Sensible Fonts

by Charles Maurer


If you want people to read your text, and you want it to have the most impact, use these fonts:

If you want want to save space, and if you want people to be able to read what you have written but do not really care if they do, use Times.

If you want to discourage people from reading something, use Helvetica/Arial. This is the most appropriate font for getting away with legal murder in contracts, especially when printed in the light version and/or all-caps. Helvetica can be used to frustrate eyes on web sites as well as on paper.

Georgia, Times, and Helvetica come with all computers. Schoolbook, Gill Sans, and Optima come with some computers and can be downloaded inexpensively or for free.


Fonts used to be cast in foundries and sold by foundries; today, although they work exclusively with computers, font houses are still called foundries. Linotype (inventors of the typesetting machine) and Monotype are the two largest foundries. They produce all of the fonts above except for Georgia, which comes from Microsoft. Here is more information about them: