Choosing accessible Fonts for readability in 2024

Accessible fonts

Whether it’s on your website, in documents, or in the images you share on social media, they dramatically improve the visual accessibility of your stuff.
It’s unlikely that you’ll discover a single optimal font for reading that fulfills all of your customers’ needs. However, certain fonts are easier to read than others.

Table of Contents

What are accessible fonts?

Accessible fonts are easy for everyone to see, read, and comprehend.
While the need to make your visual material accessible to everyone is primarily directed at people with disabilities, accessible typefaces help everyone. Even if they don’t have impaired vision or dyslexia, many people have difficulty reading particular fonts.

Accessible typefaces should not make text more difficult to read, slow the reader down, make letters harder to discern, or include unnecessary visual embellishments that detract from the font’s usability.

To follow inclusive design principles, adopt a simple, unadorned font. Knowing which font elements to avoid is one of the simplest methods to narrow down your options.

Characteristics of inaccessible fonts

• Excessive decorations and decorative elements.

• It isn’t easy to distinguish between letter and character shapes. Make the content difficult to read.

• Slow down the reader.

• Overlapping characters make it harder to discern between letters.

• Are there any specialty display typefaces, such as handwriting, custom, or cursive?

Why are fonts important for web accessibility  

Accessible fonts

Why are fonts important for web accessibility?

The majority of information on the internet, as well as the value your company offers, is communicated via text. With more than 32 million Americans suffering from vision loss, failing to meet this group’s website guidelines jeopardizes your reputation and financial success. This figure includes Americans with difficulty seeing despite wearing corrective lenses or contacts. And that figure is expected to climb as the American population ages and develops more age- and disease-related eye issues.
Certain fonts are difficult to read for more than just people with visual impairments. Individuals with learning problems, such as dyslexia, may be sensitive to certain typefaces.

Your font selection can have a major impact on reading. Dyslexia affects approximately 20% of the US population.
Making your website fonts more accessible allows you to reach this significant part of the population while also safeguarding your brand’s reputation as a diversity-focused enterprise.
Aside from being the moral thing to do, using accessible fonts on your website is the only way to avoid violating the accessibility criteria set by US law. Using an inaccessible typeface can result in severe legal and financial implications, including fines, litigation, and other enforcement actions.

Choose commonly available fonts.

While there are numerous typefaces and fonts to choose from these days, using the most popular ones is a good idea. This makes it simple to ensure that users can access the information in the manner you intend and that the experience is consistent across devices and browsers.
Helvetica and Arial are two of the most popular and safe typefaces to use. Other fonts, including Verdana, are gaining popularity. Defining fallback options is a good way to help build more consistent experiences.

Best fonts for reading

When looking for the best typefaces for reading, you should consider both legibility and accessibility. The optimal typefaces are not only the simplest to read on web pages, but also those that are accessible to the majority of the audience. In general, Microsoft fonts are a fantastic choice because they will be available to a large portion of your target audience.
According to the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, the appropriate fonts for website accessibility are:


Arial is a popular sans-serif typeface with fluid strokes and open counters that lend it an organic feel. While this font was designed for print, its open style works well for web design.


Verdana is another famous sans-serif typeface with open counters and various letter shapes. Microsoft created this font, which works well on websites and digital documents

Times New Roman.

Times New Roman has become the preferred typeface for print and electronic documents. Despite its low x-height, this serif font is quite legible.


Another sans-serif typeface created for Microsoft is called Tahoma. This typeface resembles Verdana, except it has smaller counters, a closer letter spacing, and a narrower body.


A traditional print typeface accessible for Mac, Unix, and more recent Windows versions is called Helvetica. This font is easier to read from a distance because of its large x-height.


Calibri is a typeface designed by Microsoft. Its x-height is not too large, but it does give a good contrast between most characters, which makes it a great option for people looking for a typeface that is easy to read.

All of these typefaces are straightforward, plain, and devoid of any extra flourishes or designs that can be confusing to readers on a computer screen. Additionally, they are common font selections and can be found on the majority of computers, making them more widely available than fonts that are less well-liked.  Furthermore, the following typefaces are suggested by Penn State’s Center for Accessibility and Usability due to their availability and legibility:


Microsoft created the sans-serif typeface Verdana specifically for monitors. Its open counters and unique letterforms, which lessen misunderstanding, make it a popular typeface for accessibility. Verdana is a good choice for digital documents and web pages.

Lucida Sans or Mac Lucida Grande

Sans serif fonts like Lucida Sans and Lucida Grande were made to be readable at small print sizes and on low-resolution screens. This is a great option for information that appears on tablets or other mobile devices.


Georgia is a serif typeface that was created specifically for the Web, which makes it the best option for online publications that could be challenging to read. Even at small sizes, Georgia is still readable.


Perhaps you’re wondering if there’s a typeface that’s ideal for reading.
To find the best font for internet reading, the Nielson Norman Group and Adobe conducted a study in 2024. They did discover that not all users read at the same speed when it comes to font selection, which can have a substantial impact on readability. typeface style, the user’s age, and their familiarity with a particular typeface (whether they have seen it before) all affect reading comprehension and speed differently.
There’s no such thing as a flawless font; therefore, choose your fonts creatively. However, while choosing fonts, you might also want to take privacy laws and website performance into account.

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