Module 1: Checkpoint 6—Font family

Conformance: Mandatory


Verdana must be the primary font. The default font family (in order of precedence) must be Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans serif.

Other font families, such as Trebuchet, may be considered for headings.

Benefits of conformance

  • Verdana is designed specifically for onscreen reading, especially at small font sizes.
  • Verdana is rendered consistently across all platforms and web browsers.
  • Restricting the number of font families ensures a common look and feel across websites.

Risks of non-conformance

  • Other fonts may not render consistently across platforms and browsers.
  • Other fonts can be harder to read onscreen.

Implementation advice


Web designers must restrict themselves to fonts that are available on common operating systems/platforms. These are the standard set of fonts common to all operating systems, sometimes referred to as 'browser safe fonts'. These fonts render identically regardless of the platform or web browser. Browsers will render text using the first available (i.e. installed) font from those specified.

Sans serif is recommended for online as it is easier to read onscreen than serif fonts.