What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (2023)

We often forget that text – or more specifically, typeface – is an integral part of web design. In fact, your font choice can make or break your entire website. It doesn’t really matter how beautiful or easy to navigate your site is if visitors struggle to read its content.

This is why it’s smart to choose one of the easiest fonts to read for the majority of the text in your web design projects. In this post, we’ll talk about what makes a typeface legible and share ten popular options to consider for your next site.

Let’s jump in!

What Makes a Font Easy to Read?

There are several factors that come into play when determining how easy a font is to read. The three basic concerns are:

  • Serifs. These are the small strokes or feet that come off of the main lines of each character in certain typefaces. You can refer to the “elegant” in our logo for an example. It’s generally accepted that sans-serif fonts (fonts without serifs, like the one you’re reading now) are easier to read on screens. However, as you’ll see in our list below, there are some exceptions to this rule.
  • Spacing. More specifically, kerning, tracking, and leading. These terms refer to how close individual characters, words, and lines are to one another in a font. If the spacing is too tight, the characters become difficult to discern. If it’s too spread out, it can be hard to put the right letters together to form words.
  • Font size. What size you set your text to could make a readable font hard to make out. Additionally, there are some fonts that adapt better to smaller sizes than others.

In addition to these guiding factors, there are a couple of other principles to keep in mind. You should generally avoid script and decorative fonts, exceptmaybe for titles or other special text. It’s strongly recommended never to use them for body text. These typefaces tend to become harder to read at smaller sizes and when used for long blocks of text.

Additionally, keep your font’s color in mind. It’s important for your text and background to have enough contrast to make it easier for color blind and visually impaired users to make the words out. However, it’s also widely accepted that ‘reversed’ type (light-colored text on a dark background) is more difficult for everyone to read.

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (10 Top Options)

Our list of the most readable fonts includes a variety of styles suitable for different use cases in web design. Some of these typefaces may be immediately familiar to you, as they’ve been popular for years. Others are newer and feature elements specifically chosen to meet the needs of modern digital readers.

Let’s start with some old favorites.

1. Arial

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (1)

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Arial is the standard font for many word processors, such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs. It’s a clean, contemporary, sans-serif typeface that works extremely well for body text.

Due to its popularity and familiarity, Arial easily adapts to just about any style. It’s truly timeless. Another perk of it being so widespread is that you likely won’t have trouble accessing it for use in your designs.

2. Helvetica

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (2)

Another old-school sans-serif typeface you may want to consider is Helvetica. It’s unobtrusive, providing easy-to-read body text that won’t detract from the other aspects of your site’s design.

In fact, this font was purposefully designed to be lacking in personality. Although it’s one of the most popular typefaces in the world, it’s also highly contentious. Designers tend to love it or hate it.

3. Georgia

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (3)

One of the few serif fonts on our list is Georgia. This typeface stands out for it’s classy, ‘old-timey’ feel that’s perfect if you want to inject a little character into your site design.

Georgia pairs nicely with many sans-serif fonts for use in headings and titles. This is an excellent solution if you like the look of a serif font but want to make sure smaller text remains clean and easy to read.

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That said, Georgia has been optimized for readability on screens of all sizes. If you’re in love with this charming typeface, don’t be afraid to experiment with it as a body text font.

4. Merriweather

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (4)

Another option for designers who aren’t impressed with sans-serif fonts is Merriweather. This Google font features slightly condensed letters that leave plenty of space between characters for on-screen legibility. It does its job so well that long-time WordPress users will remember it being used in previous default themes.

Merriweather pairs nicely with several other fonts on this list, such as Montserrat and Open Sans. As such, use it as a bold statement type in your headings, then let a simpler font take the reins in your body text.

5. Montserrat

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (5)

Montserrat has its origins in urban signage. In 2017 it was redrawn with a lighter weight to make it easier to read when used in long blocks of text.

If you love the clean lines of Arial and Helvetica but want a typeface with a bit more intrigue, Montserrat is worth considering. It’s perfect for blogs looking to introduce a bit more personality while minimizing eye strain during long reads.

6. Futura

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (6)

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Another popular Helvetica alternative is Futura, which brings an edgy, modern feel to your text. It’s meticulously geometric and manages to convey a lot of feeling without extra flourishes.

Futura is perfect for startups or any brand that wants to appear forward-thinking and innovative. You can pair it with a lighter sans-serif font to create attention-grabbing headings or use it as a no-frills body typeface. It’s also popular as a logotype.

7. Open Sans

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (7)

The ‘open’ in this font’s name refers to the negative space in many of its round letter forms. However, many people feel this feature gives the type a friendly or ‘open’ feel as well, making for a welcoming style and tone.

Open Sans is an ideal body text font and pairs nicely with some of the stronger personalities on this list, such as Merriweather or Futura. It’s also been optimized for legibility on all devices, making it an excellent choice if you have a lot of long-form content and expect a large volume of mobile users.

8. Lato

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (8)

Originally designed for a corporate client, Lato is the perfect subtle typeface for your business site. Sleek and serious, this font looks professional without coming across as too stuffy.

