2013 was definitely the year of strong and clean sans-serif fonts. Similar to classic and uber-common fonts like Arial and Helvetica, the top 3 fonts used in nonprofit websites last year all had a very similar look and feel.
1. Gotham: airy and clean for Obama
Made popular by the Obama campaign, other organizations quickly jumped on the bandwagon and made use of this airy and clean sans-serif font. It’s used more often in printed documents than online, but nonprofits like NPR have wholly embraced this font.
2. Open Sans: ultra-legible for Google
Designed for Google, Open Sans has been popping up everywhere. It’s slightly more architectural than other sans-serif fonts, and most importantly, it’s very easy to read. Plus it’s free! Nonprofit websites using Open Sans include WWF, Care, Clinton Foundation, and Doctors Without Borders.
3. Proxima Nova: voted most popular
The one font that showed up more than any other on nonprofit websites in 2013 was Proxima Nova. Modern, clean, legible… it’s everything you want a font to be. A taller x-height in proportion to the cap height makes larger paragraphs of body copy easy to read and quick to scan. You can see samples of Proxima Nova at Kiva, PETA, Charity Water, Samaritan’s Purse, The Trevor Project, Monterey Bay Aquarium, UN Youth Australia, Solar Citizens … the list goes on.
Will clean sans-serif fonts continue to reign supreme in 2014? I'd say probably! This trend will surely last a number of years before serif fonts win back the public's eye.