ID-SK: Selection of typography for online services of the Slovak Republic

ID-SK: Selection of typography for online services of the Slovak Republic

Typography is the most important visual element on predominantly text pages. That is indisputable. In the process of creating the Unified Design Manual for Electronic Services of the Slovak Republic, we had to choose THE typeface that would be used in electronic services. 

These were our initial requirements for selecting a typeface:

Sans serif typeface - for better readability on electronic devices and mobile phones.

  1. Similarity to the licensed typeface by Peter Biľak (Greta Sans) chosen for the design manual of the Slovak Republic, which is already used by public administration bodies in offline communication.
  2. Support for all Slovak characters (Latin extended character set).
  3. Good readability/legibility of characters even for the older population or for people with visual impairments.
  4. Free license, so the state does not unnecessarily spend money if it is not necessary.
  5. Support for internet browsers and mobile devices (Webfont).

The first narrow selection

Based on my knowledge and with a little help from Michal Tornyai from the Union of Graphic Designers of Slovakia, we selected these potential typefaces for the first choice. They are also displayed with a sample of a whole paragraph, which allows us to test whether we will want to read those long official texts.

Gradual elimination

From these, we gradually eliminated those that have some defect in characters, such as Lato, whose character “č” is fine in browsers, but not offline.


We then excluded the typefaces Noto Sans and Work Sans, whose characters are too far apart, taking up too much precious space on the screen. This was followed by the exclusion of another set of typefaces Roboto, Fira Sans, and PT Sans, whose characters are so close together that it could cause problems with readability for older people.

Final selection

So, these two typefaces made it to the final selection:

Open Sans is currently used on the website, so the first thought was to keep this fact. However, Mr. Machel from the Ministry of Culture came up with a good observation. Notice the difference between the letters uppercase I and lowercase L. With Open Sans, the difference is minimal, it actually only differs in the height of the character. In contrast, with Source Sans Pro, the difference is clear. And it is precisely this distinction that can be crucial when stating various abbreviations, which our laws are full of. And so it was decided, and Source Sans Pro won quite clearly.

Font size

Subsequently, I just determined such a font size for individual devices and all elements on the page to ensure good readability. Given the slightly smaller size of the bellies of lowercase letters (compared to the Open Sans font), it was necessary to increase the font size overall. And not only for visually impaired citizens but also for everyone else. After all, it is known that after the age of 40, people gradually become visually weaker because the eyesight naturally deteriorates due to the decreasing elasticity of the lens. And according to the latest demographic data, there are already 50% of people over 40 years old. So, to see our laws well :-D

You can view the actual display size on your device directly on the ID-SK website in the Typography section.

One last tip

And one observation at the end - the most usable typeface is one that is readable as soon as it starts to appear on the screen from the bottom of the page. Just cover its bottom part to test:


The Unified Design Manual for Electronic Services of the Slovak Republic was created within SUXA (Slovak User Experience Association) and in cooperation with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic for Investments and Informatization.

You can find the source codes on GitHub

You can find more articles on the topic of ID-SK under the blog tag ID-SK.

If you are interested in quality graphic or UX services, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to advise you.

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