To dress your design up a bit, use Lato for your site’s body text and pair it with a serif font for your headings and titles. This will get the job done and keep your blog posts or product descriptions readable while still letting your brand identity shine through.

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9. Tisa

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (9)

Tisa is a newer font popular among graphic and web designers. Although it features distinct serifs, its careful spacing keeps text readable even on smaller screens.

This font is highly adaptable and can work well in any context. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a serif that isn’t quite as forward as Georgia or Merriweather.

10. Quicksand

What Is the Easiest Font to Read? (10)

Our last pick brings a quirky personality as well as mobile optimization to the table. Quicksand was designed in 2008 as a display font for mobile devices, but has since become popular in many other use cases as well.

Its clear spacing and geometric forms make Quicksand legible even as small sizes. It plays nicely with flashy serif fonts such as Merriweather as well as solid sans-serifs such as Futura, giving you a lot of flexibility when pairing it with other typefaces.

Conclusion

Choosing the right fonts for your web design projects is crucial. Understanding which typefaces are the easiest to read can give you a leg up in this area and help you ensure your web content is legible for future users.

In this article, we’ve took a look at ten of the easiest to read fonts for web content. Merriweather and Futura are favorites for headings and titles, while a more subtle choice such as Quicksand or Open Sans might be preferable for body text.

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Do you have any questions about choosing a readable font for your website? Let us known in the comments section below!

Article image by Oberon / Shutterstock.com

FAQs

What font is easiest on the eyes? ›

Stick with sans-serif fonts - As mentioned earlier, fonts without serifs, such as Arial, are much easier on the eyes.

What font size is easiest to read? ›

Choose a font that's at least 16 pixels, or 12 points. If many of your users are older adults, consider using an even larger font size—19 pixels or 14 points. A small font size is more difficult to read, especially for users with limited literacy skills and older adults.

What is the fastest font to read? ›

Multiple studies, like the one conducted by Sarah Morrison and Jan Noyes of the University of Bristol, have found that Times New Roman is the best typeface for reading any document. Readers speed through material faster thanks to its simple letters.

Which font is easiest to read for visually impaired? ›

The most accessible fonts are Tahoma, Calibri, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman. Slab serif fonts including Arvo, Museo Slab, and Rockwell are also considered to be accessible. These font types are mostly used in headings rather than the body text.

What font is easiest for elderly to read? ›

“Older adults and people with low vision have less difficulty processing type faces like Arial or Helvetica. Without the serifs, it's easier to recognize characters.

What font is easiest for dyslexia? ›

Readable fonts

Use sans serif fonts, such as Arial and Comic Sans, as letters can appear less crowded. Alternatives include Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, Trebuchet, Calibri, Open Sans. Font size should be 12-14 point or equivalent (e.g. 1-1.2em / 16-19 px). Some dyslexic readers may request a larger font.

Is Times New Roman or Arial easier to read? ›

General Recommendations. For online reading, sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial, Verdana) are generally considered more legible than serif fonts (Times New Roman), narrow fonts or decorative fonts.

Why is sans serif easier reading? ›

Sans is a French word meaning "without". Thus, a sans serif is a typeface that has no traces or lines extending from the edges of letters and alphabets. This way, there are no curls, and the sans serif letters appear simple and rounded. The Sans font is clean and the best font for reading on screen.

Is it easier to read Arial or Times New Roman? ›

Because of readability, Times New Roman fits better in the long articles, such as newspapers and books. Contrastively, Arial is better used in advertisement owing to its clearance and relative big characters. Also, it can be widely adopted in textbooks in primary school.

What font is best for older eyes? ›

Arial. As my TVI once explained, Arial is one of the best fonts for vision impairment because every letter is simple and looks different from the other letters, and it also looks fantastic in bold type.

What font color is easiest to read? ›

Their general findings were: 1) Black and white were consistently rated as the most readable; 2) Color combinations that included black were rated more readable than those that did not; and 3) Darker text on lighter backgrounds were rated higher than lighter text on darker backgrounds.

What is a pleasant font to read? ›

Helvetica. Along with Georgia, Helvetica is considered to be one of the most easy to read fonts according to The Next Web. This is a sans-serif font and one of the world's most popular typefaces—a modern classic.

What is the best font size for visually impaired? ›

Font size 16 is recommended for large print documents. If this is not practical, font size 14 is the best compromise. Avoid stylised typefaces, which may look attractive but they can be illegible to the visually impaired. Use bold or semi-bold style, not light fonts.

What font is best for autism? ›

While everyone has individual preferences, generally the best fonts to use are sans-serif fonts such as Helvetica, Verdana or comic sans. If you use a serif font many people with autism say they prefer Garamond. Put headings in larger letters, not all in capitals.

What font is best for learning? ›

The recommended typefaces for elearning use are sans-serif fonts such as Verdana, Arial and Calibri. Some serif typefaces can be used for body text such as Georgia and Times New Roman. However, they are better suited to be used as titles.

