Font change on BookMooch pages

April 8, 2007

I’ve long wanted to set the fonts used at BookMooch, but have avoided doing it for various technical and lazy reasons. Until today, the font that you saw BookMooch by was the default one in your web browser, which sometimes made things a little ugly.

One thing I didn’t like was how my buttons are set to VERDANA (the only place fonts were set) but some browsers would use Times Roman for the text. For example, that’s how Firefox did things:


the window above is how BookMooch looked in Firefox/Mac until today. My graphic designer really likes Verdana, and that’s what I tried initially, but look how much space it uses (I had to make the window a lot taller to accommodate the same text)


what I settled for was using Arial on the text, and leaving the buttons as VERDANA, because the buttons look good that way. Having two slightly-different san-serif fonts on the same page is a huge design no-no, but it seems to look ok, if you don’t have a graphic designer background (smirk).

So here’s what the new fonts look like:


they take about the same amount of space as Times Roman, but the overall page is a bit more clean. Well, I’m sure it’s all a matter of opinion, but I like it.

Note that I am *not* hard-setting the font size, so people with bad vision who like to make their fonts bigger, can continue to do so. At BookMooch, I’m sure a good part of my audience is older and has less-than-perfect eyes, which is why I don’t use small type on the site.

If anyone sees any font mistakes, ie places where Times Roman creeps in, or anything else weird, please let me know. I tested the new site with Firefox Mac and Windows and Ubuntu Linux, IE 6, Opera, Safari and OmniWeb.

25 Responses to “Font change on BookMooch pages”

  1. carly said

    I love it!

    Thanx a bunch


  2. Mary Jones said

    I like the new fonts, it is a much cleaner look, and with my poor eyesight, it is a lot easier to read. You guys have been doing so much work on the site. Thank you, I love it!
    Mary Jones

  3. Bur Davis said

    I am viewing on a windows box, Firefox 2 or IE 6. In Firefox, if I set the Text Size to Normal (or in IE 6 to Medium), the text is larger than in the screen shots you show above. Not sure whether it’s a Windows thing or what, but it’s annoying. No response necessary, just giving you a data point.

  4. Shari Roberts said

    I like the new fonts much much better! I use Firefox and this looks great! Thank you!

  5. ave17 said

    it was a surprice today to see the new font. im a mac safari user.
    normally im a fan of arial or verdana but only if it’s small. the new text however looks huge for me.

  6. Lynda said

    I like the new font but it is too large.
    When I first came on I went up to view my font size settings in my browser and was surprised to see them still set at medium (although it appears as large on your site). Then I went to another site and realized it was just bookmooch that was appearing so large. I prefer a medium font. I feel that if someone has a hard time reading a medium font size then they can always adjust the viewing size on their browser.

    I am using IE6.

  7. mystfromthesea said

    Ha Ha Ha! I had to blink a few times, and sit back for a minute to adjust to the changes. It’s really great, and I’m sure it will make this website accessible to more people now that the font is bigger.

  8. Otis Wheeler said

    The new Arial text looks huge to me too (Mac, Firefox). I find it much harder to skim than Times New Roman.

  9. Yvonne said

    Actually, using up to three fonts in any project is more than acceptable, and usually needed for a professional look. (One for titles/buttons, one for text, and a third for “get noticed” items). The new pages look fantastic! I am pleased that you went your own way with the design, don’t hesitate to do so again in the future!

  10. The font has changed from Verdana to Arial, as of midnight last night. Don’t know how people feel about it now, but it is a bit more condensed.

    My previous thinking in NOT setting the font was that BM would then use the default font people are used to reading things in, that would be best for usability. At the same time, I got criticism about the site looking amateurish because the default font was used.

  11. Grace W. said

    I thought my mom did something to my computer! I did have to make the font smaller though. Nice change.

  12. Allowing folks to set their own font size and the simple page layouts are things I really like about the BookMooch site. On most sites I have to enlarge the font — not on BookMooch. Many sites use page formatting that messes up when the page font is enlarged.

    The only font/size/color combination I can’t read on BookMooch is the poster id on the upper right in the forums when the id is blue. I have to highlight it to make it turn white to read it.

    I like both the old and the new fonts on BookMooch. Either way looks good to me.

    I’m using a 21″ monitor, 1024×768, Mozilla 1.7.12, default proportional font set to San Serif 18 pixels.


  13. kidamnesiac said

    I’ll be the weird one and say I liked it better before ;P But ahh, I hate change on any website that I frequent, so it’s not your fault XD I’ll get used to it, most assuredly. Keep up the great work!

  14. At first, I thought it was me, but then saw the news. I dig the new look, even if (in Firefox) the font appears huge. In a way, it makes things look a bit cleaner.

  15. Hope said

    Thanks for changing it for those who need it most. I think I am one of the few people on the planet who use serif fonts to quickly skim texts. Since I can set this myself in my browser, it’s not a problem that the site has been altered a sans serif font. Thanks for putting so much work into the site, and giving it so much careful thought (particularly the search functions).

  16. LauraTS said

    I’m a fan of sans-serif fonts, so I like the new fonts, and the lack of Times Roman. I agree with Lynda and Otis that the size seems too large, as a default setting.

  17. sorchah said

    But the text boxes are still TNR! 😦

  18. Becky said

    I agree that the font is too large.

  19. Karmonghia said

    I love the new font face — and the fact that I can use the browser to make smaller or larger to suit my needs. I also really love the news displaying on the member’s homepage. VERY useful.

    Keep up all the wonderful work.

  20. Jackie said

    Meh, I have the font set a certain way on my browser (Firefox) for a reason. I was a tad annoyed that the font was larger, because it makes it more difficult to scroll, but it won’t make not use the site or anything.

  21. R.Z. said

    Err, I actually like the font before… it was cuter. But oh well.

  22. June Edelson said

    The new large fonts are great! I always keep my fonts large enough so I do not need glasses to read my computer, even though I need reading glasses for a book. Please keep them this way.

  23. I’m a Linux user and my system doesn’t have any of the fonts you mentioned so I still see my default font complete with ugly serifs. It would be nice if you could add sans-serif to the stylesheet so us linux users without windows fonts get something similar too.

    Thank you!

  24. Jill said

    I actually liked the older way better. I though it had a much cleaner professional look then. Arial looks amateurish to me. Maybe time will tell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: