site visitor that has taken the time to set their own font
type and size to over-ride yours then it's no loss, that's what they
want. And you can probably assume they know what they are doing and have
seen the results of their special settings on other web pages than
yours, and recognize any oddity on your own page as a result of such.

For the rest of 'em, they most likely will see what you are seeing and
it would be a very boring internet, for myself anyways, if all I ever
saw was my default browser font.




More information about the thelist mailing list