A few years ago, the resolution on our monitors wasn’t good enough to make big text look great, unflickery, and unpixellated on screen. And so, many news and magazines merely transposed their way of thinking from their offline worlds into the online environment: they built websites that published their words in small font, expecting readers to interact with their copy the way they had always done with their newspapers and magazines.
If the text was too small, they could move closer to their screens. The smart ones could increase the font size in their browsers, even if that would mess up the formatting of the rest of the site. It was as if news organizations were still stuck in the age of the typewriter.
That way of thinking is out of date. We are now living in an age of Retina displays and high-resolution desktop monitors. These days, the flicker of our monitors is barely detectable, there’s less reflection and glare, and it’s a strain to see any pixellation in the text even when we’re so close to the screen we could kiss it.
Despite these developments, however, there is a surprising number of newspaper, magazine, and blog hold-outs, who just don’t want to let go of the small-font days.
Maybe it’s just a sign that I’m getting old and need spectacles, but I have grown impatient with the websites that refuse to adapt to this new age of big-fonted beauty.Click through to see his list of sinners, plus a few saints. I generally agree with his assessments. In fairness, I should mention that I re-paragraphed this excerpt: though Hamish uses a nice big font, his paragraphs still run a little long. But that in turn is making me consider my own 10-point Trebuchet.