Which Fonts Are Easiest to Read in Print?

It has long been accepted that serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, Georgia and Garamond, are the best option in print media. The serifs, or little adornments and feet on each letter, make the letters more distinct and pull the eye forward fluidly.

Sans serif fonts, such as Arial and Helvetica, don't have those little embellishments, and have gained popularity for web content and screen viewing. In 1986 author Drew Eric Whitman did a study of the effectiveness of fonts when printed on paper and found that, of more than 1 million people surveyed, 66 percent easily understood print in the Garamond font, 31.5 percent quickly grasped that printed in Times New Roman, and only 12.5 percent easily understood that printed in Helvetica.