Re: Font readability?

Subject: Re: Font readability?
From: Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 12:31:52 PST

Karen Davis wanted to know:

> Okay, here's a question for you usability types. An engineer
> in our company is trying to make us change the font we use
> from a sans serif to a serif type. He claims that serif is
> more readable. Does anyone have some data (studies, hard
> evidence) to back one style or the other? This is a large
> company, and we are resistant to allowing one group
> to deviate from or try to change our standards.

I don't have the data on hand, but *standard* rules of thumb are:
Headlines, subheads, titles, and so on = sans serif
Text and body copy = serif

Serif'd type is easier to read (you know those little flippers, as
the unknowledgeable folks here call them)? Well, they cause the eye
to move across the page more easily. In a horizontal line, that is.

I am constantly fighting our "graphic designer" here when she puts my
body copy in an ad in a sans serif font. It's very difficult to read,
especially if the font is small. I use serif'd fonts for ALL my text
copy, and she does now also!

If someone else doesn't have the hard data to back this up, let me
know and I can dig up what I've got (it's at home somewhere!)!

Sue Heim
Research Information Systems
Email: Sue -at- ris -dot- risinc -dot- com

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