Let’s take a code break for a minute and discuss fonts, target audiences, and why a screen will never equal a piece of paper. When you are designing your pages, the choices that you make regarding fonts and font sizes are some of the most important. Why? First, computer screens by design are going to be harder on the eyes than paper, as paper reflects light, where computer screens emit light and are constantly being refreshed, this means that as a designer you should make every effort to ease the strain and make your site as readable as possible. Take a look at the image below:
The x-size, which is literally the size of the small x in the font family, where the point size is the distance from the top of the ascender to the bottom of the descender. This is the reason that some fonts just look bigger than others when you place them in your code using the same point size in your CSS. For a good example take a look below:
Hey I’m 12 point arial, how do I look?
Hey I’m 12 point times new roman, I know I was designed for newspapers, but how do I look on the screen?
Hey I’m 12 point veranda, how do I look on the screen?
Hey I’m 12 point tahoma, how do I look on the screen?
There you have it, not only does size matter, font style plays an equally important role, but that’s not all …
Notice that some of the fonts are Serif, with the small lines on the ends of the characters, and some are Sans Serif, without the decoration. So what does this mean to the programmer? For the web designer, it’s easier on your audience if you go with a sans-serif font style, which is the opposite of traditional printing. The reason is the dots per inch or dpi on a screen is much less than the dpi when printing, the fonts seem to scale better.