Fonts are an extremely important part of communicating your messaging effectively. But choosing the best presentation fonts depends on a number of factors, including your company’s brand and the tone of your content.
Best Presentation Fonts
As with choosing colours for your presentation, you of course need to take into account your company’s brand identity – it’s likely to even to have a set of guidelines that dictate font and visual styles to be used across company communications.
If you have more autonomy over font choices, our team of presentation designers have pulled together some essential tips to help you choose a style that’s right for your presentation aims.
Serif vs. Sans-Serif
Typefaces broadly fall into two categories: serif and sans-serif. Serif typefaces have small flourishes at the end of each letter stroke, whereas sans-serifs do not.
Serifs are intended to help guide the eye across the page – they make letters appear more distinctive, with the reasoning that this makes them easier for the brain to quickly identify.
Serifs are more prevalent in print, whereas sans-serifs are ubiquitous in web design. Perhaps because of these usage applications, serifs are considered to be more ‘classic’ and sans-serifs more ‘modern’.
This is something to consider when selecting typefaces for your presentation. For example, if you’re talking about a company’s rich heritage and history a serif is likely to be the best fit, but when detailing a ground-breaking new product or initiative sans-serif is probably the way to go.
Less is More
When selecting the typefaces that you want to work with, try and limit yourself to using 2-3 per presentation. This is because type adds visual consistency and ties your content together when other imagery and elements vary – using more than 3 risks your presentation lacking cohesiveness.
Decide which fonts you will use for headings, sub-headings and body copy – then stick to them across all slides in your presentation. A good, practical tip is to simply use different weights of the same font for these three paragraph styles.
Laying out the length of your lines of text appropriately will go a long way in benefitting legibility and producing a solid, structured layout.
Shorter lines are easier to read and digest than longer ones because as line length increases, the eye has to travel further when moving to the next one, making it difficult to track reading progress. This is why magazine and newspapers have traditionally used a column layout – it makes consumption faster and easier.
An appropriate average line length of 45-90 characters (including spaces) is proposed by Butterick’s Practical Typography – a useful guide created by a lawyer to educate his peers and non-designers on the principles of good typography and layout.
Leading and tracking (called line spacing and character spacing in PowerPoint) should also be taken into account to make sure that your text reads just right.
If the system fonts on your computer leave you feeling uninspired, check out some of the best Google Fonts – which are free and open source – to help bring your presentations to life. Or if you’re getting serious about type, consider a subscription to Adobe Typekit – which allows you to sync fonts for use in your applications.
Want to learn more about type and its importance in design and messaging? Fonts.com’s Fontology workbook provides a solid grounding in the basics of typography theory.
If you found this post useful, follow Buffalo7 on Twitter to be the first to know when we publish the next part in this blog series. In the meantime, check out our companion series on How to Deliver the Perfect Sales Presentation.