Font family: A font family is a typeface and all its variants—such as Palatino regular, italic, and bold. Whether a font is serif or sans-serif makes it more or less legible, depending on the text ’s medium—online or print Font size: Your audience may have trouble following text that is too small or too large. Letter, word, and line spacing: In order for your audience to follow lines of text, they need to be close enough together. If they are too close, however, you risk straining your audience ’s eyes. Alignment: For body text, readers of English are used to seeing text left-aligned. Body text refers to all text that is read in blocks, as opposed to heading text.
For body text displayed in print, it ’s often best to use a serif font. Serifs help create distinctions between characters, such as between upper case “I” and lower case “L.” However, with online text (which appears at a lower resolution), serifs may make text appear blurry. Serif fonts also have strokes and lines that contrast, which help readers ’ eyes move from character to character. Examples of serif font families include Garamond, Times, Palatino, and Georgia. Sans-serif fonts, like Tahoma, often have uniform strokes throughout. With print, audiences can find these hard to follow. With online, audiences may find sans-serif fonts easier to read.
Audiences under 25 may be able to read fonts sized at 8 or 9 points. For older audiences, it might be better to use font sizes around 10 points or above. (That said, you can still use smaller font sizes for information that will read less frequently, such as footnotes.) Font sizes above 14 points will break down the continuity of the text, making text appear too gray.