Something awful has happened to the top of all our pages. Earlier today they looked like this:

old page header

But now it has shrunk to a nearly unreadable proportion:

new page header

The new version is completely shrunken, which also destroys the stroke width in the logo with the now-misshapen small caps.

It’s also grossly off-centered compared with the list beneath it: Questions / Tags / Users / Badges / Unanswered / Ask Question

And here you can see that the letters are randomly assembled! Look how the E and the N don't share the same base line:

meta bar

In fact, the G is floating down in comparison with the E, and the N is floating up. There's also something wrong with the S. Here you can see the weird hovering effects better, as well the bad keming between the N and the G, something which shouldn’t even be possible with proper letterspacing of the font’s small caps:

just the English
just the Language
just the Usage

Did someone try to hand-set small caps as images instead of letting the builtin letterspacing rules in the font for those handle everything?

If you look at the baseline on the first bullet of true small caps below, completely uniform and with correct letterfit between them (no bad keming here!), you’ll see how things should be:

small cap demo

  • The meta banner looks atrocious too - x-height is all messed up. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:15
  • 3
    @curiousdannii Many letters are also randomly floating above or below a uniform baseline. Scary.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:21
  • Again, this is a work in progress asset that y'all weren't meant to see. Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:39
  • 3
    I'm going to wait until the end of Thursday, if no one from the design team fixes the site's banner, I'm letting rip on Meta, and I'll include TeX (whose original main page was stunningly beautiful, just breathtaking) and Mathematics. This has been a PR, and re-design disaster. We're blending, we're all starting to look alike. How do you foster loyalty and affection if the websites look bare, cheap and BORING?!?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 3:39
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA Trust me, I feel as you do. Please remember that the people with the power to do anything here, the ones we need to convince, are unlikely to be persuaded by angry attacks. Is anyone?
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


This is a file path issue that's happening unintentionally while we prepare new theming assets. It'll be taken care of first thing tomorrow.

  • 1
    Thanks for getting back to us so quickly.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 2:08
  • 1
    Our new stuff isn't supposed to leak into the old stuff, my bad :) Thanks for pointing it out! Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 2:14
  • You also have floating letters hovering both above and below the base line: see latest images from meta.
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:23
  • Yep, I know. These will be fixed tomorrow. :) Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 3:38
  • 2
    The banner is, relatively speaking, tiny. It's barely larger than the description on the search bar. Why is that?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 30, 2018 at 18:35
  • 3
    Is it tomorrow yet? :)
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 1:59
  • Hip, hip, hoorah! The fat banner is back
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 17:32
  • @AaronShekey I hope you had a chance to read my comments/compliments before they were deleted.
    – Lumberjack
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 19:32
  • 5
    Why did you mark this fixed when the new beta stuff still has a completely mis-typeset ransom-note on meta?
    – tchrist Mod
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 22:39
  • 3
    You can't blame that despicable kerning, x-height variation, or wobbly baseline on a file path issue. Sure the resource wasn't supposed to leak through to the old theme, but it should not be a thing in the new theme either (which I'm now seeing because I have beta themes turned on). It looks terrible. Make it stop, pleeeeease.
    – Caleb
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 9:10
  • 3
    I want to retract my upvote. I thought that itty bitty banner was a mishap, a bizarre mistake instead, it was a foreshadowing of the future design. Horrible, horrible design. How long did it take the team to strip away every single bit of EL&U's identity? 30 minutes? Now we're left with a shrunken ampersand and engorged mutant French lilies
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Sep 1, 2018 at 15:21

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