Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More

Wed

22

AUG

2001

Wilson’s Fonts and Readability Survey

Interesting discussion today via Evolt.org’s TheList about readability and font sizes. In March Dr. Ralph Wilson of Wilson’s Internet ran a survey for feedback about fonts for his HTML-formatted E-mail newsletter. He shared the results in his article, HTML E-Mail: Text Font Readability Study.

Wilson’s final conclusions:

"My readers clearly prefer sans serif fonts to serif fonts for body text. Therefore, in my HTML e-mail newsletters—and on my websites—I am moving toward 12 pt. Arial for body text, and Verdana for 10 pt. and 9 p. fonts. I haven’t done adequate studies comparing Georgia against Verdana for readability, but since Georgia isn’t as widely installed as Verdana, I plan to stick with Verdana. For headlines I’ll continue to use larger bold Verdana fonts."

The results indicated preference and best readability for 12 pt. Arial for body text, but when the font size was reduced to 10 pt., then Verdana was easier to read.

Wilson’s article explains what and how he surveyed, has comparative charts of all the fonts tested, and more. Fascinating.

Here are a few related resources also provided during today’s discussion:

06:46 pm, pdt22 August, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·

Categories: Design, Typography, Usability

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