What is your favorite Sans Serif Font?

What is your favorite Sans Serif Font?

@TechnoBear would like me to add, “Is a difference for Heading and Body text?” :wink:

Does your answer change for mobile devices?

Both my favorite and my answer are the same as yours.

No. You misunderstood my point in your other thread.

TechnoBear would like to know why you’re asking. As you’ve posted in Design, rather than Community, it seems reasonable to assume you have some reason other than idle curiosity. But as it stands, the question is pretty fluffy and lacking in context.

If you want clear, well-thought-out replies, then it’s best to post clear, well-thought-out questions.

You don’t know my favorites…

Trolling today?

I want to advance my websites by using better fonts choices than Arial…

Figured I would start off with a basic question seeing what serif and sans serif fonts people like…

You didn’t start off the discussion following the guidelines. i.e. paraphrased

“What is your favorite ____ type of threads tend to not result in any meaningful discussion. Please start the discussion by saying what your favorite is and why to help start things off in the right direction.”

So, what is your favorite and why is it your favorite?

All I know is Arial and Times New Roman.

Can’t say they meet my needs any more.

I know nothing about fonts, so how can I write some elaborate OP when I need help on this topic?

It seemed like a better idea to start off with an atomic question versus some meaning of life question like, “What makes for a well designed web page?”

Choosing a font is part of the design process, so the choice of font will depend on the context - the type of site, where you intend to use the font, etc. That being so, there is no simple answer to your question.

I could ask you which is your favourite pair of socks. You may have one pair you prefer because you find them particularly comfortable, but whether or not you actually choose to wear them will depend on what else you’re wearing that day. Same issue.

Yes, BUT, like most things in life, there is typically a small set of favorites.

Tube socks and dress socks cover about every scenario in my feet’s life!

Some people have said the latest website I built needs “pizazz”. And I hate websites that are all background images and eye-candy. I am all about content.

It seems to me that changing fonts could add a lot of mileage.

Before I got bashed here - no surprise - I was hoping to get some favorite serif fonts, then some favorite sans serif fonts, then next ask which combinations work best for heading/body pairs. Then go from there…

Thanks, now I understand your dilemma.

But rather than ask something like “I don’t like yellow or orange any more, what’s your favorite color?” it might be better to explore the context.

Please note, I don’t know much more than squat about fonts. Letting the browser use its default has always been good enough for me.

However, I have made attempts to learn and understand Design to some extent.

From what I can tell it’s more art than science.

For example, I have read that some font families are better for headings and others for content text. IIRC sans-serif is easier to read and therefore better for content text while serif is more “fancy” and good to help make the the text stand out.

The rest depends on the “mood” of the specific site and there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
eg. an “official” site will not have the same “mood” as a “casual” site and so the font stacks chosen would be different.

What “mood” are you talking, what is the site’s “theme”?

Start a topic asking for a site review and you’ll be sure to get some helpful suggestions

In print, serif fonts are easier to read in the body.

Online, sans serif fonts are easier to read in the body.

I believe it is pretty common to choose serif for the heading, and sans serif for the body. Although the New York Times and LA Times choose serif fonts for the heading and bodies usually.

Lots of people complain about Times New Roman and Arial as “blah” fonts.

For serif, I have heard good things about Georgia. I’m not sure what is a better sans serif font.

And there must be some common Header/Body pairs that look better than standard fonts.

I believe a lot of people like Google fonts, but I don’t know…

Bottom line is that for a professional looking website with lots of content, I am sure there are a half-a-dozen serif and sans serif and combination choices that would really improve the look of my website.

And sorry, but I am not able to share my client’s current site on here. Shouldn’t matter though. best practices work anywhere… :wink:

Well, how would anyone here be able to help if you don’t provide something to work with?

If you don’t want to leave a traceable link, bit.ly (or similar) it. That is the only way for you to get any specific help. And I’m curious why you can’t share it. If it’s online and others have commented on it’s appearance it’s not like it’s “top secret” or anything.

Because I am asking for general rules of thumb, not a critique of my current website…

I want to learn about better fonts for all websites I build.

Because my client doesn’t like me talking about his business online in forums…

And because I have already learned the hard way that sharing too much online can backfire. (There are lots of trolls out there looking to cause trouble and they usually live on forums like this…)

As I posted, there is no “rule of thumb”

Then why are you talking about it?

Unless someone wants to post a complete tutorial on “Choosing Fonts” this topic will be fruitless for you until you provide something concrete to work with.


You don’t know what? :slight_smile: Google fonts, and the other sites offering fonts for your site, such as Typekit, just give you a world of options that you don’t have it you limit yourself to system fonts (that is, fonts that most people are likely to have installed on their computer).

There are great sites and books dedicated to this subject, so I recommend you try a few if you really want to get into this subject. E.g.

Book: http://abookapart.com/products/on-web-typography

Site: http://www.typewolf.com/

Admittedly, after getting excieted about Google fonts, FontSquirrel fonts etc., I’m coming back to system fonts again. That’s partly because I’ve been seeing really nice ways to use them that I hadn’t thought of before. For example, a font like Arial, Helvetica (or Helvetica Neue) can look quite nice if you change the font weight to 300, for example. (E.g. Look at what this site does to good old Helvetica and Helvetica Neue: https://pages.github.com/.)

The advantage of using system fonts is in page speed load, of course, so if they can be made to work for you, they are worth considering.

Lastly, I have a Chrome browser extension that I find invaluable: http://chengyinliu.com/whatfont.html

It’s really addictive: just click on the bookmarklet when on a page, and hover over text. It shows you what font is being used. Click on the page, and it shows you more info, like the font size, line height etc.



Nice response!


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I am interested in the topic, but like many, I was hoping to get a crash course here so then I can decide how much time to invest in the larger topic.

Yes, I like the way that looks.

Do you have any suggestions of what would look good for articles? That is, a simple page with maybe 2 or 3 columns and one that is mostly long blocks of text.

Since I am interested in learning responsive web design, would something like Google fonts torpedo download speeds on a mobile device?

Okay, thanks.

I have been doing something similar using FireBug.

It does mean an extra HTTP request that on very rare occasion might fail. But I think as long as you have a good font stack to fall back on you would be OK. The key is not that the site should always look like how you would prefer, but that it looks the best possible.

* please don’t use comic sans unless you mean it :wink:

Why do people hate Comic Sans so much?! :open_mouth:

I don’t hate it, Just that for the “feel” of most sites it isn’t an appropriate choice. I like the look of Gothic, but I don’t think that it would be a good fit for most sites eg.

Comic Sans