It appears that MO (including MO Meta) has recently changed the display fonts:

MO fonts

I couldn't find any topics on MO Meta pertaining to this new change, hence this question. SO has also switched the fonts, so maybe it's a platform-wide change. On the other hand, MSE still uses the older font from what I can see, so maybe the change is limited only to some of the sites on the SE network.

Personally, I find the older font easier on the eyes and overall more legible, but that could be only because I am so much accustomed to it. Of course, this is a matter of subjective preferences. The older font is bolder, whereas the font is more refined, if I may say so. For comparison, here is a current screenshot from MSE:

MSE font

More concretely:

  1. Is the new font here to stay or is it merely an experiment to gather some feedback?
  1. Does MO really have to change the font? Does MO really need a new font?

Call me too conservative, but if it ain't broke and works well, it don't need fixin.

Feel free to change the tags, I am not well familiar with the MO Meta tags.

  • 18
    $\begingroup$ If you look at the "Featured on Meta" box on the right, you'll see SE announced We are switching to system fonts. Changes went live yesterday, May 10. I hate it too. Probably we'll get used to it. $\endgroup$
    – Tim Campion Mod
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 3:49
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ On Windows it’s pparently not that bad. But the font they choosed for Ubuntu and friends is absolutely unreadable, there is no getting used to it. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 5:21
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Concerning math.SE, they use serif fonts, which did not change. Yes, we also have the option to switch to serif if we want to, but of course this would require a thorough community discussion. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 9:26
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I like serif fonts, actually $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 13:51
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Purely my opinion, but on Windows, while I certainly noticed the change, I don't mind it at all: it actually fits in with the system fonts quite nicely. @EmilJeřábek would you be able to post a screenshot from Ubuntu? $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 15:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @MatthewDaws There are some screenshots in the post linked by Tim Campion: We are switching to system fonts on May 10, 2021. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 16:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This seems like the theme change in 2018: people complained, nothing changed, and in the end we got used to this setup that makes it harder to differentiate MO and MSE. $\endgroup$ Commented May 12, 2021 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ @TimCampion: well, I am embarrassed to say that I did not notice that box at all! Nevertheless, I believe the subquestions stand. Given that some of the sites on the network will retain their own fonts, I don't immediately see why this shouldn't be an option for MO, either. Maybe the new font is better, maybe not. Given the comments above, it certainly seems worth putting to general vote by the community. $\endgroup$
    – M.G.
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 2:10
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Experience teaches that, once a change has been made, no criticism will be tolerated or listened to. It's similar to their "Speak 'Murican or geddout" attitude that was so prominent in 2019. $\endgroup$
    – Flounderer
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 2:38
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Personally I find the readability has gone down. I don't necessarily mind sans serif but I think the strokes are too "thin" or something: maybe the text should be a hair bolder? $\endgroup$ Commented May 13, 2021 at 16:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A quote from the SE.meta question linked to by @TimCampion: > Will my Stack Exchange site lose its custom font? Nope! This change will not affect sites that have their own typefaces. Sites like Christianity and English will still be displayed in their custom fonts. - Followup question: how hard is it to introduce custom typefaces on MO? $\endgroup$ Commented May 23, 2021 at 14:33
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek The font they chose for Ubuntu is Ubuntu's system font. You can change it yourself in settings - it's the same font that is used in Ubuntu's other applications, so if you find it unreadable you should certainly do it. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ @NajibIdrissi See, I don’t even use Ubuntu, but Linux Mint! You misunderstand how CSS font stacks work. System settings have absolutely no effect on it; they just give an explicit list of fonts, and the first one that happens to be available to the web browser gets selected, irrespective of the system it’s actually running on. That’s one reason the whole idea of using “system” fonts is bonkers; the font that gets selected may have nothing to do with the system. Second, these fonts are not systems fonts: they are system user interface fonts. They are designed to be used for UI elements... $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ ... like window titles and menu items. They are unsuitable for reading a large body of text. The Segoe font on Windows may be more or less usable as a general-purpose font, but the Ubuntu font absolutely is not (as acknowledged both by its designers and third-party reviews). It’s actually a very nice font for its stated purpose, but not for reading text. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ But anyway, you probably missed that they made a second change to the fonts a while ago, so Ubuntu is no longer among the fonts listed. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 8:04


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