Hmm … interesting.
For web sites, Verdana and Georgia. It’s interesting that a number of others here like Georgia for print, 'cos my understanding is that, like Verdana, it was designed specifically â€” by they-who-should-not-be-named! â€” as a screen font.
For print, for years my favourite has been Adobe Garamond/Adobe Garamond Pro. It seems to me to give a more even appearance to the page than Times New Roman; it has a lower x-height and is better kerned to my eye. Recently I have been trying Adobe Caslon Pro … it is very similar and at 10 point it is hard to spot a difference. But it is a little more open, with slightly larger x-height and slightly more width to the characters. I use one or the other of those for all the documents that I am going to print myself. I have also been in the fortunate position for an individualist of being the only kid on the block with Adobe Garamond, so although it is pretty ubiquitous out there in the world, in my environments it has always been a stamp of difference.
For other documents destined for print which I am having to pass over to colleagues I am forced to use TNR, as their systems â€” Chinese Windows â€” don’t have Adobe Garamond, or even the Garamond that Micro$oft supply â€” which is horrible! â€” and heaven alone knows what would be substituted. But I don’t like TNR and never have. It is too big at 12 point and I find it boring.
For Sans fonts, Helvetica Neue rather than Helvetica, or Gawd’elp’us Arial. But again for reasons of co-operation, I am often forced to use Arial. Why do people send out whole documents in Arial … or sometimes, if they’re Chinese in Arial bold!? … The worst was a colleague in the Arabic section at the University of Westminster who produced all her English handouts in 16 pt Arial, even though she was using a Mac, in the belief that that made them easier for the students to read! For my own printing purposes, Copperplate Gothic Light or now just Copperplate Light as a title font.
On the whole, for editing, as in Scrivener, yes Optima. Only discovered relatively recently, but I really like it … very easy to read on screen, helped by the subtle hinting. Very nice font.
Courier, I loathe and always have done, but unless things change in the publishing world, I guess that if I ever do write that book, I’ll have to export the manuscript in Courier … !