Prefer serif type for your main text

There are many ways to classify typefaces, but the most common is whether or not they have serifs. Can you see the difference between the letters in the left and right columns?

The letters on the left have small lines at the ends of the strokes. Those are "serifs." The letters on the right don't have those small lines and are "sans serif." (Sans is French for "without.")

I recommend serif type for your main text (basically, the text for your paragraphs—excluding titles, headings, etc.).

Why? Simply because that's what we're used to. In the United States, an overwhelming number of documents use serif typefaces for the main text. Just check the newspapers, magazines, and books you read. You'll see serif almost all the time except for headings and titles and other occasional uses.

So using serif type for your main text is a standard. That doesn't mean that's the right way to do things—-just the common way. Professionals often do creative and effective things that violate standards.

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