Sep 8, 2014

Which Font Type is the best?

Which Font Type is the best? FrontWhich font type is most favored by readers? Which font would keep them hooked to your website?

Learn about different fonts and font types. Find out what fonts do award winning websites use to keep their readers eternally happy and loyal.

A primary article on smashing magazine asking 'which font should I use?' was among the best ones which explain in detail what fonts are, what families do they belong to and which one should be used where. So if you're generally confused about the names of fonts or font families, you should probably go to the linked pdf.

The same question was asked by me during the research at Google Product forums on Maximum User Interaction for fonts, and was presented with some of the best answers ever.

The Findings

In the blogging sphere, it was found that majority of bloggers used Georgia in their creations. Helvetica and Arial came in second with a near equal prevalence. The important fact to be looked is that Verdana with a mere 4% usage was the least preferred font for any blogger.

Font Families at Blogs

If yours is a personal or a professional blog, written by on or many authors about one particular subject and the views are of the author only, then we're talking about a simple blog. Examples include any blog.

During the research, I found that Georgia, which was the most preferred, was often used in blogs which featured miscellaneous content (i.e. the content that no one dared to pick up). Helvetica on the other hand was preferred by web design and development blogs.
Comparison of Font Families in Blogs

Font Families at News Websites

If you are not into information or Ideas, and just want to talk about current affairs (i.e.) what is happening currently in the world, country or your locality, you are a newsman (or a newswoman). Examples include websites which host news as individual articles.

News based websites had virtually no sample using Georgia, Verdana or Times New Roman. The reasons were simple enough, Georgia and Times New Roman feels archaic and Verdana in my opinion doesn't feel authentic. The most used font in News websites was Arial (About 60%).
Comparison of Font Types for News Based Websites

Font Families at Academic Journals

If you do not blog or write about facts and events but like to experiment and jot your results down for others to see, then your website is an academic journal.

To determine a trend from the data in journal based websites was difficult. However, one thing was clear; here too Arial was the winner with 34 % websites using it, (Followed by Helvetica and Verdana)
Comparison of Font Types for Journal Based Websites

Font Families at Information Based Websites

And if you're not interested in events or ideas or your opinion, but just want to create a ready reference for others which would help them find information, you have an information based website.

Surprisingly, Information based websites followed the trend of News websites. Virtually no website used Georgia, Verdana, Times or Trebuchet. They just used Helvetica (35%) and Arial (55%).
Comparison of Font Types for Information Based Websites


From a psychological study in Wichita, the following were the emotions attributed to the fonts. The study included attributing 15 personality traits to 20 fonts and the top three personality trait for each font was considered (i.e. the maximum number of occurrences of a particular trait for each font).

Concluding Remarks

  • So if you have a blog, the best bet would be Georgia, Helvetica or Arial in their order of precedence.
  • If yours is a News based website, you need to give an illusion of updation and authenticity, which can be achieved with Arial.
  • If yours is an academic Journal, then use Arial. If it’s an information based website, use Arial or Helvetica (in their order of precedence)
  • If you could not categorize your website, just close your eyes and type Arial.

More in font research Series

Find out Which Font Color is the best? - Did you know font colors can alter moods? Learn how professional award winning websites change text colors to ensure maximum user interaction and understanding.

Find out Which Font Type is the best? - Which font type is most favored by readers? Which font would keep them hooked to your website?

Find out Which Font Size is the best? - How do you know if your font size is readable enough? What font can be called too large and how many pixels are too small? 

This answered,
Which Font Type is the best? MohitChar