A refreshed look for Down the Road

20 comments on A refreshed look for Down the Road
1 minute
Down the Road, v. 1.0

I’ve changed the typefaces I use here to give Down the Road a fresh look.

Headings are now set in Jubilat, a stylized typewriter typeface. Its wide m width and big, fat bowls makes it super easy to read in a single scan. That’s good mojo for headings.

Body text is now set in Lato. This sans-serif typeface is a significant shift for me. I’m a 30-year staunch member of the “serif typefaces for body text” club. That’s probably because in my early career I wrote for print. Online reading has absolutely moved toward sans-serif fonts. I’ve even seen research that on screens, serifs can hinder reading. Seeing as I don’t mail my blog to you every day, I thought that perhaps I should get with the modern program.

I’m 100% jazzed by Jubilat. I’m only 80% in love with Lato, so I’m trying it on for size for a while. It might quietly change to one of the other available sans-serif typefaces someday.

This change kind of screwed up my pages (About, Cameras, For Sale, et al, available in the menu above) thanks to some weirdness with this theme’s CSS. I am working with WordPress support to resolve it, if it’s resolvable.

I’m a bit of a typeface nerd, in case you were wondering. I’m a bit of a nerd in general, actually. I think it’s part of my considerable charm.


20 responses to “A refreshed look for Down the Road”

  1. J P Avatar

    Nerdniless is a virtue.

    Someday I might venture out of my Times New Roman cave. But not today.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There’s an old saying among typeface nerds: “God doesn’t know which typeface you should use.” Choosing them is stupid hard. So stay in your cave, my man, trust me.

  2. seatacphoto1951 Avatar

    I never considered the importance of typefaces but I can scan over your writing this morning and take in quickly the information.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Excellent – that’s what I was going for!

  3. DougD Avatar


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      And well considered.

  4. Dan James Avatar

    I’ve been there with my blog when I first set it up in 2015, then again maybe six months ago when I changed the layout and theme. After much fiddling and faffing, I’ve gone with a pretty much default option for the theme. If it ain’t broke!

    I don’t if you were looking for feedback but if so I like the main body font, but the header font (like above where it says “6 thoughts on…” I don’t think fits with the body font, it doesn’t look related, if that makes sense, and looks much more rounded and classic and book-like than the more square and modern looking and square body font.

    I can be a bit of a geek about a few things, cameras and fonts being two of them. My wife says it’s endearing and she likes being married to a geek, so who am I to argue. : )

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The body and headline fonts don’t go together at all. That’s why I may play with the body font one day. There is a limited selection unfortunately.

      1. Dan James Avatar

        Why don’t you just use the body font in a larger size and perhaps bold so they match? Somehow having the different fonts match or at least be in harmony and not kind of fighting each other for me seems to have more impact on the overall cohesion of the site, than any one particular font you might choose. I’m sure there’s a graphic design term for this!

        Funny how we just seem to know when something looks right and something doesn’t. Don’t know if it’s instinctive or what we’ve learned.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I suppose I’d have to try it to be sure but Lato doesn’t strike me as a good heading typeface. Too plain.

  5. Heide Avatar

    “I’m 100% jazzed by Jubilat. I’m only 80% in love with Lato.” Yes, you are definitely a typeface nerd, Jim — but it is indeed part of your considerable charm. :) I do love the new look at Down the Road.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! Now here’s hoping I can figure out the wonky CSS on my pages.

  6. MICHAEL A RAY Avatar

    I’ve never cared much for differing fonts for the headings. I always just increase size and use bold if needed. Nevertheless, you need to fix the CSS for your comments for sure because the decreasing size for each level of comment is not good. I could still read, “I suppose I’d have to try it to be sure but Lato doesn’t strike me as a good heading typeface. Too plain.”, but it is not easy for these older eyes. ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That has been extra tricky to sort out. I’m not sure why with my previous CSS that ever-shrinking-comments didn’t happen but I’m not doing anything specific now to create it. I have more work to do.

      1. MICHAEL A RAY Avatar

        I see you’ve fixed it. Well done, sir!

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I set the font to a fixed 25px. Not ideal because it doesn’t dynamically size for the display dimensions anymore. But it is at least tolerably sized on both my desktop and my phone.

  7. Ivan Pilov Avatar

    When I start redesigning my website choosing a typeface is always one of the hardest things, but then I realise most of my readers probably see the content in the WordPress reader which doesn’t use my typface or design, so basically it’s all just for my satisfaction))

    1. Dan James Avatar

      This is an excellent point Ivan! Personally I like to view the websites themselves as you get more of a feel for the person and their writing – in Reader all blogs look identical and it’s generic and feels less personal. But I know many/most people view all WP blogs in Reader so they look identical in terms of fonts etc.

      Jim I just noticed the ever decreasing comments thing, mostly because I respond to comments via the little bell notification tool in the top right of the WP bar. It was only coming here to the site itself I noticed the text becoming ever smaller.

      I’m sure there are settings in WP for this, I remember not too long ago Heide’s blog had no limiting on nesting comments so you’d get to the point after five or six replies deep where it was so far justified to the right of the page the comments were displayed as a vertical line of single characters! I know she changed the number of replies it nests to stop it happening, there must be a similar setting to stop the font size keep shrinking?

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, Ivan, you’re spot on. I really am doing this mostly for myself. I do like visual design.

      1. Ivan Pilov Avatar

        Haha, me too. And I would say this fact doesn’t make the task easier. Opposite, sometimes I would change the design a couple of times a week just because I know the chance a visitor would notice it is slim.

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