What font is best for kids with dyslexia? ›

Best Fonts for Dyslexia
  1. Arial. This is an example of Arial font. ...
  2. Helvetica. This is an example of Helvetica font. ...
  3. Comic Sans. This is an example of Comic Sans font. ...
  4. Verdana. This is an example of Verdana font. ...
  5. Century Gothic. This is an example of Century Gothic font. ...
  6. Tahoma. ...
  7. Calibri. ...
  8. Open Sans.
20 Oct 2021

Why do people use Arial? ›

Arial grew in popularity both because of its selection as a Microsoft core font and its design as a sans serif. It was, quite simply, the most accessible sans serif font available to most people with computers, and sans serif fonts were growing in popularity with the increase in computer usage.

Is Arial or Calibri more professional? ›

Calibri is first on the list as the best resume font because it's more professional and modern looking than most of the other choices, which makes it ideal for a resume. It's spaced well, clean, and easy to read.

Should I use Calibri or Arial? ›

Arial is classified as grotesque while Calibri is humanist - the first is perhaps better suited to more formal work, while the latter is more relaxed and elegant.

Is reading bigger font better for eyes? ›

The larger font size is easier to read and produces far less eye strain.

What fonts should you avoid and why? ›

Discover the top ten overused fonts our branding agency suggests to avoid.
  • #1: Comic Sans. Think of party invitations, entertainment, and anything fun; Comic Sans isn't your professional typeface. ...
  • #2: Papyrus. ...
  • #3: Arial. ...
  • #4: Times New Roman. ...
  • #5: Helvetica. ...
  • #6: Impact. ...
  • #7: Courier New. ...
  • #8: Trajan.
16 Sept 2021

Why is Arial easy reading? ›

To the majority of people, Arial is the standard font. It is one of the most popular sans-serif choices. Due to open apertures, it looks natural and is very clear and readable. It is viewed as a typical print font but it is also suitable for web documents.

Is Times New Roman overused? ›

Times New Roman from creation, quickly became a popular font. The overuse of the typeface has led many to revolt against the use of what was once a default font. While it has its place, there are other options as outlined above that are not only more modern, but don't carry with them the stigma of 80 years of use.

What font is better than Arial? ›

Probably the most “Arialish” of the list, Roboto has all the elements that make a typeface great. It's versatile, it's professional when it needs to be, and it's easy to read. The one noticeable difference to Arial is that Roboto has a more condensed look to it.

What is the most classy font? ›

1. EB Garamond. Known as the most obvious representative of the French renaissance style of the 16th century and one of the key fonts of typography worldwide, the Garamond typeface can be easily recognized for its elegant forms and excellent readability.

What font do eye doctors use? ›

Unlike the Sloan typeface commonly used to test patients' sight, Optician Sans has a full set of 26 letters of the alphabet, as well as numbers and special characters. The design of the lettering is based on the characters that are used on a standard eye test.

What is the best font for older eyes? ›

Some people prefer a serif font, such as Times New Roman, as they say it is easier to read because of the “tails” at the end of the letters that create an illusionary line, helping to guide the eye along the line. However, others prefer a sans serif font, such as Ariel.

What font is the cleanest? ›

Arial, Times New Roman, Courier, and Helvetica are all clean typefaces with clear designs.

What font color is best for eyes? ›

Again, that normal position should be 20 to 30 inches from your monitor. When it comes to color combinations, your eyes prefer black text on a white or slightly yellow background. Other dark-on-light combinations work fine for most people.

What font is the easiest to read for seniors? ›

Colors and Fonts for Legible Text

“As for fonts, sans serif fonts are best,” recommends Dana. “Older adults and people with low vision have less difficulty processing type faces like Arial or Helvetica. Without the serifs, it's easier to recognize characters.

What is a gentle font? ›

MADE Gentle is a modern soft serif typeface, inspired by Cooper Black. MADE Gentle will perfect for many project: fashion, magazines, logo, branding, photography, invitations, wedding invitation, quotes, blog header, poster, advertisements, postcard, book, websites, etc.

What size font is good for seniors? ›

In general, do not use anything less than 12 point type for body text. But note that the same point size in different fonts will often produce letters of different sizes (the sans-serif type in this paragraph is 13 point for example). The important thing is the readability.

What is the most unpopular font? ›

Most hated font: Monotype Corsiva and Brush Script

There are a lot of people using Monotype Corsiva and Brush Script because they look “formal” or “fancy”.

What color is easiest read? ›

What colors work best. Light yellow and light blue were found to be the paper colors that were the easiest to read off of. It could easily be read in all lighting conditions, and the effectiveness of the colors weren't diminished if someone wore tinted glasses (like I do).

What color font is easiest to read? ›

Their general findings were: 1) Black and white were consistently rated as the most readable; 2) Color combinations that included black were rated more readable than those that did not; and 3) Darker text on lighter backgrounds were rated higher than lighter text on darker backgrounds.

What is the most readable font color? ›

Black text on a white background provides maximal value contrast and, therefore, optimal readability for body text. Black text on a white background provides maximal value contrast and, therefore, optimal readability for body text.

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