Best fonts for online
Now, one might assume that what works on the printed page will be similar to what works on the computer screen. But that's not the case.
In order to make the little serifs appear legible, a high degree of resolution is required. The more pixels, the more details of the font you can display.
Back 10 or so years ago, the best computer screen resolution was 800 x 600 pixels – which wasn’t great for defining the intricacies of a serif font. Screen resolution has increased through the years (resolutions of 1024 x 768 pixels or greater have become the norm). This makes serif fonts more legible but still generally not as easy to read as sans-serif fonts.
Plus, now you have to consider how your site or email will look on handheld devices, such as the BlackBerry and iPhone. The latest model of iPhone has a screen resolution of 960 x 640 pixels. The BlackBerry Bold has a screen resolution of 480 x 360 pixels.
So online, the best font to go with is sans serif.
A 2002 study by the Software Usability and Research Laboratory concluded that:
- The most legible fonts were Arial, Courier, and Verdana.
- At 10-point size, participants preferred Verdana. Times New Roman was the least preferred.
- At 12-point size, Arial was preferred and Times New Roman was the least preferred.
- The preferred font overall was Verdana, and Times New Roman was the least preferred.
So here are your marching orders:
For easiest online reading, use Arial 12-point size and larger. If you're going smaller than 12 points, Verdana at 10 points is your best choice.
If you're after a formal look, use the font "Georgia." And for older readers, use at least a 14-point font. (Source: https://www.awai.com/2011/10/the-best-fonts-to-use-in-print-online-and-email/).*
"Georgia is a Transitional serif typeface designed by Matthew Carter and released in 1996 through Microsoft. Since Georgia is a “web safe” system font, it has been one of the primary serifs, along with Times New Roman, used on the web since the late 1990s. In 2011, a “pro” version of Georgia was released that includes additional weights and condensed versions. I think Georgia makes an excellent font for reading long passages of text on screens." (Typewolf)