Terrific article on use of Georgia as primary font

I like the Inspiration Bit site for a lot of reasons, in part because its proprietor, Vivien, is a very nice lady. She’s put together a superb article, Georgia on My Mind, which highlights 32 sites that use the Georgia serif font as their only typeface. Assuming you have Georgia on your computer, and about 95% of us do, this is a great way to see the different ways the typeface can drive a lovely, and very disparate, set of designs. The designers make liberal use of letter-spacing, line-height, exact font sizing, and other font controls to ensure that their sites display the way they intend them to, as much as they can given the typeface limitations of CSS and Web browsers.

She doesn’t know I’m sending her some traffic, so tip your hat when and if you stop by. It’s definitely worth a visit.

She missed one … :wink:

Yours doesn’t count, 'cuz you’re using Lucida Sans Unicode and Tahoma on your home page as well as Georgia. So there. :stuck_out_tongue:

So long as she mentions the issue that Georgia is a hair larger than her Serif friends.

Setting something like “georgia, times, “times new roman”, serif;” means there will be a font difference between those with and those without Georgia as well as a size difference. Same problem with Verdana vs other sans-serifs. If your whole page is sized in em’s then you’ll see quite a difference between the fonts (and the sizes of everything).

My forms I realised are too dependent on the font size, and switching between Arial and Verdana (and I prefer Verdana because EYE != ELL) would be the difference between my labels staying in one line and wrapping. And since I haven’t found the magic formula to make inputs stay at the bottom of the labels, this is bad. So long as I’m aware of this, it’s ok.

I’ve tried making Georgia the major font of a particular page I’ve been working on because I like it. The guy who controls the design though made me change backto Times New Roman wherever there were numbers because he didn’t like the “number drop” of georgia. This made me sad, and I cried quietly in my little corner.

Yours doesn’t count, 'cuz you’re using Lucida Sans Unicode

What else are Linux users supposed to get?

Try using Lucida Console to test your fonts in, Stomme. Once you’ve got a good width set up for your layout in all modern layout engines at normal and “large” fonts (96/120 or 75/100 .dpi), replace Lucida Console with your preferred fonts without adjusting the font size.

I meant it made sense for Tommy to add Lucida to his font list. Because Linux users don’t have Georgia unless we specifically download them.

I was replying to this part of your post.

My forms I realised are too dependent on the font size, and switching between Arial and Verdana (and I prefer Verdana because EYE != ELL) would be the difference between my labels staying in one line and wrapping. And since I haven’t found the magic formula to make inputs stay at the bottom of the labels, this is bad. So long as I’m aware of this, it’s ok.

I’m a big advocate of Georgia, though I predominently use it for headings rather than body copy. It’s vary rare you see it heavily used on main-stream commercial sites, which is the type of thing I tend to work on.

A couple of references:

Common fonts to all versions of Windows & Mac equivalents
Complete Guide to Pre-Installed Fonts in Linux, Mac, and Windows

Being a Calligrapher, I find Palatino Linotype most appealing, although I can only use it occasionally – it is not very practical for regulal text rendition.


I still prefer usability above design when it comes to copy text. (not talking about headers)
Sans serif fonts are still easier to read on screen. (by a big margin)
Verdana is the fastest & easiest to read font for text on screen (especially 10 - 12px), so I prefer to use it for my main copy.

But if you really want to use serif fonts for your copy, Georgia is your best choice (the easiest to read.)

For print I always use Georgia, because it has the best readability for print + it looks damn nice (a lot better then Times New Roman)

Jury’s still out on serif vs sans, but strictly from my own viewpoint, I’d rather read text on screen in a nice clear sans font such as Verdana.

Interesting. We all know that Georgia was developed for the screen and TNR for print, but I’ve never taken a good look at Georgia in printed form.

This is an interesting technique. Why Lucida Console, specifically?

I have used Georgia on my website this time. Also used the same font in graphic text … My website link…

It was the “largest” font my friend Jason and I could find that was on both our computers (I didn’t have Microsoft Office installed at the time).

Thank you for posting the link Black Max (and, of course, thanks to Vivien for the superb article). I like the georgia letterforms very much.


That makes sense. Those Linux fonts by Bitstream and DejaVu are pretty large, too, and don’t follow the monospace conventions, but a lot of people don’t have them (they’re out there, free for the download).

Great Article!
I love the Georgia font as well.
It’s probobly one of my favorite font’s on the web.[SIZE=6][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=3] That’s what im going to be using on my website. I’m in the process of developing it. Georgia is a GREAT font for Minimalistic website’s as well.

If you have a pretty creative mind you can do some sweet stuff to paragraph’s using Georgia Font inside your CSS.

Thank you for posting this thread Black Max. :slight_smile:

Glad to do it, Blake. Vivien did all the work, I just provided the link. Georgia is a very versatile font, probably the most versatile (especially for screen displays) of the serifs in mass distribution. And you’re right, it works very well in minimalist designs because of its understated elegance.

Using a large font means I have to stay with a large font. If I choose to size things with a large font, going to another font means I have smaller letters and then things that wrapped no longer do. Also testing in Gecko in the Gnome windowing system will have absolutely nothing to do with that same Gecko rendering engine on a Windows OS, or even KDE for Linux. But I think that’s some Gecko problem, Opera is consistent.

I didn’t design the forms, and other than manually <br>ing them, the size of the font (not the size of the letters, text-enlarge doesn’t break) really makes a big difference in when a line wraps. And whether they wrap. If I start out with Georgia, or Verdana, I need to have all large fonts in my list (which I can still not guarantee people have).

Nobody wants to see [input]
a wrapping label do
anything like this be-
cause it gets confusing
to those filling them in:

Though the problem merely is, large fonts wrap and small ones don’t. Esp when sizing things like labels in “em” when your font is also so sized. Verdana and Georgia are larger in x-height (and also width or kerning) at the same em size than other fonts. Most of the time this doesn’t matter one bit. Only when you have stupid designs like my forms.

Stomme, good point. Every font choice has to be shaped by the needs of the individual site. You can pretty much be sure that 95%+ of your user audience has either Georgia or Verdana (though one is a serif and one is a sans–you knew that :slight_smile: ), but if you were asking me, I’d probably suggest a small stack for your field based on, say, Tahoma.


Ah, that’s right Stomme… you’re working with a Dutch site, aren’t you? I forgot about the language differences for a minute. I’m used to working with English language sites.