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Getting your font right

posted 27 Aug 2010, 03:57 by Tom Fowler   [ updated 4 Jul 2014, 08:01 ]
Selecting the right font for your project is one of the important parts of preparing the impression you want to give.

Fonts are broken into two major groups: serif and sans-serif. A serif is the little detail on the ends of letters. Serif fonts are the more traditional typeface. Either type has its merits; you will often see serif used as the body text whilst sans-serif appears as the title.

Claims that serif fonts are easier to read has been discredited by modern studies, but they are still widely used by books and newspapers. 

There are a great number of fonts in both styles. Many of them come packaged with widely available software. In by far the vast majority of cases there in no reason to use anything other than the standard fonts that everyone is familiar with. 

Though there are some fonts which are more pleasing on the eye, sticking to the most popular typefaces gives your project an air of familiarity. 
  • For Serif the Times New Roman or Rockwell font families.
  • For Sans-Serif the Arial or Helvetica font families.
There are of course reasons to use more unusual or artistic fonts, used sparingly these can be very eye catching, however overuse can easily make a mess.

There are lots of font collections for sale, there is little point in buying any of these. There are also large numbers of free font download sites. Many of the fonts these sites host are very poor quality but the best of them have been picked out by the excellent Font Squirrel.

Have a look around at what is available on your computer and online. You might find a particular set of fonts particularly pleasing. Once you've chosen a typeface, stick with it! The shape of your words becomes as much a part of the appearance of your project as any images you use.