Text: Serif vs. Sans-Serif

When using fonts on screen, it is important to understand the differences between serif and sans-serif fonts. Serif fonts are the fonts that have little tails— fonts like Times, for example. A sans-serif font, such as Arial, lacks these tails. Due to the effects of anti-aliasing, it is important to try to avoid using serif fonts for on-screen use whenever possible. If the are to be used, they should be used at a size large enough to avoid the problems shown below.

Serif Sans-Serif

This is a large serif font.

This is a small serif font.

On this blow-up, you can see where the pixels have a tendency to blur together.

This is a large sans-serif font.

This is a small sans-serif font.

On this blow-up, you can see that the font stays much clearer than with serifs

Next Demo: Font Usage