When I joined the University in 1998, I was part of the OIT Web Team. My role was managing the production support team. However, I often had the opportunity to chat with the web designers and web developers.
One of our web designers had very strong opinions about fonts, and he helped me understand the importance of choosing the right font. In general, he said, sans-serif fonts (Helvetica, Arial) are very easy to read in web pages, but not so much when you read them on paper. The opposite was true: serif fonts (Times New Roman) are easy to read in print, but tend to cause eye strain when read on screen for a long time.
There are a few fonts that have been developed that try to be a good balance, as easy to read on screen as they are on paper. The Georgia font is one example, which is probably why it's a default font in Google Docs.
Several years later, a friend shared with me a link to a Before and After report, about choosing the right typeface for text. It's a great read.
If you tend to write a lot of documents for others, I hope this document helps you choose an appropriate typeface. I prefer Georgia. The BA report suggests these 4 fonts as their "favorites":
- Adobe Casion
- Adobe Garamond
- ITC Stone Serif
- Janson Text 55 Roman