Font change on main website

Never knew this was possible until this post, so thank you :sweat_smile:

1 Like

I can not see days traveled, either, unless I click on the little arrow on the left. I would like to have that information automatically available on the page (like it was for me until now) without having to click on 40+ arrows.

The font change is not an issue for me, though.

1 Like

The travelling card page has the box on the right with info about finding the address, this makes the main column with the list of cards much narrower.

Now that I’ve spent a little more time on the site on my computer, I can better describe my problem with the font. Sometimes characters have odd spacing with their neighbors. It’s particularly noticeable with numerals, especially the "1"s.

Havens, please let us change the font on the main page from the computer/laptops! I hate this new one, my eyes hurt when I look at it and I see one big chaos now… The previous font was perfect and legible. Why this change at all? Please once again, give the opportunity to change because I can’t stand it. I feel like visiting some sweet teen’s blog. :unamused: :frowning_face: First weird pictures of boxes like for children, now this font. I’m afraid to think what’s next?@paulo @meiadeleite

Has the font on the front page changed too? Looks slimmer to me.

Yes :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I saw it yesterday evening and it looks so good.

I’m not sure, not a big fan of sans serif.

I like the new font, very clear :slight_smile:

Not a very big fan of the new font. Although I get the feeling that it might make longer texts (like my profile :innocent: ) a lot easier to read.


Hi everyone!

Indeed, there was a change on the font for some a couple of days ago and we are still working on the details of that.

Let me first share some context on why we are doing this change and what we are considering to do to help with some of the different issues being mentioned here.

As odd as it may sound right now, this comes from work we are doing to try to address some readability issues with the website, such as font being too small at times and of inconsistent size across different pages (eg: compare this with this). However, before we touched the font size at all, we realized that there was another long standing problem (shamefully, for several years!) that we were not aware of and which needed to be addressed first: the website was actually not using the intended font in Windows, because the font the Postcrossing website is designed for (called Lucida Grande) doesn’t seem come installed in Windows.

Because not all fonts exist in all operating systems, and Postcrossing was always designed on Apple computers, when the intended font is not available, it tries a list of fallback ones until one works. In the case of Windows, that’s usually Helvetica or Arial — which is fairly different from the intended font.

The fact that different people see the website with different fonts has caused us some stress and confusion over the years without us fully realising what was the main thing causing it (in retrospect, it was silly of us, but we just assumed Windows rendered the intended font differently). By having the website rendering with different fonts, some layouts would look broken to some (and then to us, when we saw the screenshots of it): paragraphs that were of unexpected heights, images that don’t align correctly with the text or are even pushed out of alignment, etc — nothing too major, but having the website rendered in in different fonts makes it hard for us to debug and fix things. Before we can address the font size issues, we need to make sure everyone was seeing the same thing in the first place.

After researching how to best approach this, we found that Windows actually ships with a couple of very similar fonts (Lucida Sans Unicode and Lucida Sans). This is what the change is aiming to do: by using these as fallback fonts for Windows, we are trying that the website looks more similar across as many different people as possible. Moreover, from the tests we did, the Lucida Sans Unicode not only had the same width/heigh as the intended font, it ​actually felt more readable to us than the previous one (as the characters are wider on Lucida than on Helvetica/Arial), so that seemed to be a nice extra.

Now, as many of you already pointed out, the change isn’t working for everyone — we hear you. There are several issues pointed on this thread. Some related, other tangential, some expected, others… still confusing to us. We want to hear everyone and to try to find the best solution for the majority. But I need to point out that the goal here is to make the website render as uniformly as possible to most people. We want to avoid having user selectable fonts (those that really must have that can use browser add-ons to override it), because it’s hard to design layouts where we can’t expect the page to look the same for everyone (to the extent possible).

Having given some context on why we are doing this, let me go over some issues separately to try to make sense of all the feedback and explain some of the things we are considering to improve this change.

  • Blurry text
    This is the trickiest bit to address as it seems to depend on what Windows version is being used, perhaps on whether ClearType is enabled and even the screen resolution (more pixels render things more perfectly, while less makes it look more blocky/square-y — some fonts play better than others with that. If you are experiencing blurry text, can you share a screenshot? (please don’t post your whole screen! Just a bit of text from the website). That would help us understand whether perhaps Lucida Sans Unicode just doesn’t render very well in some setups and/or if it might not work well for high resolution screens these days (where fonts tend to be thinner). We didn’t experience blurriness on our tests, hence the request for screenshots from those who see it blurry.

