Notes to Future-Me

Typography Notes


A collection of the research findings about typography and readability. Factors which can affect or improve the ability to read text on a computer screen include: font size, blank space, text line spacing, paragraph styles, length of the line, and word length.

Actionable Takeaways

Source Documents

Design Guidelines for Web Readability

Provides two lists of actionable guidelines: a large list of 61 guidelines and a list of 12 critical guidelines from the larger list.

12 Critical Guidelines
61 Guidelines

Visual Appearance

Structure of Content



Simplification of Text

Harvard Digital Accessibility Guidelines

Seven Guidelines

Their recommended CSS:

body {
  max-width: 700px;
  padding: 1.6em;
  font-size: 120%;

p {
  max-width: 40em;
  font-family: sans-serif;
  line-height: 1.4;
  text-align: left;

Make It Big! The Effect of Font Size and Line Spacing on Online Readability

Most modern source. Focused on reading in browser.

Effects of Display Resolution on Visual Performance

The Effects of Font Type and Spacing of Text for Online Readability and Performance

This paper has absolutely mangled English, but does support two useful conclusions:

Additional Resources

CSS font-size units

Relevant CSS Properties

Typesetting Specific Terms