Serif or Sans Serif?
Sans serif seems to be the dominant font style on the web today. Serifs are the extra little lines at the ends of the letters eg, you will notice The below 2 S’s. The right S has extra lines at the end: These are the serifs. The right has no extra lies, and is sans serif.
This hasn’t always been the case, as Serif fonts were once very popular. However, it has dwindled in use as it is believed to be more difficult to read on computer screens, particularly in lower case.
Strangely enough, the opposite is the case for print formats. Serif is considered easier to read on a physical copy. You will probably notice that most newspaper copies use serifs.
Despite these beliefs, it is not as simple as one for the web and one for paper. There are many more factors to play into the decision. What is the best font to use for your branding? Will your logo be on t-shirts? Will your font look good on all the media formats? Is it predominantly displayed online, on leaflets or mobile? These are important factors to consider.
While some companies may benefit from using the same font across all medias, this doesn’t need to be the case for everyone. For example, may magazines will use serif for the title and sans serif for the main body of text. You will sometimes see the first letter of a paragraph in extra large font with serifs, while the rest is not.
It is also important to note that you do not need the same font when viewing on different medias. For example, you can make rules to have different styles on different screen sizes.
Like many design decisions, the best result is usually down to taste. More specifically, it is down to the taste of your target audience. However, you cannot find out what they like most for sure without doing some tests and using some trial and error.
If you have a large customer base, you could run some optional customer surveys to evaluate what font style your customers like the most and find easier to read. To gain more traction, off a discount or competition entry to those who take their time to help your business.
Have fun with your fonts and find one that works best for you. Remember that screens are getting better and better as time goes by, so make sure you are testing on the devices/copies that your customers will be viewing on, too.