Font for web maps
Are there suggested font types to use for web maps when labeling the centerline?
Mapping Center Answer:
Short answer: yes -- they are Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Trebuchet, Century Gothic (which are installed on all systems, in addition to Lucinda Grande and Palatino (which are installed on most systems).
Longer answer: A recent study identified the fonts I listed here as the most popular fonts for web design. Why? Good web fonts have a generous amount of space between each character, as well as the amount of whitespace within the characters (glyphs) themselves. A tall x-height also opens up the space within a character. These properties are what make these fonts so legible on screen.
You will note that all of them are sans-serif fonts, except Georgia and Palatino. Serifs are the extra lines or small decorations added to the ends of the main strokes of the type. The theory behind these serifs is that they help the letters flow, and lead the eye across the text during reading. Serif fonts are very popular in print, but many designers and cartographers believe that sans-serif faces are a more suitable option.
The variable boldness and fine extra strokes of the serif fonts, particularly at smaller sizes of body text, often appear pixilated and untidy. This is still the case even with the most modern anti-aliasing techniques. With anti-aliasing enabled, the serif fonts look blurred (which is exactly what they are) around their curves and terminals. On the other hand, the straight, low contrast, open strokes of a sans-serif font, such as Verdana, will always leave a good impression on-screen.
If you would like to post a comment, please login.