Ordinary Fonts (Updated)

Picking a new font for this here shindig – or for the shindig Over There, since there’s no rule a sub-blog can’t have its own fonts – is a challenge for one particular reason beyond normal aesthetical diffidence: We’ve grown used to a showily serif font, “Goudy Bookletter 1911,” for headlines and titles – so the traditional sans-serif title/serif paragraphs contrast isn’t available to us. You’ll occasionally see people try the reverse – serif titles and sans-serif paragraphs – and reports of vomitous nausea and other undesirable reactions tend to accumulate. Still, we can do whatever we want. There’s no rule we can’t go Goudy Bookletter for both titles and paragraphs and any and everything else, for example. The current paragraph font at OT – also used for most non-headline purposes – is “Domine.” For reference, as of this writing, you can look at this paragraph right here. Since I’m likely to change the font at this sub-blog, here’s a sample for future reference.



It’s not a bad font at all! It’s just a bit bland, but may just be overly familiar. The word that occurs to me when I look at it – and, like any other OT reader, I look at it a lot, by definition – is “balky”. When I look at possible replacements, I want something more striking on first glance, in keeping with the site’s general retro/steampunk/retro-future aesthetic, but still susceptible to fading into virtual transparency, or able to step aside and just let the reader read. So, I don’t think we want something too distinctive, but I think we could stand trying out some alternatives. Anyway, here’s a gallery of samples all in Lorem Ipsum, under a sample post showing a current OT front page – so Goudy lettering for the post title and navigation tabs across all samples. You’ll want to be viewing the gallery on a desktoppish-size monitor (too small on mobile, plus the font title captions and side-scrolling very probably won’t show for you). Click on any thumbnail to bring up a large image, hover over to the right or left to bring up an arrow that’ll let you scroll through the gallery sideways. Tell me if any stand out to you as majorly fab or truly terrible. Note: These are all free fonts, mostly from Google Fonts (hardly the only foundry, but free and highly functional, and easy to use). I’ve also thrown in a few”web safe fonts” – fonts everyone has and a lot of people still use – so don’t be embarrassed if you find yourself liking the most generic font there is, the one you just got through saying you never wanted to see again. Any of these would be easy to apply at any time, and also easy to switch out. If you want to scan some others, you can use the tools at Google Fonts. If you want to recommend a font from some other service – Typekit is another excellent one, and either free or very inexpensive – let me know what you discover. I’d be happy if we narrowed it down from a list of 24 possibilities to several we’d mostly all be OK with trying. I’ll withhold my own preferences for now.

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