I know verdana was designed specifically for readability on computer screens, and I've always found it to be very easy on the eyes.
|Bearing similarities to humanist sans-serif typefaces such as Frutiger, Verdana was designed to be readable at small sizes on a computer screen. The lack of serifs, large x-height (heights of lower-case letters, as scaled to the letter x being exactly equal to one), wide proportions, loose letter-spacing, large counters (spaces inside partially enclosed portions of letters or symbols such as c, s, or curved quotation marks), and emphasized distinctions between similarly-shaped characters are chosen to increase legibility. |
Agreed. Georgia for serif copy, verdana for sans serif - the best websafe body fonts as far as I am concerned. Arial is cheapened MS version of Helvetica. Seems Microsoft were not prepared to pay the license for real fonts so made their own versions.
0.7em is about as small as take either. Anything lower becomes very hard to read.
For titling I tend to use image replacement or swap my declaration to favor a wider selection.
[edited by: limbo at 8:51 pm (utc) on Feb. 3, 2009]
Interesting thread. I always use Times New Roman because it's the default on my computer and I figure all computers come with that font installed. And if true, then I know the text will look the same on the viewer's screen as it does on mine and it helps me to style the page. Maybe that thought is a bit naive.
I find that 72pt Times New Roman is the easiest to read.
Verdana was designed for screen readability so it is easy to read and one of my favorites. I usually use Arial because it is standard on everyones computer and you don't have to worry about your page looking funny if a user doesn't have that particular font. Arial is a cheapened version of Helvetica, yes, but it is a standard free font and Helvetica is not so you have to be careful there. I find that if you mess around with the size and line-height of Arial using css, the outcome is usually very nice.
In all honesty, I never use serif fonts for web pages. I find that it looks outdated and makes websites look cheap and unprofessional but thats just my opinion.
What I don't like is the trend these days for most web sites to use text with a very feint look. (I must find otu the correct term for this) They are trying to be classy, but I find it makes them very hard to read.
I am in my 50's but have pretty good eye sight for my age.
Why do they do this ?
I like Arial best. Verdana has that ocr machine look to me.
I'm guilty of that... I've used lighter font colors on some sites I've built. Depending on the industry and theme of the site, using lighter fonts sometimes makes the design blend more and does project a classier look. I do try not to go too light though and always test on different screens to ensure its as readable as possible.
>>I find that 72pt Times New Roman is the easiest to read.
From five feet away...
I think readability has as much to do with contrast as font type. Adding different background colors works wonders.
Choice of font should also take into consideration the type of content displayed. I truly dislike san-serif on pages where there's a lot of text and numbers... the confusion possible between cap I, lowercase (ell) l, Num 1 can make for difficulties.
I use both serif and san-serif fonts, but I do look at the items listed above before deciding which to use!
i use verdana and georgia,
as for size, i use fixed sizes in the head area where it usually breaks the design if the text is too large - personally i use pixels and have 14px as the fixed minimum where it must be fixed.
otherwise i use percentages and always check/design my commercial sites using IE with text size set to Largest ... this after my mum and others telling me they struggle to read a lot of websites because the font size is too small for them.
(my visitors tend to be middle aged +)
For me, the minimum font size is 14px or so (.95em or 1em actually). .85/12px is ok for such things as copyright and footnotes that nobody ever reads.
I am so tired of cruising the two-oh-net and seeing all that low contrast tiny font that I make it a special point that my pages all be actually readable.
As far as fonts go, a couple of the newer Vista type fonts are actually about the best for web viewing, but you have to provide the usual backup fonts such as Verdana in your CSS files as not everyone has them.
>>a couple of the newer Vista type fonts are actually about the best for web viewing
erm so are you gonna spill the beans and tell us which ones!
regarding Vista fonts ... personally i think they are dangerous to use:
Calibri, Cambria, Candara and Corbel
from my own opionion i feel that with a good quality monitor, especially at bigger screen resolutions these fonts are better than the older windows and mac equivalents ....
however the flip side is that with low end LCD's they look a lot worse, i'd be very careful about using them on a website.
[for those without vista, you can get all the so called Vista 'c' series fonts by downloading and installing the MS Powerpoint Viewer [microsoft.com]]
Oddly, of the Vista fonts, Segoe UI seems to be the best for general usage, but that depends on your layout. Many of the "C" fonts are a little bit smaller than their (almost) equivalents, so you may need to compensate for that. For example, change .85em to .95 em or similar. But Segoe UI is almost exactly the same size as Verdana and (I think) more readable.
Also, a few really old browsers or OS, such as pre-winXP might have trouble with Cleartype fonts on LCD screens. Not sure if this will work with the ancient windows versions [microsoft.com...]
[edited by: Wlauzon at 5:43 pm (utc) on Feb. 6, 2009]