It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Papyrus is probably not the most professional font choice for e-mails or corporate web sites (unless your company sells Ancient Egyptian artifacts).
But what is the most universal of the more conservative, professional fonts that would be the safest bet to use company-wide?
The short-list of conservative, widely used fonts would be:
Arial (Helvetica on a Mac), Times New Roman (Times on Mac), Georgia, Verdana?
Notice "Wing Dings" is not on the list. I'm not sure who uses Wing Dings or for what purposes.
- Times New Roman (TImes on Macs): As characterized on yesterday's posting, Times New Roman may be the corporate grey pinstripe suit of the font world. But, it's not necessarily the best choice; especially for web sites. It's not bad a choice, just keep it at 12 points or larger. Times New Roman is very hard to read at smaller font sizes.
- Arial (Helvetica): Reads better on web sites and e-mail. However, it too is a narrow font that tends to start cramping up in smaller sizes.
- Georgia? Good choice! This is one of my personal favorites. It's a little wider and reads cleaner, especially online.
- Verdana? Even better! Verdana was actually shipped way back with Internet Explorer 3. Historically, that is meaningful. IE3 shipped at the time the Internet was really taking off and Verdana was the preset font of choice because it was considered the optimal font for online reading. Like Georgia, it is a wider, cleaner font easy to read in any point size.
So the winner: Verdana, by a nose.
Last updated: Dec 19, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio