Which sans-serif fonts are best suited for body text? Currently I think about Gill Sans, Proxima Nova or Frutiger, but since I'm not full-stack graphic designer or typographer, I'm not sure in my choice.

The text should be easily read in large amounts, from screen, with long lines, also it should have hightly distinctive bold and italic versions.

But it's not for website. It's for Word documents, for personal use. I write a lot of stuff for myself and I want to read it in easy way.

  • 1
    Hi john. Sorry to hammer your question closed like this. I understand it's not an exact duplicate of the question given, but even then I'd close it as 'opinion-based', since you want an answer that fits you personally. If an objectively good answer can be brushed aside with your opinion ('Yes, but I don't like that typeface'), the question itself is opinion-based and thus not a good fit for the SE model. Thanks for understanding!
    – Vincent
    Oct 11, 2017 at 9:23

4 Answers 4


In print, using sans serif typefaces for body copy is a very poor choice. If the copy is designed to be printed and read, you should use a serif typeface. I personally like more humanist serifs - Stone Informal, Stone Serif, Goudy, Garamond, etc.

If the text is to remain digital, and only be read on screen, then sans serif is preferred. However, out of your three designated choices, I would not use any of them. Gill Sans and Frutiger tend to be too unique to be uniformly read easily in body text. Proxima Nova is just ugly in some respects to me. I'd much prefer standards such as Helvetica, Open Sans, etc. The important aspect is easy and fluid readability, not "uniqueness".

But really, for personal use, it doesn't matter a great deal. Use whatever you prefer.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Vincent
    Oct 12, 2017 at 9:13
  • Is there any reason that Sans Serif is preferred for digital? Jul 3, 2019 at 22:27
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    @Hashim generally screen resolutions can have a difficult time rendering small serifs well. Leading to a less-than-optimal display for the reader. That has improved over the past couple years with advent of "retina" and 4k-5k screen though. This is a 2017 answer, when the high resolution screens were still relatively rare.
    – Scott
    Jul 3, 2019 at 22:55

Between the 3, I would choose the Proxima family. Note that while these will work with Word, using a top-end font family is more suited for more advanced editors which can really render your fonts properly and use all the open type features packed with the fonts.

Also, sharing the files with other people (if needed) means they will also need the fonts installed to see the same thing you're seing.


The system version of Gill Sans is not ideal for body text - it's too bold and rather tightly spaced. Bliss Regular is excellent (Bliss is very similar to Gill Sans, but with a more even series of weights from light to bold) but that's rather pricey. TheSans from Lukas De Groot is $98 for four styles in the Office version, which is quite good for one of the world's top font designers. Ideal Sans from Hoefler & Co is $199 for four styles - again very nicely designed.


I frequently work on long documents with alot of text. More than one company that I have worked for has named the narrow version of Helvetica or Arial as the brand typeface. I have never heard any complaints about readability. So, you might want to check one of those typefaces out.

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