Over the summer, I read somewhere that Arial font is the ideal font for online media for readability and accessibility issues. I have since opted to use Arial for everything. My preferred font to this point was Times New Roman. Times New Roman just looks so grown-up! I typically only used Arial when I was an undergraduate and needed one more paragraph to make my page length requirement.
Of course, I can’t find the original article that prompted my switch to Arial, but I wanted to read a bit more on the topic. In typical fashion, now I’m more confused and second-guessing my use of Arial based on articles such as this one.
I came across a post expressing hatred towards Verdana, but the author’s main point is that Verdana takes up more space in print, therefore uses more paper (like my Arial font strategy I used as an undergraduate).
I’m not sure how scientific this study is (I did no digging to find out), but I like the post because it lays out examples of different fonts side-by-side, so that you can see what the difference looks like.
Finally, I found a document about accessibility for both online and print documents that is useful.
Beyond readability issues, I had no idea that some fonts simply are not viewable on both Macs and Windows computers. While most of my students are using Windows, some are using Macs.
Why does this even matter? I’m thinking about my students. My students who have documented disabilites, but also those who don’t. Some students have undocumented disabilities. Some refuse any accomodations, while others simply do not know what accomodations are available to them. Moreover, I want to make sure my classes (both online and in-person) are accessible to all students. It is much easier to be proactive and make them accessible from the start rather than to revise in rush because of one student with a documented disability.
I’m still torn with which font works best for which setting. I’m sticking with Arial for now, but plan to do a bit more research on the topic. Before I do that, I need to figure out how to change the font on this website…