or
Jack Douglas
We may [allow everyone to select their own font](/meta?q=56), but whether we do or not, we need to choose default fonts for TopAnswers/databases (both regular and monospace for `code`).

Please answer below with suggestions, one suggestion per answer, so we can vote and figure out the most popular.

The fonts must be available under a suitable license such as [OFL](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIL_Open_Font_License). A good place to look might be this [font library](https://fontlibrary.org/en/search?order=pop&license=OFL+%28SIL+Open+Font+License%29), and if you want sans-serif in particular you can [filter out the rest](https://fontlibrary.org/en/search?order=pop&license=OFL+%28SIL+Open+Font+License%29&category=sans-serif).
Top Answer
Paul White
I would like to suggest [Source Sans Pro](https://fontlibrary.org/en/font/source-sans-pro).

### Sample

![sample][1]

Features:

| Item | Description |
|----------|-------------|
| Category | Sans-serif |
| License  | OFL (SIL Open Font License) |
| Family   | Source Sans Pro |
| Designer | Paul D. Hunt |
| Foundry  | Adobe Systems Incorporated |

**Description**

: Sans serif font family from Adobe for user interface environments. http://adobe-fonts.github.io/source-sans-pro/ Roman fonts version 2.020 and Italic fonts version 1.075 (OTF, TTF, WOFF, WOFF2, EOT)

**Full Language Support**

: Afrikaans, Baltic, Basic Cyrillic, Basic Greek, Basic Latin, Catalan, Central European, Dutch, Esperanto, Euro, Igbo Onwu, Pinyin, Polytonic Greek, Romanian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Western European

[1]: https://i.imgur.com/XPvweju.png
Answer #2
Tom V
If the [Bitstream Vera](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitstream_Vera#Licensing_and_expansion) license is acceptable I would vote for the [Deja Vu Sans](https://fontlibrary.org/en/font/dejavu-sans) font.


![Sample](https://i.imgur.com/0wSCEdD.png)




It resembles the widely used Verdana when it comes to font width and supports many languages and symbols as well as a monospace variant for code blocks


    Full Language Support
        Afrikaans, Arabic, Archaic Greek Letters, Armenian, Baltic, Basic Cyrillic, 
        Basic Greek, Basic Latin, Catalan, Central European, Chess Symbols, 
        Claudian Letters, Dutch, Esperanto, Euro, Farsi, Georgian, Hebrew, Igbo Onwu, 
        IPA, Lao, Latin Ligatures, Mathematical Operators, Ogham, 
        Pan African Latin, Pinyin, Polytonic Greek, Romanian, Tifinagh, 
        Turkish, Uighur, Vietnamese, Western European 
        
        
It also just looks nice and is already included in a lot of linux distros
Answer #3
Caleb
I would nominate [Hack](https://sourcefoundry.org/hack/). For many of the same reasons outlined for Deja Vu Sans, but with many improvements for use in source code.

*Caveat:* This should only be used for code blocks, body text should be a Serif font as discussed elsewhere.
What default fonts should we use on TopAnswers/databases?
Caleb
Right now the voting on these posts isn't super meaningful, but if you were ever trying to have a vote on this issue you'd really want to _remove_ the screen shots entirely and either link to or embed an actual usage.
Jack Douglas replying to Caleb
yes very well worth noting that. Clicking the links to see the fonts rendered in your browser is essential
Caleb
Also even if done on a high quality setup the screenshot process will capture what was optimized for one system and rasterize it, rendering it ugly on a different system. What looks nice on one setup will look bad an another and vise versa when the fonts themselves may or may not adapt well to both if used natively.
Caleb
Note the screen shots showing off fonts in this thread are  really _BAD_ way to evaluate fonts. They were taken by different users on different screens and reflect the weaknesses of those users setups. It's not an apples to apples comparison when one person has a HiDPI screen and the other low with bad aliasing options enabled. 
Caleb replying to Andriy M
Sorry for the confusion, I thought we were talking about code snippets, not post bodies.
Jack Douglas replying to Caleb
each site will have a default
Caleb
I think the important question is are you looking for one that will be default on all sites or will each site have it's own default? Database and technical topics will have different needs than a humanities site (or even Meta) and with the different priorities might be better off with a different choice.
Caleb
I will think on that one a little bit. Font choices tend to be a divisive issue (I run a publishing house and am pretty sure it's impossible to please everybody with one Serif font). There are certainly more appropriate ones than others though.
Jack Douglas
I chose the current default, so that would obviously get my vote
Jack Douglas
If you have a moment, please suggest a serif font in another answer (or that we keep the current default)
Jack Douglas
I've updated the question to make it clearer that we need suggestions for both the main font and a monospace font for code
Jack Douglas replying to Caleb
don't worry, it's clear now, and a useful suggestion
Caleb
When I answered suggesting Hack I had seen the other Sans-Serif suggestions and assumed we were talking about code. I was wrong about that so my answer is slightly out of sync, it doesn't answer the actual question.
Caleb replying to Jack Douglas
Nope nope, I definitely meant "Serif". Post bodies should have serifs (as they do for me right now) by default. If people want something else a user preference could offer them a sans-serif, and perhaps the site Chrome & UI could be done in serif, but I hate body content being set in sans-serif faces. Only thing worse is books being set in sans faces. Okay so maybe Comic Sans would be even worse.
Jack Douglas replying to Max
that is nice. it looks like we need to allow the monospace font to be selected independently of the main font — though there are some families that have both types there are quite a few that are only good for one or the other
Jack Douglas
@Caleb "…body text should be a Serif font…" — did you mean a 'sans-serif' font?
Andriy M replying to Caleb
I like that one but it's a fixed-width font, correct? Not sure if there are many people who would prefer the default font to be fixed-with. But I may well be mistaken. You could try suggesting it as an answer if you like.
Max
I'd like to use Microsoft's open-sourced Cascadia Code.  It has some nice glyphs.
Caleb
@Tom I would nominate [Hack](https://sourcefoundry.org/hack/), which is a derivative work on Deja Vu Sans and is, in my estimation, much improved.
Tom V
Arabic and Hebrew may not be an issue, but the Mathematical Operators are what made me chose Deja Vu
Andriy M
I like the more streamlined looks of Source Sans Pro, as well as its rather close resemblance to the classical Helvetica (which I guess I'm partial to, though it's by no means my only favourite of the sans serif font family). It doesn't support certain scripts, in particular Arabic and Hebrew, it appears, but I'm not sure if that's a big issue nowadays. I think in this day the OS (or perhaps the browser) can substitute missing glyphs from other fonts, no? I've no idea.
Jack Douglas replying to dezso
I wonder why, it looks great on mine. It does seem to be a slightly smaller font — the line-spacing appears bigger and the characters smaller.
dezso
@Paul it renders a bit blurry on my screen
Jack Douglas
@Tom The Bitstream Vera license looks fine to me, thanks.