1. Creatype Studio Co
  2. »
  3. Blog Type
  4. »
  5. Useful Facts of Legibility vs Readability for Visually Pleasing Fonts

Useful Facts of Legibility vs Readability for Visually Pleasing Fonts

pexels anna tarazevich 6146647

Legibility vs readability, what makes the differences between the two? Aren’t they the same thing as one another? If you plunge into the typography or graphic design universe, you are likely to bump into those two terms. Gather the facts here before understanding them better. 

What Legibility and Readability are in the Typography Sphere?

Designers, typographers, or typesetters should carefully deliberate about the most prominent aspect of typography. Why? Because it addresses the clarity of the fonts for the audience to read. Basically, readability and legibility describe two different things related to it. 

Legibility speaks more about the typography elements which are the letters’ design and shapes that affect the audience’s perception about the typography. 

On the other hand, readability refers to the structure and setting of the font which eases the audience to read and understand the meaning of the text. 

Also Read: What is Monospace Font? Here are Some Well-Known Monospaced Typefaces

Legibility vs Readability: The Elements that Separate Them Apart

As mentioned earlier, the font’s designs and structures have the power in shaping its clarity for readers or audiences.  Dig deeper about which kind of design and structures’ contributing factors differentiate font’s readability from legibility as follows. 



Character Width

The glyphs, letters, and characters’ design and shape should have a decent width for each of the different utilization purposes. 

For example, fonts with narrow widths are better for headings, titles, or logos. 


Talking about the structure, you should think about the margin of the text block edge. 

You need to particularly be able to mark off the text/copy apart from the other element that surrounds it. 


There is space within letters incorporating contrast colors, like the circle in a,b,d,e,o,p, or q. 

It’s called counters. The size of the counters will certainly affect the legibility and readability of the lettering.

Color or Contrast

Different devices provide varying color contrast. Examine how to put balance and sufficient contrast of the typeface that is friendly in various device usage. 

Design Traits

Typefaces with some decorative touches are attractive. Still, the more intricate the decorations, the more difficult it is for the audience to digest them. 


This one refers to the spacing between each character’s lettering. In order to bring a more eye-pleasing experience, maintaining appropriate letter spacing is necessary. 

Fonts Style

In general, there are serif and sans serif typeface styles. You can certainly use serifs, yet it’s essential to weigh on the design purpose. 

For some reason, sans serifs are better known for their versatile legibility for various types of design.  


If the kerning touches the vertical spacing, leading or line spacing describes the spacing between the characters’ lines and paragraphs vertically from their baseline. 

Stroke Contrast

Shortly describes the proportion of thickness and thinness of the typeface’s strokes. 

Line Length

This structure describes the amount of character length lining vertically. Eventually, the shorter the line length, the better readability is provided. 


This element’s term indicates the height of the lowercase letters from the starting point, compared to the uppercase letter. 

Type Case

Type case affects the recognition of characters.


Notice that there are thin, regular, bold glyphs. Those are the ones that indicate the typefaces’ weight. 

Type Size

Obviously, type size speaks about the font’s size arrangement. For some typefaces, it’s better to put them as the heading or title. 

Moreover, you also need to think about your audience demographic as well. 

Also Read: Transitional Typeface: Definition, History, and Its Characteristics

8 Tips to Optimize Legibility and Readability of Your Text

Below are the tips you can utilize:


  • Keep the line length between 45 to 70 characters, the ideal is 65. 
  • Put the typeface size in a larger score.
  • Avoid using all caps all along the lines, unless you create headlines, logos, signage, or design types that need to grab attention. 
  • Lose the kerning and leading points for maximum readability experience. 


  • Less stroke contrasts are better for the eyes to read and see.
  • Apply adequate contrast coloring to distinguish the fonts from the background.
  • For body text, go with book fonts or clean and minimalist typefaces is the safest choice.
  • Consider the typeface’s characters and glyphs width, height, and width for each kind of copy you will create. 
  • Mixing the utilization of uppercase and lowercase using fonts with sufficient counters in the characters will help optimize the fonts’ legibility. 

Also Read: Why Fonts Matter: Reasons and Which Style Should You Use

Legibility vs Readability: Which One is More Essential in Visual Design?

You’ll see how the two terms link to one another and learn about which is the more essential through their differences explained above. Although the typeface design is attractive, the structure can either optimize or weaken the reading experience. Therefore, it would make the typeface and the copy itself look bad or great.   

Overall, both are essential aspects that impact the effectiveness of brand communication. Explore various designs of typefaces, from stylistic, to clean and minimalist for your brand communication with Creatype Studio. Then, are you ready to get the $1 deal and enhance your project design?

Share :

Related Post

Scroll to top