Open Sans vs Lato : A head to head Comparison

Dhiraj Barnwal Monday, 21 April 2014 24 comments

Open Sans vs Lato
Can't decide what to choose between Open Sans and Lato just like many other designers and developers ? Here is a brief article which would help you to pick up a font for your next web project.
Fonts were and are integral part of a website designs. In today's modern web designing world, there are thousands of font available and two of the most used ones are - Open Sans and Lato. Both these fonts are sans serif typeface and extensively used worldwide. Both of these fonts are free and resemble to each other in a lot of features, which pushes the designer in a state of dilemma. So here is a quick review so sort this problem out.


Direct Comparison


First of all we would see the two fonts together for almost same font weights. The sole purpose of fonts are to make text look good so lets see side by side comparison of these fonts.

Font Weight - 100 Hairline/Thin

Lato - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Open Sans - Not Available

Font Weight - 300 Light

Lato - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Open Sans - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Font Weight - 400 Normal/Regular

Lato - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Open Sans - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Font Weight - 600 Semi Bold

Lato - Not Available
Open Sans - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Font Weight - 700 Bold

Lato - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Open Sans - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Font Weight - 800/900  Ultra Bold / Extra Bold

Lato - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
Open Sans - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

Different people have different taste and opinion of one would surely not be what the other thinks. So I would try my best to judge it in an unbiased way. In the above comparison I think that Lato provides a bit more variety in look eliminating the need of other fonts. Moreover it include Hairline font weight which is not commonly found in fonts. No doubt Open Sans looks good but due to the above mentioned advantage. The winner of this stage is Lato.

Speed Optimization


When it comes to font, the second thing we look at is its speed. Today's websites need to be fast loading and one would never want to load tons of fonts for making a site look good. Sacrificing speed for fonts is not always a good idea.

Open SansLato

From the above images its quite clear that Lato is a quite heavier font compared to Open Sans. Open Sans is more than 3 times faster and light weight than Lato. So here the clear winner is - Open Sans

Character Sets


Some sites would need multiple scripts like Cyrillic etc. but there are not many fonts which provide sub sets. Here is a list of character sets the fonts Lato and Open Sans have.

Lato - 
  1. Latin
Open Sans -

  1. Cyrillic Extended (cyrillic-ext)
  2. Greek Extended (greek-ext)
  3. Greek (greek)
  4. Vietnamese (vietnamese)
  5. Latin Extended (latin-ext)
  6. Cyrillic (cyrillic
This section does not need few more words. Winner - Open Sans

Font Rendering and Readability


I checked both the fonts in a couple of browsers and I found a minor issue in the readability of Hairline font weight of Lato. But font rendering and readability defers from browser to browser, site to site and background to background. It maybe be that the hairline font weight looks better in dark background or so. You can know more about this topic at Typekit's Blog. They have put detailed posts regarding this topic and I highly recommend to read those posts. So as I said one could not determine a winner is this section here there is No Winner

Conclusion


Both the fonts are frequently used and sometimes together too. They have become an essential part of Flat UI Modern designs. It would be great if in the near future machines are preloaded with these fonts. Would help millions to save a fraction of a MB :P Coming to the point the winner of this comparison is Open Sans. Lato is not bad either but a point behind Open Sans. Both these fonts load your webpage with awesomeness.
Please See - All the data above are only acquired from Google Fonts and no other source. Thanks for reading.
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24 Comments to Open Sans vs Lato : A head to head Comparison Post Yours! Read Comment Policy ▼

I want to say thanks for this you helped a lot to my blog http://guruofmovie.blogspot.in/

due to this article

Just came here to get a free backlink :3 Thanks dhiraj :v
www.gamesmart.in

Thanks i have installed open sans on my blog Coorms.com

Thanks for the comparison! I was thinking of changing my fonts but thanks to your article, decided to stick with Open Sans.

Wow... these post really answer my question. I really need to think what font to use in my blog, whether Lato or Open Sans.... I already a little bit incline toward Lato, but after looking at the weight need to be load, I might need to reconsider and evaluate more...

Thank you for this detailed article. It has been really helpful for my web design course.

Very useful comparison between sans and lato. I was looking for it and finally found it here.
Thanks a lot

Have a great day ahead !!

Regards,
Rohit
IndianIncome

You comparison is useful for me, I had installed it. I made a blog with the help of it, you can check it with professional resume writing service. Thank you for your kind information.

What about open sans vs droid sans. Which one is the best?

Lato has been expanded to include a great deal of character sets.

fantastic Post thanks admin
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Droid’s probably boring and emotionless. In my opinion it is better to use Open Sans.

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Your article is extremely helpful exceptionally fascinating subject i am looking that sort of post thank for imparting to us keep it up.
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nice! thank you so much! Thank you for sharing. Your blog posts are more interesting and impressive. I think there are many people like and visit it regularly, including me.

Very useful information. I think open sans is really good. Thanks for sharing this comparision

Thank you for sharing in this article Obat Perangsang Wanita I can learn a lot and could also be a reference

Lato font is comparatively smaller than Open sans. Both of them are good for professional websites, but i think Open sans fonts are much more readable and most used font than Lato