Cambria and Chrome

After reading Eight Definitive Font Stacks over a SitePoint, I decided to have a look at the differences between the font choices, particularly the use of the Vista fonts (Cambria, Constantia, Calibri, Corbel, Segoe UI and Consolas) so I fired up the Vista virtual machine to have a look at the differences between Cambria and Times New Roman, the two windows fonts in the first stack at 50px for closer inspection. If you have Cambria and Times New Roman installed this is the test page I used.

On close inspection, I like Cambria and the idea of using it for body copy. Just need to find a suitable Mac font and a fallback for those XP machines without it. Times New Roman has never cut it as a body copy font for me. On the other hand Times New Roman looks so elegant at large text sizes, that I could not bear to use Cambria as a display text(Title and headings) if Times New Roman was available.

Mindful of the recent Chrome and Safari render the sameā€¦or do they? discussion on the WSG mailing list. I fired up all the test browsers on that machine to see if there are any differences in font rendering between IE8, Firefox3.1 beta, Safari 3.1, Opera 10 alpha and Chrome. The results have been combined into single image.

The shock was how differently Chrome rendered the text to all the other browsers. The type is significantly heavier with Chrome, looking more like a semibold version of the typeface, when compared to all the other browsers, which rendered the type identical to my untrained eye.

I have always known that type on the web is far from perfect. But by selecting the right fonts and using relative sizes, you could deliver a fairly consistent typographical experience to most users no matter what OS, browser, installed fonts and user settings they had. Chrome takes your carefully constructed typography and makes it darker and dramatically changing your design. Oliver Reichenstein said Web design is 95% typography that is because Google Chrome now has a 5% market share.

One Response to “Cambria and Chrome”

  1. RE Mogul Says:

    Chrome continues to surprise me. 5% market share eh? Hopefully google will roll-out extension support soon — market share might soar then!