SERIFS AND COMPUTER SCREENS. I posted here five years ago about the belief of the advertising man David Ogilvy that ads should use a typeface that people are used to reading. I asked then: “I wonder what will happen when eyes are accustomed to get information from a computer screen rather than a page of newsprint.” I posted here earlier this year about the opinion that fonts which have serifs are thought to be harder to read on a computer screen, but noted that Times New Roman, which features serifs, seemed to be holding its own.
Now Google has announced a new logo in a new font that has no serifs. The lack of serifs is probably the reason that the font is called “product sans”. This article in the Guardian by Jack Self reports that Google’s “principal justification for its redesign was legibility, reinforcing a century-old assumption that sans serif fonts are intrinsically easier to read.”
Self says that the real reason that Google has removed serifs is “higher data entry speeds”. Sans serif fonts “are simply faster to load”.