What font is the best?

Hello everyone,

Just wondered what font you tend to use for your presentations. I've always been an ariel man myself - mostly because that's what has been the standard where I work.

Recently I've started to notice that Ariel doesn't look amazing when it's published. So what does? Which fonts float your boat? or is it ok to just go for anything you feel like at the time?

What do we all think?

51 Replies
Steve Flowers

There have been a few fonts designed specifically for readability on screen and in print. Two fonts that stand out and were designed for this purpose are Verdana and Georgia. I tend to lean in this direction for much of my work. Using Verdana for heads and subheads and Georgia for body text. Several studies point out that these are generally preferred in studies as more readable. But more readable isn't always preferred for aesthetic preference

For more decorative / emphasis uses this varies, depending on the level of "font confidence" I have -- whether the target audience will have the font or I can embed within my media (SIFR, etc..) That said, I'm partial to Frutiger for general purpose print / screen use. I'll also use Calibri, Trajan Pro, Arial Rounded, Frankliin Gothic, Gill Sans, Helvetica, Myriad Pro, Trebuchet, Tw Cen MT situationally (never more than two +/- one fonts in a comp except in extreme situations).

David Anderson

Hey Chris - one of my favorite topics

I've always believed course fonts should support the topic. I've used a design mapping technique for years to help identify the appropriate fonts for my projects. 

Here's the template: http://community.articulate.com/downloads/p/730.aspx

And how to use the template: //www.screenr.com/qkU

Before and after (notice how the font choices affect the theme) //www.screenr.com/yun

David Anderson

Steve Flowers said:

 Several studies point out that these are generally preferred in studies as more readable. But more readable isn't always preferred for aesthetic preference


Funny you mention that, Steve. There have been several articles that promote the educational benefits of "ugly fonts". 

Wired:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/the-benefit-of-ugly-fonts/

Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347058/Why-ugly-fonts-messy-handwriting-make-easier-remember-youve-read.html

Jeanette Brooks

Ha, Zara's post made me realize that sometimes when I go to dafont.com and start looking at fonts I get all caught up in just appreciating the names of the fonts, lol. Just this morning I looked at the site and what's on the home page? A font called "Ink in the Meat." Kinda makes you think, no? 

One of my new faves for headings is Boris Black Bloxx. Used it for a conference preso recently and I like how it's heavy and chunky but still sorta playful.

Steve Flowers

I think the ideal font size is the size that's determined by the user. This isn't always practical since an architected layout or a composition assembled for impact / focus won't always allow fluid adjustment. Not to mention tools don't necessarily support user determined scaling.

It really depends on the strategy driving the conveyance and factors like style (bracketed within usability principles) will influence font size decisions. We rarely go below 13px for any body text, callouts, etc.. But bigger isn't always better.  Blocks of text aren't always bad. It depends on the problems presented to the design.

Chris Fletcher

Frutiger pops up quite a bit. I think that's what the O2 logo is here in the UK, and I'm a big fan of that as a font. I used to use Verdana actually @Steve That's probably not a bad idea - I can't think why I stopped using it!

@Dave, I agree with you about the fonts supporting the topic - I have quite a limited number of fonts at the moment, and sometimes I think my creativity doesn't flow as well as it should. Perhaps being bolder with my fonts would help lead to more exciting creatioons in my eLearning!!

@Kimberley That's a good question too. When I first started using Articulate (and I'm sure I'm not the only one here) my job was quite often taking PowerPoints and turning them into eLearning. In PowerPoint I think people have a totally unnecessary beleif that the bigger you make the font, the better the presentation is. Personally I prefer to keep it small. If its big enough for anyone to read, it's big enough. As a general rule with basic text slides, I tend to go for around 36pt for a heading, 18 - 20 for a sub heading and no smaller than 14 for the main content (usually 16 though).

Chris Fletcher

David Anderson said:

Steve Flowers said:

 Several studies point out that these are generally preferred in studies as more readable. But more readable isn't always preferred for aesthetic preference


Funny you mention that, Steve. There have been several articles that promote the educational benefits of "ugly fonts". 

Wired:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/the-benefit-of-ugly-fonts/

Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1347058/Why-ugly-fonts-messy-handwriting-make-easier-remember-youve-read.html


Actually I've just been asked to create a piece of training using Serif fonts because they force the learner to read the content and dont allow them to skim read. I'm not 100% sure about how this will affect the overall appearance of the training, but I guess it'll be fun finding out!!

Alicia Pennington

@steve

Thanks for the cool font site! 

I prefer clean fonts, like Veranda.  Although I will try some fun fonts for titles and headers.  However, I have to keep my audience in mind.  I've started developing a healthcare safety course for all employees.  I've thought about using a big calligraphy type font for headings.  However, some of the letters are hard to read; and if English is not your primary language, I'm not sure the learner would be able to read it. 

@Dave

Thanks for the articles. 

Make it a great weekend!

Rachel Reed

Zara King said:

I have really been experimenting with different fonts.

My go to business font is the Articualte ones. However I have been using many free fonts from the sites recomended by the community.

Is there a thread/posts referencing good, free font sites?  I am in need of some new, fun fonts...and I would prefer to snag some free ones if at all possible.  I figured since you mentioned you used some sites recommended by the community...you might be able to point me in the right direction   Thanks.