Why Avoid Times New Roman?
Times New Roman and other serif fonts such as Palatino, Garamond and can be very elegant, but are ultimately designed for paper. When you print documents with these fonts on paper, technologies for laser printers and ink jets allow for very fine details, such as the elegant serifs (feet at the ends of the letters), to be drawn clearly.
However, Web sites must be designed for computer monitors which do not allow for as much detail to be displayed. Although font display technologies have improved on newer models, they are not really the equivalent to print yet. Therefore simpler sans-serif fonts such as Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, Trebuchet, Tahoma are recommended since they are more legible on a screen. That’s why the default fonts for most online platforms, including Blogs at Penn State and ANGEL, are a sans-serif font.
You can read more about these recommendations on the Legibility page.
When to keep Times New Roman and Serif Fonts
If you really are fond of serif or decorative fonts, they are usable in these situations:
- A downloadable document, such as C.V. in PDF or RTF format. These would be documents designed to be printed.
- When the font size is larger such as in headlines, headers or in some navigational buttons.