Tech Tutorials Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts: Is One Really Better Than the Other?

Serif vs. Sans Serif Fonts: Is One Really Better Than the Other?

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There is an continuous argument amongst developers – both print and also digital – concerning what makes an excellent font for a task. The argument generally damages down to a solitary concern: serif or sans serif?

Before you respond to that concern, think of all of things you find out about serif and also sans serif fonts and also all the misconceptions connected with them.

Today, we’ll take a look at both categories of kind and also try to establish if one is truly better than the various other, and also in what condition.

Anatomy of a Serif

Serif fonts are amongst some of the earliest modern-day fonts. They are utilized in every little thing from publication posting to papers and also publications to signboards and also web sites. So what is a serif anyhow?

It’s the little attractive stroke that prolongs from letters. It can be in the form of a tail, sharp or blunt, attractive or simple. Each serif font will certainly have a unique design for this mark that makes the family recognizable. Serifs show up on both top- and also lower-case letters within a typeface family, as well as on glyphs, characters and also various other personalities.

The state of mind and also sensations most connected with serif fonts are traditional, stylish, official, positive and also well established. Some of one of the most well-known serif fonts consist of Times Roman (and also Times New Roman), Rockwell, Georgia, and also Baskerville.

Going Sans Serif

Sans serif fonts are thought about more modern-day and also consist of a selection of sizes and also forms. This design of font does not have strokes at the ends of letters (thus “sans” serif). The kind category is believed to personify simpleness because of this lack of added information. Sans serif fonts have a look that is straight and also exact, although personality sides might be either sharp or rounded.

The state of mind and also sensations most connected with sans serif fonts are modern-day, pleasant, straight, tidy and also marginal. Some of one of the most well-known sans serif fonts consist of Helvetica, Arial, Futura and also Franklin Gothic.

Myths and also Rumors

The problem with choose a font – either serif or sans serif – is amplified by all of the misconceptions we reviewed everyday concerning the various letterforms.

While in the past some of these misconceptions and also reports might have held some support, modern-day posting methods (published and also online) have tightened the void in between serif and also sans serif fonts and also readability. In several circumstances, readability issues are not based on the kind category but instead the real font and also its application.

Only Use Serifs in Print


This is one of those misconceptions that is duplicated without advantage. Why would certainly you just make use of serifs in print? Look at web sites like Church of The Atom. It utilizes serif fonts in a gorgeous means. It’s completely legible and also includes a great deal of focus to the general layout principle.

So where did this misconception come from? The top debate in support of his mistaken concept is that display top quality is not as excellent as the top quality of published products, for that reason making serifs difficult to read on a display. While some published products do have higher magazine resolutions, this is still a flawed debate.

Think concerning exactly how you discovered to kind. It was most likely on a display utilizing Times New Roman (a serif). Did you have difficulty seeing it?

Think concerning modifications in displays as well. In the last couple of years, hd and also retina-display have end up being virtually the standard. These higher-top quality displays also expose the debate that you can just review serifs in print. The days of poor-top quality display resolution impacting readability are coming to an end.

Sans Serifs Are for Digital Publications


Just like claiming serifs are just from print, some try to insurance claim sans serifs are just for digital magazines. Again this is simply simple incorrect. Designers have been utilizing sans serif fonts in print for years efficiently. To connect sans serifs just to digital magazine is outrageous. Look at the number of publications and also publications that make use of sans serif fonts for their covers and also in message throughout the magazine.

Serifs Are Hard to Read

Readability researches have really found that serif fonts are less complicated to read because the added strokes make each personality more unique. More unique letters are less complicated for the eye to acknowledge swiftly.

Further, this design assists lead the circulation of letters, words, sentences, and also paragraphs because serifs can aid “push” you from one letter to the next.

Sans Serifs Are Informal

The usage of a sans serif font alone does not share a message of informality. It can be casual when utilized with various other images or along with a uniqueness font.

But one of the wonderful attributes of a sans serif font – and also one of things that makes it a versatile choice – is that it often tends to take on the attributes of bordering fonts. So a sans serif coupled with an old design typeface will certainly have an aged and also traditional feeling; a coupling with an luxuriant manuscript might really feel more official or womanly.

Serifs Can Be Used to Increase Spacing Between Letters

Yes, this is a actual debate. But serifs do not affect letter spacing. Letters that are poorly kerned can really have the contrary effect and also serifs can really end up making letters look closer than they might be. Using a serif font is not a remedy to willpower kerning or monitoring issues.

Sans Serifs Are More Attention-Grabbing


The quantity of focus your layout gathers is not based on a font alone. It is a issue of shade, comparison, images, and also typography. It takes all of these points to grab somebody’s focus.

Take a pair of traditional instances. Newspaper headings, such as The Examiner San Francisco over, typically make use of serif fonts for headings. “Thought differently” is extremely eye-catching. It is as much concerning the web content as the font utilized.

Then look at the site for the Apple Store. The sans serif typography is strong, significant and also attention-getting. Both serif and also sans serif designs can be just as impactful.


So which is better: serif or sans-serif? It all depends on the usage, state of mind and also specific task. The best response is commonly the least clear – several excellent layout jobs include both designs. This uses to print and also digital jobs.

Serifs and also sans serifs can operate in any kind of number of applications. The crucial, like for any kind of various other layout method or device, is to make use of the fonts well, with objective and also together with the web content.

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