I always get a headache when switching fonts but everytime I was put in a position where I just want to rip everything apart, I always settled on Arial as lame as that probably is for font enthusiasts.
I have received my share of criticism for my love of Arial.
Sod the snobs and enthusiasts. I sometimes think of myself as a connoisseur of fine typography. (So much so that I had to look up the spelling of the word connoisseur
) But I'll never diss anyone for liking Ariel. Especially since there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's a very workmanlike font - and one of the better screen fonts for web use.
I think it's also important to distinguish between what works well on screen as opposed to what works well in print. They're two completely different things. And the overall design and optical considerations should reflect that. Screen resolution is usually 96-dpi. Print resolution can range anywhere from 1200 dpi on up to the absolute resolution of the output device and media.
Ariel was primarily designed to be a screen font. As a result, it's metrics and kerning are optimized for screen resolutions. IMHO, it doesn't look that great when you print it out at 1200 dpi (especially when you compare it to 'printer fonts' such as Helvetica or Univers), but that's just a matter of personal taste. If you grew up on TrueType fonts and laser printers, I doubt you'd have the issues the old typesetting crowd has with Ariel. Again, it's just a matter of taste - and what you've been taught to look for in a font. Neither is intrinsically better. They're just different.
And besides, it's all about readability. At least in my book. One of the biggest complaints I have (with a lot of what passes for 'graphic design') is the tendency of many designers to treat text as just another graphic element. Text is not
a graphic. Text is meant to be read. And anything that interferes with that is poor design.
So when people say things like:
I just find that Arial is a very comfortable font to look at for long periods of time. Other fonts tend to make my eyes tired, rather quickly.
I'm not kidding. Sure I can tolerate alot of these fonts and I currently have Verdana in Opera and of course Times New Roman is default in MS Word but when you put a gun to my head, I always default to Arial. It just seems like the font that gives me the least headache regardless of text size, text zoom and text formatting.
...it just makes me wonder what possible argument anybody can really make against a font like Ariel?
Fonts are like wine. What's the best? Answer: the one you