How often do you find yourself worrying about which font to use? It's probably not a big concern, but actually it should be. Fonts include shape, spacing, size, color, underlining, bold and lots of other options that give your document style. The style of your document is just as important as what it says. |
Fonts - A Key To Written Communication
Does lettering style really make that much of a difference? Experts on communication will tell you that it does.
Just like non-verbal communication, style of dress, gestures and other factors besides words give you a feeling about what someone is saying, fonts determine how a written document is presented to its readers. Let's take a closer look at what they do...
- They draw the reader's attention to certain parts of a page or website.
- The chosen style can make the difference between a document that is easy to read and one that is a mess of tiny, difficult text.
- Font influences the tone of the writing, giving it character.
- Finally, it helps to give a style and image to the written document.
These are things most writers have probably never considered before. Just like anything else, there are do's and don't's, and often we don't know when we are using fonts well or not.
Simple Font Tips
Watch that shift key! Which case you choose makes a big difference. We all know that we need capital letters at the beginnings of sentences and names, but don't over-capitalize.
Have you ever gotten a text message from someone in all capitals and it seems like they're shouting at you? Don't shout at your readers. As a general rule, capitalize the first letter of every word in your titles, headings and sub-headings. This helps to draw attention to them.
That gothic medieval lettering looks cool and everything, but it's always best to keep it simple. The most elaborate are usually the toughest to read, and if it's tough to read, your reader will go for something else. The most common and easy to read are Times New Roman and Arial. Stick to these for most of your text.
Fonts draw attention, but using too many will overwhelm your reader. Most editors will tell you that two fonts per document is more than enough. Any more than that, and your reader may have a style overdose. If you want to mix it up, use features like bold, italics and underlines. This way it will stay consistent, but also draw the reader's attention.
Which is the best to use?
It depends on the nature of your document. For example, if you are writing a sales letter, look at some other sales letters to get ideas. There is no reason to be innovative at the risk of losing potential readers. Go with the industry standard. These are what readers are expecting, and using something unusual may be a turn-off.
Pay careful attention - Before you publish, print out some samples of the document using different styles. This way, you can try it on before you decide.
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