Of all the web-compatible typefaces available, the least appealing is the Verdana font.
And yes, I know it’s used all over. Believe me, I notice!
We’ve spoken about choosing typefaces and brand fonts a lot around here.
Your font matters — maybe more than you realize. Think about it:
Your font choice become the visual voice of your brand. Your words are delivered wrapped in fonts — is your font speaking in the brand voice you want?
So, is Verdana a good font choice, or a bad one? Is there a smart Verdana alternative?
The Verdana font was one of the earliest fonts designed for reading on screens. It’s a “web 1.0” version of a screen-readable font, in my opinion. We’ve come a long way since then.
A brief history of the Verdana font
The Verdana font was released in 1996, so it’s a modern typeface. It was designed with one purpose in mind: to improve readability in text used very small on a computer screen.
Microsoft included Verdana as part of its Windows operating system, and so did Mac.
99% of Windows machines and 96% of Macs have it, so it’s widely compatible.
When typeface designers set out to make a typeface that will be readable at small sizes, they streamline the letters to remove flourishes that would get lost at a small size.
They also give the letters a large “x-height,” which is the vertical space between the baseline the letters sit on, and the top of lower-case letters like e, x, a, etc.
And they tend to add extra space between letters, because when typefaces are reduced very small, letters will blur together unless they’re spaced out quite a bit.
The examples below show you why I hate Verdana for regular text copy, and what it’s good for.
You’re about to see what I think is the best Verdana alternative, too.
Keep scrolling, my friend!