Tt TotallyType

Letter Legibility

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

To test the legibility of a typeface, we start by looking at character distinguishability — how different each character is from every other character in a typeface. During selection, designers often use pangrams to evaluate and compare typefaces. Pangrams are words or sentences containing every letter of the alphabet.

Who would pack five dozen old quart jugs in my box?


I use the following two pangrams, one in sentence case and the other in all caps; it uses every upper and lowercase letter aand works well for testing the internal spacing as well.

Champion Hamburgevons

The letters in hamburgevons or hamburgefons contain all the basic and rounded strokes, stems, and diagonals used in the Latin alphabet. Other varitaions like hamburgefonstiv or the word champion are used by typeface designers to test a font.


When selecting a text font it is important to make sure every character is easily distinguishable at your intended font size. Over the years, I developed the following character distinguishably test.


Hamburgevons Hamburgevons

ages ages


bdpqo hnmu

38 56 0O


How to use. First, select the font you are consiering. The app above will take any font installed on your system. Then, set up your intended font size and foreground and background color, adjust the line-height and letter-spacing, and finally, test the fonts character distinguishability. The following list shows what each line is testing for.