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Times New Roman or Arial

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I know that this topic is a trivial one, but I have to make a magazine and I have some discussions with the rest of the team about the default font for the standard text. I suggest to go with Times New Roman, but most of the other guys prefer Arial.

AFAIK Arial is fine for online reading but Times New Roman is better for printed output. Is this a rule in the printing world or can any combination be used?

Most people would say "Neither Times New Roman nor Arial".

(This is because those two fonts are the ones mostly used by people producing documents in MS Word, thus they can sometimes look "toyish", cheap, amateurish.)

Generally serif fonts are better for reading, because they keep the words together. But that is only valid if you do not have any reading problems. People with reading problems might find sanserif fonts easier to read.

Today though, the above "truth" is often believed to be more of "religion" than "fact". But remember that typography is many hundred years old, there must been reasons that serif fonts are mostly used in books...

I would recommend designing a sample page, and then print it using several different fonts (it's easy to change the font if you use styles). Different fonts give the publication a different feel. A medical journal would use other fonts than a music magazine, even if they both would use serif fonts for body text.

From what I've heard, there have actually been tests made, and the conclusion was clear: Seriffed types won hands down in allowing reading efficiency.

(The only caveat I would include here, is that while I do remember the source as being trustworthy, I do not have the references to the research.)

And as for Times New Roman being perceived as toyish, perhaps it's time to show people how it is to be properly used!

There are tests showing different results, although I personally think that the tests that show sanserif fonts to be better have been based on subjective measures (i.e. asking the readers).

I think that readability should be based on more objective measures, like reading speed and comprehension.

Many "professionals" seem to prefer some Garamond variant instead of Times New Roman. (Of course there are also other Times variants than New Roman.)

I have an old Corel Draw CD with hundreds of fonts so I stay away from the MS core fonts.


--- Quote from: Nermander on May 14, 2011, 09:48:28 am ---
I think that readability should be based on more objective measures, like reading speed and comprehension.

--- End quote ---

Precisely! And what I remember from the info I've talked about, is that the key variable measured was reading speed.


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