I spend a lot of time with my Mac. In fact, I stare at my Mac’s screen for so much of the day that I have become intimately familiar with the nuances of Lucida Grande, the humanist sans-serif font that has been Apple’s default system font since the introduction of Mac OS X roughly a decade ago.
I’m not a huge fan of Lucida Grande, as I’m not a huge fan of humanist fonts in general. I prefer geometric fonts, even if they’re not as easy to read. I just prefer their mathematical precision because, well, I’m a geek. But I think the biggest reason I don’t love Lucida Grande is just that I’m sick of it. Even though it’s way better than Chicago (the original Mac system font) or Charcoal (the system font from Mac OS 8 and 9), I’ve just seen too much of it over the last 10 years. I want something new. The encroachment of iOS interface elements on the newly released Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) suggests I may be seeing even more of Helvetica Neue in the future, which is fine by me.
But in the meantime, we still have Lucida Grande. Lots and lots of Lucida Grande. And since I know it so well, I notice even the slightest change to it. For instance, I noticed immediately that something was… different… about the contextual menus in the latest version of iTunes, even if I couldn’t immediately put my finger on it:
It didn’t take too long though before I realized what it was. It’s ever so slightly smaller than the font in the contextual menus I’m used to seeing, including, unfortunately, those still present in the current version of the Finder:
The change is extremely subtle, but I like it.
Apparently the 10.7.1 update is out now. I’m sure I’ll begin downloading it within the hour. I’m not sure what changes it contains… but I suspect that despite my deepest desires, they will not include a 1-point reduction in the size of the Finder’s contextual menus.
Still, one can hope.