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Lucida Sans

February 13, 2003

Lucida Sans: it’s the new Verdana.

I’ve been noticing more and more sites making use of this typeface. It has been around as long as any other in Microsoft’s now–discontinued Web fonts pack but use on the web seems to have been limited until now, possibly due to poor rendering at smaller sizes. The latest advances in Windows (ClearType) and the MacOS (Quartz) allow for better display of text on–screen, so that problem has been cleared right up.

I’ve taken a liking to it myself, as you may notice in the current design. The headers and most text in the right hand sidebar are set in Lucida. I still have concerns about legibility on screens that aren’t using either of the afore–mentioned smoothing techniques, so for now the body text will remain using Verdana.

Though I have to wonder at the state of affairs on the web if one new font in my arsenal is cause for so much elation. Font embedding has been an idea for years, but to see it happening in the wild? A rare occurance.

I suppose it could always be worse. We’re not in 1996 anymore, at least we have choices beyond Times New Roman. But a hundred fonts would make me far happier than the ten we’re stuck with for now.


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