Thursday, February 03, 2011

Blogger Updates - Fonts, Tina Delgado Is Alive Audio, and Snail Mail

Observant regular readers might have noticed I'm using a new font for the posts.  Blogspot now offers a lot more fonts for bloggers to play with.  I tend to like a more informal font and people have complained that the old font was too small.  Bloggers, you can find them on your dashboard at Design → Template Designer → Advanced.

I'll probably experiment with this to see if there's a better permanent font.  One of the problems is that you seem to have to pick a font for all posts.  I understand that gives the blog a level of consistency, but more flexibility would be nice.  I could, for instance, leave the old posts in the old font and then use the new font into the future. You can't go back to the old posts to compare because they've all been changed.  Or I could use a unique font occasionally if it were appropriate for a particular post.    It's like buying a new car and the history of all your old cars has been changed too. Same with the colors.  It seems to be all or nothing.  (Though you can set different fonts and colors for different parts of the blog as you can see in the second column, left in image above - page text, background, links, etc.)

[UPDATE 4pm - If this font stuff interests you, be sure to read Dean's comment below before you start playing around.]
[UPDATE Feb. 4 pm - You're right Dean, CGinWI, Anon-lurker, and Kathy.  It was starting to get to me as well and I've change it (cherry cream soda) back to Georgia, but I made it 13 instead of 12 because 12 seemed too small.   I learned from all the font lessons you sent me that I should go with a more common one (that's available on more computers) and let the words, not the font, do the talking.  I learned a lot and I would also recommend Anon-lurker's referenced site to the list too, which also gets into accessibility a bit, meaning for those who have more trouble seeing the words than most people do.   And it had this to say about Georgia:


Georgia is like the other web fonts discussed so far in that it is wider than similar fonts meant for print design. Unlike the other web fonts, though, Georgia is a serif font, more along the lines of Times New Roman.
Georgia is somewhat easier on the eyes than Times New Roman, although high resolution screens with font smoothing technology also display Times New Roman quite well. One advantage of using Georgia is that it is not the default text of the browser. It is easier for users to see that the designer has applied some style to the font when fonts other than the default font are specified. Georgia ends up looking slightly more artistic than Times New Roman, though CSSIt's time we take back Times New Roman on the Web - external link on styling can certainly breathe new life into Times New Roman too. (See, for example the article It's time we take back Times New Roman on the Web - external link on]

Tina Delgado Update

When I monitor sitemeter to see how people get here and where they go, I'm reminded of old posts.  Sometimes I have to look it up to remember what it's even about.  And sometimes I realize I need to do an update.  Should I make a new post too to alert people of the update?  Usually, probably not. 

For instance, I continue to get people googling, "Tina Delgado is Alive, Alive."  When I did a post on the LA radio soundscape of the past (Oct. 2009), I couldn't find an audio.  But I decided to check again today and found a 90 sec YouTube piece that will allow people to hear that, back then ubiquitous, proclamation.  Here's a link to the updated Tina Delgado post.  It's at the end of the video/audio that you get the real deal.

Snail Mail

Also, I did a post on the impending death of the post office recently.  Today on Talk of the Nation they had a discussion of the art of snail mail.  So I'm adding a link to that post.


  1. The new font, it burns my eyes! For the love of typography pick one that's easier to read.

    Font advice:

    Cheers! :)

  2. Thanks Dean, the links were really interesting. Anyone interested in fonts should check them out

    And I need to do my post on how to make a link in a comment using html. If Dean is the Dean I think he might be, he already knows and just decided it was easier for the reader to cut and paste than for him to type in the code. But I think it's my job to make that sort of thing as easy as possible for the reader.

    They each approach the question of which font to use for your blog in a different way, but come down to pretty much the same advice: use a commonly used font like Ariel, Verdana, Times New Roman which all computers and browsers should have. A good point was that the font shouldn't be picked to be decorative.

    So I'll go back to one of the common ones in a day or two, but meanwhile I'll leave it like this for readers to see and comment on.

  3. I think it's kind of hard to read, too. I would rather be grabbed by a thought than wrestled to the ground by a font. By which I mean to say that I like reading what you have to say, with as little visual struggle as possible.

  4. I am a lurker, an infrequent commenter, and a font geek. I can't tell exactly which font this one is, but it is difficult to read. This website has a great discussion about readability of fonts -

  5. I'm with Dean!! If you were usually posting very short sentence fragments -- for instance, just a photo caption -- this might be cute, but since you do tend to write a lot (an observation, not a criticism!) you need a font with high readability. That means one with serifs. (so please don't use Arial)

    Also, if we're into typographic observations, notice the strange curl at the top of the lower case f. Now try to read a couple of paragraphs without getting fixated on the fs. Like trying to ignore the spinach in somebody's teeth.

    You can never go wrong with Times Roman. boring but totally functional

  6. Your posts are interesting so the font doesn't need to be. The site is much more readable now. Thanks.

    "...decided it was easier for the reader to cut and paste than for him to type in the code..."*

    Nailed it in one. I was too lazy to type the HTML and was hoping the software would be smart enough to turn them into hyperlinks auto-magically. It doesn't look like Blogspot can do that. Also most modern browsers are smart enough to identify when selected text is a URL. In Safari you can select the URL and when you right-click you get a popup menu with an option to open the link (see example here) even if it's not properly marked up in the HTML as a hyperlink.

    *I also wish blogspot allowed the blockquote tag in comments.


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