  • Text size
    As mentioned earlier, we actually haven’t touched the font size yet — even if it may feel that way. What seems to be happening is that while the font is wider (which we believe makes it more readable in practice, even if it is not to everyone’s preference), it is also slighter shorter too (smaller x-height).
    The solution here would be to, in addition to changing the font, to also increase the font size — which we intend to do only later on. This may help some, but maybe not all, but still might be the most viable option to find a middle ground. If the new font feels too small to you, do the ones used on this page (which are already bigger) feel more comfortable?

  • Postcard tables
    The issue that some mentioned is not new. As much as we’d like to fit everything in a single row, sometimes there’s just not enough width to fit everything on it’s own row (and when one overflows, all of them collapse). This issue is more obvious if one looks at a table with many postcards as the odds of getting a very long username (or long country name) increase, forcing rows to collapse into their triangle version. This is not new, but with the new font being a bit wider, it affects more people than before.
    We have a couple of ideas here. One is specific to the traveling postcards: we are considering increasing the table to use the full width of the page which is what received/sent postcard tables already do. However, this only really helps with desktops. On tablets/mobiles, the same problem exists and can only be minimized by hiding away some columns as several already mentioned.
    The other idea is that of trying to use a different (slimmer) font only for the postcard tables. While we could also use a smaller font size here, we want to avoid that because ultimately the goal is to increase readability and making a font smaller won’t help towards that. We are also not too keen on having different sizes across the website (the goal is to make font size more uniform), but this would be a compromise.
    Any thoughts on these two ideas?

I’ll wrap up by leaving a few of screenshots from our tests with the new fallback font for Windows to help explain what we are aiming to fix here:

Here’s how Windows was rendering before, with the fallback font:

How Windows renders the page now:

And how it renders on MacOS with the intended font:


I have Windows.

This is how it looks with me right now - I think it looks clearer and finer than yours.


With the new font I don’t feel comfortable at all. My eyesight is not very good and even when I wear my best glasses It’s difficult for me to read the new font. My eyes become tired very quickly and the desire to close the site comes to me immediately after I open it. It’s a pity! I wish I could return the previous font which was so convenient for me…

1 Like

That’s also my problem, unfortunately.

I’m not very active at the moment (due to other reasons) but yesterday I decided to write some cards. After only one card I had to quit because also with glasses (I did not need them on screen for a long time now btw) I got so tired eyes :frowning:

With my current screen resolution I was doing model repaints for a simulation software where I need a lot of pixels - I’ve never had any problems.

I also enlarged the text size, unfortunately it didn’t help.

When I take a look on the Windows screenshots from @paulo and @Bille this is what I have on my screen. So I think for me it’s the problem with my eyes - I experience the same with some fonts on Word (and I’m always wondering why there are included such blurry fonts :see_no_evil:)

1 Like

Hello @Paulo, many thanks for your explanations.

Well I guess, the font does not look different to yours

But it is indeed a problem, that the texts are not easy to read and that it is more exhausting to read profils or write Hurraymails. My eyes somehow have problems with this script, which I had never before and what is new to me.
I understand that your main aim is to make it the same for as many users as possible - but if it will stay like this it might be more of a problem for many users, because in the forum are only a few who mention it, I guess there are a lot more out there with the same problems - maybe it is worth to ask them… If people cannot enjoy their hobby anymore just for the reason that everabody sees the same, I am not sure if that is worth it??


I liked the previous font better. The current one lacks aesthetic appeal for me.

card pages looking a bit ill

1 Like

The same thing happened to me when I was using an ad blocker. The only solution was to turn it off.

The shortness of the letters makes it so hard to read (for me). I wear glasses, so I have problems with my eyes (but really not too bad, it’s only a slight impairment).

I can read them better, but I wouldn’t like all text to be that big. And comfortable is not the right work as I still find it tiring.

I would love that!

I’ve already considered this, but I really try to avoid it if possible as you already mentioned it may cause lots of strange side affects in the layout.

That’s the first thing I did when I saw the new font, tbh :grimacing: