Out of all the fonts that we have to choose from on a regular basis, did you know that most of them can be broken down into two general categories. Those categories are “Serif” and “Sans-serif,” and the difference between the two is very simple: One has decorative “feet” while the other doesn’t.

Which one is which? Well, “sans” is a French word that means without, so “sans-seif” means without the curls or small appendixes (feet) that we find at the end of each letter. The image below will show this for you:

Serif sans font

Notice the “feet” on the serif font? It is generally believed that Serif fonts make it easier for a reader’s eye to follow the text, particularly when the font needs to be small like in a magazine, newspaper, or book. It is said to draw the eye across the page much easier. So when are Sans-serif fonts used? Most websites use a sans-serif font because it’s generally easier to read these fonts on a screen.

Sans-serif examples: Arial, Verdana, Tahoma

Serif examples: Times New Roman, Garamound, Century Schoolbook

The next time that you need to select a font, you may want to consider what it will be used for. Are you writing a paper that you’ll print out and give to someone to read? If so, you may want to use a serif font. Are you sending an email or writing a blog entry? If so, you may want to consider using a sans-serif font so that it will be easier for the reader to read. Generally speaking, I tend to use sans-serif fonts because it always seems cleaner and easier to read. And I’m sure I’m not the only one with a few “favorite” fonts that I use most often. My top three are Arial, Calibri, and Comic Sans MS, what are yours?

There Are 44 Comments

  1. What font did you use for the cybernet logo?
    Its interesting.

    -13ideas

  2. Thanks Ashley…I never knew this.

    My favorite font is Calibri. I use it whenever I can.

  3. “A Yummy Apology” it’s very nice ;)

  4. Which type does the site use?

  5. We’re using Sans-Serif…we think it looks a little cleaner.

  6. I like fonts theyre asthetically plesing especialy serif ones!

  7. :oops: I do believe that this site was really helpful. I also think that fonts are important. I use them alot.. I use Serif fonts in all my business documents. And sans for private documents.

  8. Yes it this site was helpful I wanted more. I now know the difference and why I like certain font. My fav. is Arial followed by times. I like clean cut.
    Thank you for the inlightenment

  9. Sans serif is much more professional especially whilst using them for taglines etc. They are much more clear to read aswell! :)

  10. Serif looks better 2 me

  11. serif is better than sanserif look professional.

  12. the exaples on the websites are very good

  13. IT’S COOL LEARNING BOUT FONTS AND STAFF!

  14. cool,i like the arial font.i think it’s sick(really cool)!

  15. thanks for making me understand being a graphic designer I never knew what was the different between serif and san serif and when i was student my tutor never taught us.

    pl if u have any new tips forward to my mail

    thanks once again

  16. postgrad student

    I always use Garamond. Even if times new roman was the only allowed font for dissertations, I just ignored that rule.
    Does anyone know a sans serif font that matches nicely with this font? I know need a sans serif font for headers etc.

  17. I generally use Arial.

  18. Is there any way (i mean “tips” to identify various font faces (like Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, etc.,) with a naked eye. Thank you very much in advance.

  19. I love Chiller!!!!!

  20. Hi there,

    Another site pointing the difference between serif and sans serif: [serifsansserif.com]

  21. You use Comic Sans MS ? Shame on you :(

  22. Comic Sans? You are kidding right?

  23. Helvetica pwns all other types.

  24. thanks this was helpful especially for a year 7 hwk my favs are comic sans ms then times new roman and then greyhound off word 2003( i have 2007)

  25. One of my favorite serif fonts is Goudy Old Style.

  26. I HATE using Arial. I use Century Gothic for EVERYTHING, I don’t like using any other fonts.

  27. I use century gothic, much more cool and organized

  28. What font is good for printed postcard advertising?

  29. this site helped me as im using it for my coursework! peace out bitches

  30. For a news article what do I use (English project)

    My teacher is strict on these things

  31. i dont know what any of this stuff means some body please explain it to me !!!!1

  32. Found this usefull for class.

  33. Arial,Arial Black, Century Gothic, Rockwell, Gorgia, Times New Roman :P

  34. As a user who suffers from impaired vision and Dyslexia I find that Verdana is bold and clear and there for easier to see and read for these conditions.

  35. Working on a Mac, I must say that my favourite font to work with is Helvetica (sans-serif) and Georgia (serif).

    Never knew when the different types will work better on paper or screen. I normally like san-serif fonts better on a screen – going to test them out on print and screen

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