Font Size and Typeface
[x] Headings, Titles, & Labels
[x] Required Pages & Elements
[x] Text & Style
HHS must use Arial or Verdana font and the listed font size (or equivalent) for standard text and links on all Web pages. The selected font must be used consistently throughout the site. In general, usability tests have shown that users perceive sans serif fonts to be more contemporary. Use the following scale as a guide to determine size:
|If the Font Type Is…||Then You Must Use…|
|Arial||11 Point Font Size|
|Verdana||10 Point Font Size|
If you have specialized audiences, use the appropriate font size to accommodate them. For example, older adults may require a 12 point font in Verdana to read effectively. Additionally, use “scalable fonts” or fonts that will allow the user to increase and decrease text size using the browser functions (e.g., View > Text Size > Larger).
Research has shown that fonts smaller than 11 points (Arial) elicit slower reading performance from users.
A font size of one or two points smaller than the approved points above may be used in the following situations (but in no case smaller than an 8-point font):
- In data tables.
- In PDF documents because of their nature and because they are expandable when opened.
- In a navigation bar that presents secondary information such as bread crumb navigation or standard information/links that appear in the “footer” of a page.
- For footnotes (including both the footnote and the footnote superscript indicator within the text body)
- For notices or disclaimers. For example: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®.
- To present information and/or links in the footer of a Web page. For example: This is an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- When you provide a “page text sizer” control that allows users to increase or decrease a font size. Examples of a page text sizer include: AAA and Text Size: SM MD LG XL
- To present secondary information that describes a prime link or piece of content. For example:
Bailey, 2001; Bernard and Mills, 2000; Bernard, Liao and Mills, 2001a; Bernard, Liao and Mills, 2001b; Bernard, et al., 2002; Ellis and Kurniawan, 2000; Galitz, 2002; Ivory and Hearst, 2002; Tinker, 1963; Tullis, 2001; Tullis, Boynton and Hersh, 1995.
Requirements (content & style): N/A
Use Dark Text on Plain, High-Contrast Backgrounds
Use Familiar Fonts (V2, 11:7, p. 106)
Use at least 12-Point Font (V2, 11:8, p. 107)
Use Arial or Verdana font and the listed font size (or equivalent) for standard text and links on all Web pages.