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Best Fonts for Charts on Your Website

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

A person looking at a chart on a laptop

Importance of Font in Charts

Have you ever sat in front of your computer trying to find the perfect font for your project and thirty minutes later you realize that you’re only halfway through the list? I’m telling you, it’s a trap! But if you need to make a chart or graph, the font you choose can have a substantial impact on how it is interpreted. I have found that charts imported to my site from MS Word do not always look the same on Wix as they do in Word, so you will want to check your chart’s readability once it’s uploaded to your site. But fear not! I have done some testing and research on this topic just for you! In this article, we will discuss choosing the best fonts to use for charts imported to your website.

Why is font essential in charts and graphs?

The font used in charts plays a vital role in conveying information to the reader. Since the text in charts and graphs is typically small, it’s even more important that the font be clear, crisp, and readable. Clear fonts can help avoid any misinterpretation of data and help communicate the intended message.

Does typeface matter, and how is it different from font?

You can eliminate about half of the fonts in your list by first choosing the typeface. I’m sure in typography there are many differences between font and typeface, but for this article we’re only concerned about the difference between serif and sans serif typeface. Serif fonts are the ones I call fancy fonts. They are the letters that have the extra little squiggles (or serifs) on the ends and have a more classic look. Serif fonts are often used in formal documents such as resumes and academic papers. Times New Roman and Garamond are popular serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are more modern looking and don’t have the extra serifs at the ends of the letters. Since they don’t have all the extra fancy marks, sans serif fonts tend to look and fit better in small spaces, like your chart! Arial and Helvetica are common sans serif fonts.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Fonts

Ensure that your charts look polished and professional on your website by avoiding these common mistakes.

Using a font that is too small

Smaller fonts may seem like a good choice to fit all of your information into a smaller space, but they can actually make your chart difficult to read. Stick to a font size that is at least 10-12 points, depending on the complexity of your chart. Also, look closely because not all fonts are the same size, even if the point size is the same. You can see an example of this in the charts below, as all three fonts are set at 12pt, yet none of them are exactly the same size.

Choosing an overly decorative font

While an attractive font may seem appealing, it can be distracting and make your chart difficult to read. Save the fancy fonts for logos and book covers and stick to easier-to-read fonts like Arial, Franklin Gothic, or Helvetica for your graphs and charts.

Using too many different fonts

Mixing too many different fonts can confuse your audience and detract from the overall message of your chart. You can still show variation using only one font by adjusting the size and by using the bold and italics options. Stick to one or two fonts to keep your chart looking clean and professional.

Choosing the Right Font for Your Chart

When it comes to selecting a font for your chart, stick with the basics. Arial, Calibri, and Verdana are some of the most commonly used fonts and they are highly legible and easy to read, even at small sizes. They are also widely available and supported by most web browsers, making them a safe choice for charts that will be viewed by a wide range of users.

When choosing a font, don’t forget to see how the numbers and punctuation look. For example, the ‘$’ and the ‘%’ symbols are common in charts and graphs, and they can vary quite a bit from font to font. I also like to see how the letters, numbers, and symbols look when typed next to each other because sometimes it just doesn’t look good.

Let's look a little closer at the fonts I just mentioned, to give you an idea how these letters, numbers, and symbols can change the look of charts and graphs.


Arial is a popular font choice for charts. It's a popular choice because of its simplicity and readability. It works well in both headings and body text, and its numbers and symbols are clean and consistent.

A chart showing Arial font


Calibri is another a popular font choice for charts as it is simple, elegant, and easy to read. Compared to the Arial font above, Calibri is smaller, which could be good or bad, depending on how and where it is used. When using Calibri, make sure to select the bold or regular font weights to ensure good readability.

A chart showing Calibri font


Verdana is a unique sans serif font that is a bit different than the standard Arial or Calibri. It has a rounded, yet boxy look, which makes it stylish and easy to read. However, this font is much larger, even at 12pt, and may not be the best fit for your chart. Look at the far right column in the chart below and you will see that the 12pt Verdana doesn't even fit in the cells. If you really like this font and would still like to use it, experiment with some of its other styles like Verdana Pro or Verdana Pro SemiBold.

A chart showing Verdana font


Using the right font is essential to make your charts visually appealing and easy to read for your website's audience. Experiment with different font combinations to find the perfect fit for your website's aesthetic. Remember to keep the overall design of your website in mind when choosing fonts for your charts to maintain consistency and a cohesive look across your site.

In addition to choosing the right font, it's also important to pay attention to other design elements, such as color and layout. By carefully selecting all aspects of your chart design, you can create visualizations that are both beautiful and effective in communicating your message.

If you would like to see how other fonts look and behave in charts, please see my chart font study in my portfolio on this website.


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