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Home Forums Design font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; is enough? Reply To: font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; is enough?


Do you think its a good font to use in websites? – @Mib70

If you think it looks good and fits your site, then by all means use it. @Senff

I have to disagree with this, respectfully of course. Text makes up majority of websites that is why typography is important, even more so for minimal designs. What if Mib70 suggested to use Comic Sans? Would you then agree with your answer?

Google fonts is not a better solution

In regards to Helvetica, it certainly can be. For example, Open Sans.

I’ve posted this quote before so here it is again (this is in reply to another person):

[…] you overestimate the abilities of a Retina display. Some typefaces are simply not optimal for reading at small sizes, regardless of render quality or substrate. It has to do with weight, spacing, openness of letterforms, and most importantly rhythm. Neue Helvetica is known for its strict uniformity. This makes it appealing for big, graphic stuff like headlines, posters, and logos, but does not make it a great text or UI face. – Stephen Coles

“But he’s talking about Neue Helvetica”, you might say. Keep in mind that Neue Helvetica is an improvement to Helvetica.

Open Sans I’d say go for at least 20px


Google fonts downside 1: font rendering on Chrome (Windows only) can be a bit bad. Since this happens with a lot of fonts (most custom, non-standard fonts), this is a Chrome/Windows issue and nothing the font itself can be blamed for.

There are other contributing factors that can in fact be blamed on the typeface which is why so many in Google’s library are horrendous. Also, see Stephen Coles’s quote above.