Use familiar fonts Usability Guideline


Use a familiar font (Times, Georgia, Arial, Helvetica or Verdana) to achieve the best possible reading speed.


Research shows no reliable differences in reading speed or user preferences for twelve point Times New Roman or Georgia (serif fonts), or Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana (sans serif fonts). Other fonts may slow reading speed.

Applicable standards

Note: The website has been down since July 2020, although is still operating and the PDF version of the guidelines is still available.

Change history

  • 5.4 Feb 2014 Narrowed range of fonts rule fires on.
  • 3.5 Dec 2009 Don’t fire for font:inherit.
  • 3.0 Dec 2008 Updated list of fonts.
  • 1.0 Feb 2007 Added.

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Rule ID: UseGov11.7