Our design tip of the day is brought to you by my online class. I am grading visual presentations, and I see fonts running rampant all over these slideshows.
Garr Reynolds says, “Fonts communicate subtle messages in and of themselves, which is why you should choose fonts deliberately. Use the same font set throughout your entire slide presentation, and use no more than two complementary fonts (e.g., Arial and Arial Bold)” (Source). Similarly, Nancy Duarte believes that each font has a personality and we should use one or, at the most, two fonts in a visual presentation (Source).
Use font wisely. Don’t use 14 fonts in one slideshow (or on one slide as seen above). Yes, DaFont.com is a fun website, but you don’t have to use all your new downloads in one day in one slideshow. Since each font has its own personality, save that font for the right time and slideshow so that it can shine. Remember that Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte say that two fonts per slideshow is a general rule of thumb.
Also, remember that you’re creating your Keynote or PowerPoint on your computer where you downloaded the font file. If you take your slideshow to another computer, the downloaded font will not be there. Along with your Keynote file, make certain to transport the .TTF font file so you can do a quick install on the computer you’re using to present with.
Thank you to the following fonts (in order of appearance): Happy Killer; aaaiight!; Taco Box; Heartbreaker; All Over Again; Alba; Adventure; GoodMorningAfternoon; Waltograph; Cheri; Top Secret; Swamp Witch; Samurai; and Scriptina.
Don’t be a Comic Sans Criminal! Instead of using a boring font in your slideshow that everyone has seen a million times, try a font that is more visual and matches the theme of your presentation.
DaFont.com is my favorite font website. Please watch my brief Jing tutorial on how to find a font you want, how to save it onto your computer, and how to put that font into your Keynote presentation.
Now that you know about DaFont.com, please take the Comic Sans Pledge today! A great rule of thumb for beginning presentation designers: if your audience knows the name of your font, it’s not necessarily a good thing. Fonts to avoid are Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica, Gill Sans (Keynote’s standard font), and Comic Sans unless they are appropriate for your presentation. Put thought into your font, and always think like a designer.
PowerPoint users: email me! I can talk you through the steps.
Fonts are such treats! I love the browsing fonts and even seeing the different characteristics of each font: weight, slope, width, Serif or Sans Serif… Ahhh. I adore fonts.
My laptop’s font book has over 600 fonts in it, and I find myself visiting my favorite font website just to see what’s new… Of course, I’ll end up downloading an awesome font, not using it immediately, forgetting I have it, and stumbling upon it months down the road.
This is my most often visited font website: dafont.com. Da Font is amazing! Luckily for those of us who live and breathe fonts, all fonts on dafont.com are free as long as you cite the author.
Here are my (current) Top 5 Favorite Fonts:
Komika Axis is an amazing font developed by Vigilante Typeface Corporation. I use Komika Axis in my Delivery Workshop because it puts the focus on the image and the message I’m trying to convey as opposed to a frilly font. Since the font is all-caps and bold by nature, the word or phrase I put on my slides is easy to read. I love the strength, power, and directness of this font. A student last week stopped class to ask, “What font is that, Mrs. Rister?” Precious. This same student claimed today that he wasn’t a visual learner, but clearly, his attention to font proves that he is. We all are!
Beautiful, elegant Helvetica Neue Ultra Light… It’s so simple and timeless that the font really speaks for itself. It’s like a strand of pearls or a little black dress; it will never go out of style. A few months ago, I watched a movie on Netflix simply because the opening credits were done in Helvetica Neue. What was the movie? Click here to find out. The closing credits are similarly gorgeous.
KG Like a Skyscraper makes me smile. It looks handwritten, and I like the combination of the uppercase “R” letter even when I want “r.” I think it’s a little messy (proven by the “a,” for example), but it reminds me of the imperfections of text written by hand. It makes me a little nostalgic for my childhood and for days when everything was handwritten.
This font is charming. Again, I like the hand-drawn look of Second Breakfast, but I also like that it’s whimsical and home-y. This reminds me of the perfect lettering my teachers would always write in on the board that I’d try my best to emulate on the paper on my desk. I also love that the font is a little thicker… like a marker on a white board. It’s a little more mature than KG.
This is my favorite fancy font: Scriptina. Created by Apostrophic Labs, this font just exudes “wedding” or “cocktail party.” Occasionally, I have to be careful and add extra spacing between letters when using Scriptina, as it does have a tendency to blend together in an unreadable fashion. I would use this font very sparingly in a presentation, but it would be stunning on an invitation.
My Top 5 Favorite Fonts will change and likely by the end of the month. I’ll keep you posted. What are your favorite fonts?