Sans-serif typeface

designed by Olivia King

2 Styles

1 Weight: Regular
with matching italics

Best for

  • Headings (display text)
  • Long reading text (body text)
  • User Interfaces (functional text)

License

Free and Open Source

Specialty

A free, friendly and clean typeface made for enhanced legibility, making your copy and UI text more accessible.

My Inclusive Sans Font Review

This week’s typeface perfectly follows up with my recent conversation about Fonts for Accessibility. Inclusive Sans by Olivia King is a free and open source font made for body text. It incorporates all the essential features for making it highly legible, like clear character differentiation and no mirroring letters. Complemented with its sturdy strokes and generous spacing, it will work under tough conditions.

Clean and Friendly

Inclusive Sans is an accessible text typeface, made for ideal legibility. Characters are very distinct, like I and 1, or O and 0. And there is no mirroring of the letters d, b, q and p.

The typeface works well in small sizes. This is because of the sturdy strokes, taller lower case letters, generous spacing and open counter forms on c, o, a and e robust in smaller sizes.
Look at Inclusive Sans’ gorgeous numerals! I could lose myself in them.

What I like about it, is how elegantly the typeface includes these features. It’s a contemporary neo-grotesques, like Helvetica or Arial. But due to these tiny adjustments it has a very different attitude and warmer touch, as you can see below.

Charming tail of the lower case “d” for differentiation. The lower case “b” is not mirroring the “d”. The “t” shows a soft transition from the vertical to the bar. The lower case “c” has opened apertures.
These character features make Inclusive Sans more legible while giving it a warmer touch.

Arial is often claimed to be a good choice when it comes to accessibility. I also discussed this with type designer Eleni Beveratou in our session. You can see for yourself if this is true, when directly comparing Inclusive Sans to Arial. Which of these is easier to read?

Inclusive Sans When compared to Arial, you can see how much clearer Inclusive Sans is. It is not mirroring the letters db and qp, which can help dyslexic readers. Additionally, the 0 and O and I and l are more differentiated. Even though it’s a bit lighter, the spacing is much looser, making it easier to read.
Inclusive Sans has more differenciated characters, is clearer and more spaced out.
Arial with its ambigous characters is very tightly spaced, making it harder to read.

For now, Inclusive Sans is only available in two styles: Regular and Italic. But Olivia King told me she is currently working on additional weights, and I’ll give you an update once they are ready. Since the spacing and design is more aimed towards smaller sizes, I recommend pairing Inclusive Sans with one of my suggestions for headings.

Font Pairings for Inclusive Sans

Inclusive Sans is a rational linear sans-serif typeface. It pairs well with anything else in that category that is more contrasting or interesting for headings, like wild Roslindale, but also more quite similar sans-serif Inklination.

Inclusive Sans (free)
Inclusive Sans (free)
  • Headings
  • Copy
  • UI Text

Learn more about pairing typefaces using the Font Matrix.


What do you think of it? Tell me in the comments! Also, share with me your favorite typeface for accessibility!

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7 Comments

  1. Sofort verliebt! Sieht toll aus. Eine tolle Schrift für gut lesbare Texte, wenn mensch sicher inklusiv sein will und die Atkinson nicht so passend ist.

    1. Schön, dass sie dir gefällt! Sobald die weiteren weights da sind, ist sie sicher auch gut einsetzbar für die meisten Projekte.

  2. Choosing a single-storey ‘a’ really changes the tone of a typeface to me since it’s relatively uncommon, and on a high frequency letter. I like it here.

    I’d be interested in your opinion of Arial if using Stylistic Set 3 and expanded 0.5 point. Yes, that’s takes effort compared to using it out of the box, but it’s a very different beast than stock Arial.

    1. I’m super intrigued, Jeremy, but I can’t find these stylistic sets. On my machine, I’m having Arial version 5.01 from 2006. What’s yours?

  3. What do I think? 😁
    Inclusive Sans is a people-pleaser! It’s way spaced out, for my taste.

    We can’t talk about fonts that have one weight, can we?

    The best part of Pleaser Sa… Pardon, Inclusive Sans is, a charming differentiating tail. How cute, how kind.
    I don’t like, in general, monumental I. 😑 This font is ideal for elementary school, and children’s books, the little ones would benefit from it.

    My team uses Arial 🤢in Google Docs. And to alleviate all the stress from reading from it, I immediately switch to the opposite, super soft – even though – not my favorite, Karla.

    Thank you for the wonderful show with Eleni. 🙌🏻Gem packed, insightful, engaging. It suits you well to lead Live streams.

    Song for some future Font Fri’ay
    https://genius.com/The-cure-friday-im-in-love-lyrics

  4. Hello Oliver,
    thank you for the article.
    Although I am quite aware of all the problems related to Arial and even though I do not like all the omnipresent dull neo-grotesque clones, I have to admit that, for some weird reason, every time I see Arial on computer screens at regular font sizes, it seems very readable, sharp, and clear to me. This is definitely not the case at larger font sizes, when it becomes quite messy and chaotic for me.
    I think I am the black sheep, but in your direct comparison between Arial and Inclusive Sans, I would choose Arial, because it seems much more sharp and clear to me on my screen which I prefer more that being able to easily distinguish between l, I, and 1.
    Also, I would say that Helvetica, Arial, and Liberation Sans all have some kind of inner rhythm, balance, and order, which is quite pleasing to my eye and. I am still not able to find out why they seem so harmonic to me. I guess I am somehow too conservative, old-fashioned, and boring when it comes to sans serifs 😀
    Quite recently, I decided to set Arial as my default font in Excel. I realized that nowadays, I tend to use the most common typefaces, such as Arial, in my written documents because these fonts are completely neutral and do not disturb me during reading which enables me to fully focus on the content and not on the typeface. I think this kind of font-neutrality, which is quite an important aspect, is often unfairly forgotten or neglected.
    Cheers!

    1. That’s fair, Viktor. And we definitely read best what we read most. I also type this in Helvetica right now, too lazy to change the settings of my email 😅.

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