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How to Choose the Best Typefaces for Your Presentations

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When used in the right place at the right time, text can be a powerful visual element. And so it’s important that you spend some time in choosing the best typefaces for your presentation text.

Because different fonts can convey different meanings, when the right font is used in the right situation it can enhance and strengthen a message and convey the right tone.

The first concern when choosing fonts has to be readability. The most suitable size is generally 20 to 25 points for titles and 16 to 18 points for text. When you’re going to be looking at two hundred or more in an audience, use a minimum font size of 18. This way, everybody in the room will be able to read the slides.

Even better, large-enough fonts mean you’re not cluttering your slides with tons of text. And so the slides aren’t visually polluted and confused, and meaningless, really.

The typeface is equally important.

A lot of times it’s advisable to use a so-called system font. System fonts are standard fonts that come with Windows®, and so they tend to be available on many computers, including yours. If you use a less common typeface and try to open your file on a system that doesn’t include the typeface you choose, the system will automatically replace it and un-format the whole presentation and damage the visual. For sure, not what you want.

Among the available system fonts we recommend Arial and Helvetica – great options that make for easy reading, or Trebuchet and Century Gothic – also suitable, especially when you’re looking for something out of the ordinary. (For Century Gothic, use a minimum size of 18 or 20 to ensure readability.)

The advantage of the conventional system fonts is that they’re safe options. But if you want to innovate, you might want to look elsewhere. Pay attention to the curves and angles of the letters and choose a typeface that’s consistent with the tone of the presentation.

Here are some examples of typefaces and the feelings and tones each conveys:

How to Choose the Best Typefaces for Your Presentations

Just don’t forget that making easy-to-read and relevant slides should be your objective when you’re looking for the right typeface(s).

Now, if you have a question about the legibility of a font, do a test: after you make a slide, move away from the monitor and see if you can read it without too much trouble.

Finally, be careful about capital letters. Using capitals to highlight text doesn’t always work. Although they might make it easy to read a word here and there, too many capitals can make it hard to read all the text.


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