Which font is easiest to read on paper?

Written by stephanie maatta
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Which font is easiest to read on paper?
Different fonts impact how easy it is to read print documents. (glasses on newspaper image by Alexander Zhiltsov from Fotolia.com)

In printing and publishing, the word "font" refers to the typeface used to create printed characters. A font is selected to provide readability and to relay information through the text. There are two types of fonts: serif and sans serif.


Serif is a typography term used to describe the ornamentation on characters. Serifs appear on the tops and bottoms of individual characters forming perpendicular feet. Serif fonts include Bookman Old Style, Courier, Garamond, and Times New Roman.

Sans serif fonts do not include any type of ornamentation on the characters. They appear as straight lines without any flourishes. Some have curved tops to appear softer and friendlier when reading. The sans serif fonts include Arial, Calibri, Franklin Gothic, and Helvetica.

Which font is easiest to read on paper?
Serifs appear as small lines on the tops and bottoms of characters. (the letter a image by feisty from Fotolia.com)

Reading Benefits

Sans serif fonts produce characters that are easy to distinguish in print, creating text that is clean and readable, making them better for younger, beginning readers, according to SIL International. Serif fonts are used to help draw the reader's eyes in a straight line by following the direction of the ornamental line, making them an ideal choice for more experienced readers.

Which font is easiest to read on paper?
Fonts provide different benefits to the reader. (book image by Charles Taylor from Fotolia.com)

Font Size

Size has a role in how easy a font is for reading. Font size refers to how small or large the characters appear in print. Large, clear text on paper is the easiest to read. Using a larger-sized font makes serif fonts easier to read, and improves the document's appearance.

Which font is easiest to read on paper?
Larger typefaces are easier to read on paper. (newspaper and spectacles image by NatUlrich from Fotolia.com)

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