Thursday, April 23, 2009

Is it the font?

A while back, Twin and I were discussing blogs whose appearances we did not like. I was reminded of this when Greg Sargent's name came up, peripherally, in a thread discussing Ezra Klein's new gig.

Greg's blog, The Plum Line, has always struck me as somewhat unpleasant to read (to be clear: not because of the content), and until now, I have never really been able to say why. I had thought the font was to blame -- it is an Arial-like sans serif choice that for some reason seems a little more crowded than do similar-looking fonts on other sites where I am not at all distracted. For example, I find the sans serif font used in the forums highly readable, so much so that I'm sometimes tempted to change my blog to match it.

I just this moment realized that (part of?) what might be putting me off about Greg's blog is not the font, but the background. Starting from the left edge of the window, there is a nice gray border around the text area, but rather than just making the background of the text area itself white, starting at its border, there is an annoying gradient of light blue that spans about an inch and a half before fading to white. Here is a partial screen shot for reference:

It has the effect on me, I think, that reading a partly-stained piece of paper would. Maybe a better analogy would be reading a book that has a diffuse shadow cast upon it.

Now that I have identified what bugs me about this site, I wonder if I will find it easier to ignore, or if the irritation will only mount to the point where I will pen an angry screed to Greg. Or maybe this will be the impetus for me to learn how to use Greasemonkey.


ArtSparker said...

I am in sympathy with you on this...there's on blog with a red (!) background that I avoid, though the blogger seems like a perfectly nice person. I would think the blue shadow would be slightly like feeling you were losing peripheral vision.

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