For the past year, we have using a free typeface called Lato on our website. After all, we were just launching a website and we just needed a font that was readable and wasn’t already used everywhere, like Arial.
Unfortunately, while Lato is a really elegant font, there are some issues when used online.
First, Lato 400 (normal) and Lato 700 (bold) render very similarly on the Mac. There wasn’t an immediate distinction between the two, which meant that bold text didn’t get the emphasis it needed.
So, I swapped Lato 400 with a lighter Lato 300. And, it looked pretty good. After all, a lot of companies, including TD and Apple, have started to adopt lighter font weights for their marketing materials, so why not?
Then, I went to our website on a Windows computer, and boy, does it look terrible.
See the difference? Instead of a dark, readable font (top, Mac), you get an even lighter font (bottom, Windows) that you have to strain your eyes to read. In fact, only a fraction of the text is truly black (#000000), even though the color is set to black.
So, Lato is out the window, and we are adopting Museo Sans, a freemium font which has a certain page-view limit that we normally will not hit.
Museo Sans 300, on the bottom, looks far more readable on Windows than does Lato 300 (top). This is crucial for reduced-vision users who desire easy-to-read fonts, as well as anyone else who uses Windows. So, say hello to our new body typeface, Museo Sans!