When Tim Brown released v2 of the Web Font Specimen (WFS) a few weeks back, he honoured me by asking for my feedback a couple of days before releasing it to the world. I had a couple of suggestions that he took into consideration but ultimately decided to leave aside. Since he licensed WFS with Creative Commons, I decided to make my own variant using my initial suggestions.
The three changes I’ve made are fairly small and revolve around the Body Size Comparison section of four fonts. I’ve substituted Verdana for Tim’s choice of Times New Roman, as Times is rarely used on the web. Verdana, on the other hand, is probably the most widely used and most readable web font of all.
To further aid in this comparison, I’ve shifted the specimen’s font to the right one position. It now has Georgia on its left, and Verdana on its right, with Arial taking the far right position. This way, whether you’re testing a serif or sans within WFS, your font is always adjacent to both its style mate and complement for easy compare and contrast.
Finally, I’ve added a paragraph set in each of the four fonts beneath the comparison section. The whole point of evaluating web type is to ensure that it is legible, suitable—and don’t forget beautiful—when set in the browser. Now you can compare how well your font works in paragraph form against these three web stalwarts.
And, just as you can use FontFriend with the WFS, you can use it with the Soma WFS.