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?

50 Replies
Tracy McCulloch

I have a file I designed years ago that includes all of my fonts, minus the ones used only for Asian characters, in a Word document where I can replace the phrase "Fonts at a Glance" with the text I want to test. This lets me winnow out everything that's completely inappropriate really quickly while reminding me of quirkier fonts I may have forgotten I have.

I updated this after Tom sent out the note about the quick Google font download, any I think that everything else that isn't a standard came from free font download sites like www.1001freefonts.com.  The font names are to the left as they appear in my Fonts folder. I hope this is useful for you as it is for me!

Geoffrey Goodman

Hi David,

I think the links you provided are pointing to the wrong site. In your post of Posted Friday, April 08, 2011 at 6:42 AM -

the links point to a discussion and templates around Mindmaps (which is cool too) but not about fonts.

i am very curious about the template you mention and was hoping you could post the correct link?

thanks

Geoff

Efrat Maor

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.

My current top favs are:

- Hannah's messy hand writing

- Hand of Sean

- Feat of Flesh BB

- Catholic School Girls BB


BTW - - Hand of Sean is NOT free for commercial use. 
Most of the free fonts out there are free for personal use, or NGO and educational use.  

David Anderson

Geoffrey Goodman said:

Hi David,

I think the links you provided are pointing to the wrong site. In your post of Posted Friday, April 08, 2011 at 6:42 AM -the links point to a discussion and templates around Mindmaps (which is cool too) but not about fonts.i am very curious about the template you mention and was hoping you could post the correct link?

Geoff


Hi Geoff - In that link I posted, I reference the design mapping process I use to match fonts with course topics. The process involves more than fonts (elements, colors, people) but font selection is a big part of it. The main idea is that fonts, like people, have personalities and the design map walks through how to describe a topic's characteristics and use those terms to search and select fonts.

But maybe you were looking for something else? If so, please let us know and we'll do our best to source some additional resources.

David Anderson

@Jeremy - Century Gohic is a nice font. As a system font, I like it for topics like leadership, coaching and non-compliance topics. A commercial font I use in place of Century is Chalet collection--mostly Paris 1980

As a side note, Century is probably better for headlines and titles and headlines more than body text. EschoolNews published an article around Century's lower printing costs. The downside? Ink costs went down and paper costs went up. Turns out that while Century Gothic is a lighter font, it is a much wider font so the number of pages increased. 

Huey Chin Teo

In consultation to my clients when they want to implement eLearning, i always recommend the following fonts:

1. Verdana

2. Arial

3. Articulate (font is pretty good to use too.)

4. Berlin Sans

Font will also depend on your target audience. If your audience is mostly children, you can consider kidisd or cartoony font like Kristen to add the "fun" element.

Jeff Kortenbosch

Like Chris our company font is Arial as well (actually it is Helvetica but since you'd have to pay a license fee for every user the alternative is Arial). In my elearning courses I use it as well but when I want something to stand out I often use the Hand of Sean font (with or without a nice organic arrow). I always change the color either to reflect the theme or just bright red as if I scibbled it in with a red pen. Seems to work perfectly as I get a lot of questions about the handwritten font and the use is widely adopted.

Hugh Gardner

Bruce Graham said:

...and don't forget, smaller fonts take up less hard disk space.

>

>

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...maybe....   

Bruce


I worked with a Project Manager who didn't like drop shadows, and instead wanted me to "add more layers in Adobe, so it's taller off the page".....

I deserve a Emmy for keeping my face still.

Bruce Graham

Interestingly, (or not...depending on your perspective on life...),

I recently had a big client who had a corporate font - Kievit-OT (in various variants).

In order to do a spectacular and wonderful job for them I had to purchase this from the font foundry that owns it.

When I created and compiled the course in SL, there were a variety of differences between "their version" of the font and the current "available for purchase" version of the font.

Even when you are doing things the correct and the costly way - fonts can be a confusing little bag of bytes.

Bruce

Daniel Brigham

I'll never use arial again -- why make your course look everyone elses?   Robin Williams' Design for Non-Designers does a wonderful job on how to mix fonts. If you dig art, you should really be digging fonts, too.

 I think as far as choosing a font, you should ask your client what kind of vibe they want the training to have -- serious, playful, adventurous, etc. What personality do they want the training to have. Fonts give your course personality.

As far as title size, I usually go with 28 or so. Larger than that can look dorky.  Text on-screen usually between 18 and 22 depending on visuals.

Bruce Graham

+1 for Daniel's comments above.

There seem to be two camps here - the people who are able to go and search the foundries for interesting and "playful" (etc.) fonts and those who are not.

I'm currently working with a multinational, but the recommended fonts in the Style Guide are Calibri and Arial, which are not exactly going to set the World alight visually...

I can understand why corporates have guidelines for Marketing material, flyers, website etc. however, in many cases they do not mention "eLearning". Perhaps there's an opportunity for IDs to explore whether our creative process comes outside the boundaries of the current guidelines? It's a bit like them saying "Paint us a picture only using red and purple" - certainly I would question that request.

Bruce

Jasmine O'Connell

I have always just *said* that elearning falls outside the bounds of corporate marketing guidelines, and people believe it. If they look dubious, I start talking about learning effectiveness, immersive design, etc. until they get bored and move on.

Actually, I have never had to go to the mat over branding or using a standard template for every course, thank goodness!

I really love the google web fonts - didn't see those linked in the thread.

Bruce Graham

Jasmine O'Connell said:

I have always just *said* that elearning falls outside the bounds of corporate marketing guidelines, and people believe it. If they look dubious, I start talking about learning effectiveness, immersive design, etc. until they get bored and move on.

Actually, I have never had to go to the mat over branding or using a standard template for every course, thank goodness!

I really love the google web fonts - didn't see those linked in the thread.


LOL - you sound like my kind of person

Bruce