Friday, September 03, 2004 AD And Yet His Article Is Posted In Times I enjoyed "Beauty and the Book" by William Zinsser (link via DHP). I gotta appreciate a guy who appreciates that typeface, paper finish, opacity, and other factors contribute to the readability of the printed page. So it's ironic that he (or the folks who published his article) doesn't realize that similar factors contribute to the readability of the electronic word, and that serif fonts are generally less readable onscreen than sans-serif. For those who must have serif fonts there are some, notably Georgia, that work well onscreen because they were designed for that purpose.
I spend a good portion of my working hours (and a bad portion of my nonworking hours) staring at text on a monitor, and personal experience confirms what I've read in a number of Web design resources: sans-serif fonts are more readable onscreen. For instance, the first thing I do when anybody sends me anything to edit is convert it into 10-point Verdana. Every once in a while, when a document is short, I decide not to bother, but invariably, a few sentences into the thing, I make the switch. I use Trebuchet on my blog, even though I think it's second best, as a compromise because it takes up so much less space. My blogroll layout would be impossible in Verdana, and I wouldn't want to use both fonts on the same page.
Of course neither would I want to read a book printed in Verdana or Trebuchet. There is a veritable host serif typefaces that are more readable and attractive on paper. But the medium does make a difference, and it's worth taking that difference into account. Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/03/2004 06:14:00 PM
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