As part of the ongoing aesthetic interest I have, I discovered a link to this blog post that discusses the basic properties of type (and fonts). As I was reviewing it, I realized that a lot of textbooks are set in serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) and wondered if that had some psychological effect on how people viewed sans serif (such as Arial) type. Will my blog seem more “professional” or “academic” if I use a serif font? Recently George Siemens redesigned the elearnspace blog, moving from a sans-serif font to a serif font. I wonder if that has changed initial opinions of his blog?

Another conflicting idea is that online spaces should have fonts set in sans-serif type, because on screen resolutions are low, and serif fonts are not always displayed with the same clarity. When doing web design (not so long ago now), I usually defaulted to setting clients websites into Arial, Helvetica and sans serif. I wonder what impact that had on the end user?

3 Replies to “Type”

  1. Thanks for the trackback on the article. Really appreciate your linking to my post, and really like the blog. I think with serif typefaces it depends on the design. For example, with this cleaner design you have going on here, a sans-serif type is a lot better suited. Experimentation and A/B split testing is always nice, and if you’re working in EMs (remember, PXs are evil), things should appear generally the same across all browsers and screens.

    Hopefully this helps – if you have any questions or anything you can always feel free to e-mail me. 🙂

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dietsociety: New Blog Post: Type! (about fonts, and questions about their influence on how we evaluate websites) http://bit.ly/bV86nc

  3. No problem – l generally work in e-learning spaces within Learning Management Systems (Blackboard is the biggest company, although I typically work in Desire2Learn’s LMS 99% of the time). Really I’ve been trying to apply web design ideas into learning spaces, and explore whether those design ideas have an effect (the theory is yes) on the learning and the quality of learning.

    I may just take you up on the e-mail in the near future!

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