Choosing a new font size

Boring 16px or easy-on-the-eyes 24px? It's about as exciting as it sounds, but text is 99% of a website
I really like bold, minimalist, typography-heavy websites. So when I first set up this website, one of my first actions was to dig into the Tailwind config files, and turn everything font-size related up a notch or two. I knew that 60 characters width is a good width for modern text-based websites, and I figured that while 16px was too small (I have old, tired eyes you know), 1.5 that, or 24px, was a perfectly reasonable size. The bigger the text, the easier it is to read, right? This text is in 24px. Same font, same line height, same spacing (more or less). Large text like this flows better, breaks up the page better, doesn't seem quite so offensively wall-of-text-like.

Well... No, actually.

This is the new, 16px default text size I now have on the website. From day one, there was something I wasn't quite fully happy about how the text looked. It just somehow nagged me. There's a couple of other sites I built recently, for instance, where I similarly opted for oversize text.

There's a lot of websites I used for inspiration that really go in for large text, and somehow it worked for them. Siteinspire has a few, here are a few more. One website I absolutely LOVED that had massive, almost unpleasantly-large (foreshadowing? no?) text was so noticeable that I sent it to friends and family to ask what they thought. I was so curious that I dug into the CSS - what was the secret? In this case, the secret was human error - a typo that accidentally scaled everything up about 4 times.

So maybe my oversize text was also a mistake? Being as I was unhappy with 24px, I thought I'd give 16px a go. Maybe I'd been too harsh.

I absolutely love the result. This is easier on the eyes, quicker to read, looks better and more professional, and somehow more harmonious. Of course, it's not perfect and still needs to be broken up with pictures, properly divided into reasonably long paragraphs, and just generally cared for - but it feels much easier this way.

I'm sticking with Bitter for my go-to body font. It's an Argentinian designer's take on 'easy-to-read on screens', with a slightly thicker stroke and well-spaced letters. I like it a lot, it combines traditional serif with actual thought on readability.