Choosing a typeface

Choosing the right typeface can sometimes seem like a daunting task.

Many support that sans-serif fonts are easier to read in the web, but that is not always the case.

Serifs serve a purpose and solve a lot of problems with legibility. For example someone with dyslexia or some other reading disorder may find a sans-serif typeface confusing. The simplicity and minimalism of sans-serif fonts means that some letterforms are extremely similar (if not identical). For example the lowercase letter l, uppercase I and the number 1 are sometimes indistinguishable in sans-serif typefaces.

Making your text legible to people with dyslexia or other reading disorders makes your text pleasant to everyone.

It is a lot more preferable to have content that can be easily consumed by everyone – including people with reading disorders – than to alienate a part of your audience.

If you’ve ever tried to read a book that uses a sans-serif font and compare it to a book that uses a standard serif typeface you’ll soon realize that you can read the book that uses the serif typeface a lot faster and effortlessly.

We suggest you follow some simple rules to find the right typeface.

  • The typeface you choose should support the language(s) you want to use on your site. It should support all styles you want to use (bold, normal, italics) and any special characters you need.
  • Letterforms should have a uniform and consistent height.
  • Letterforms should be unique and not confused with other letters or symbols.
  • Avoid ornamentations that don’t contribute to the comprehension of the letterforms.
  • Generous ascenders and descenders (like the vertical lines in b and p) increase legibility.
  • The letters d and b should not be exact mirror images of one another to increase legibility.
  • The uppercase I, lowercase l, as well as the number 1, should be clearly distinct.
  • Make sure there is sufficient spacing between letters – particularly between r and n. This way rn can not be confused for an m.