Font effects on reading parameters: comparing Radner Reading Charts printed in Helvetica and Times Roman

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of font choice on reading parameters by using the RADNER Reading Charts printed in two fonts (Helvetica vs. Times Roman) equalized in terms of x-height.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 40 participants with healthy eyes (18 to 60 years of age; mean: 42.13 ± 12.28 years). Reading performance was evaluated binocularly with RADNER Reading Charts printed in either Helvetica Neue (T1) Roman sans serif (Adobe) or Times New Roman PS Roman serif (Adobe). The test distance was 40 cm. Reading charts were presented in random order. Reading acuity (RA), mean reading speed of all sentences read (MEAN-ALL RS), mean reading speed from 0.8 logRAD to 0.3 logRAD (MEAN-RS), maximum reading speed (MAX-RS), and critical print size (CPS) were compared.

RESULTS: The RA values obtained for the Helvetica and Times Roman fonts (in full logarithmic units of 0.1 logRAD) did not differ between the two fonts (mean for both fonts: - 0.128 ± 0.064 logRAD; 95% CI for both: - 0.148; - 0.107 logRAD). The differences in all other reading parameters between the two fonts were small and not statistically significant. The analyses revealed narrow confidence intervals and good coefficients of reliability. Except for the CPS (r = 0.49) and RA (equal for Helvetica and Times Roman), the correlations for all parameters were high, ranging from r = 0.92 to r = 0.98.

CONCLUSION: The equivalent reading performance obtained with Helvetica and Times Roman (when equalized in x-height and layout) makes these font types interchangeable as standards for reading charts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3387-3394
Number of pages8
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number10
Early online date26 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Equalized print sizes
  • Fonts effects on reading
  • Reading acuity
  • Reading charts
  • Standards of reading charts
  • x-height
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vision Tests
  • Reading
  • Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Ophthalmology


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