fontiquette

with recruiting starting up again, this might be a good time to highlight how much looks matter. now, i’m not talking about your hose-or-no-hose dilemma, my unanswered RFP to replace the shoe buffer with a steamer / iron in the locker room, my unanswered whining about the inefficient, inane shape of our lockers, the nebulous definition of business casual… all that discussion is for another day. today, i’m talking font selection. you might think i’m trifling, sometimes i rightfully am, but as the picture below and cracked.com demonstrate, “in this modern day and age, a person’s choice of font is as important as [his/her] dress-sense, taste in music, or level of pedantry.”

Fonting Guidelines

  • Never mix serif and sans serif in a single document unless you know what you’re doing. Serifs are the little added bits of ‘decoration’ to a character – so Arial has practically no serifs, while Excalibur consists of little else. Mixing these two fundamental distinctions in a document is akin to dressing as RoboCop at a Renaissance fair. It looks dumb and makes no fucking sense.
  • The vast majority of fonts should not be used, ever. It’s not that they are all terrible, it’s just that unless you’re making a Cracked Topic page, there is very little call for them.
  • Don’t use too many fonts on one page.
  • Don’t ever use Comic Sans Serif. It was a font introduced by Microsoft in 1995 who imagined (as only Microsoft can) that having a comic-y font like that will make those Powerpoint presentations slightly less narcoleptic-y.

:: via cracked ::

and now laughs aside, here are some serious rules for serious presentation.

Serif for Stories

Serif fonts, like Times, Palatino and Garamond are very effective when utilized in … sequences of words usually longer than one line. The reason for this is that serif fonts closely resemble the cursive characters we learned in primary school which are one connected to the other through small ligaments. Such little legs and arms extending each letter to hook into the next help tremendously the eye in making words when we are learning or when as adults the conditions for legibility deteriorate.

Serif fonts have come to acquire over time an old-fashioned, classical, conservative, and formal look. These fonts are best used for your main content inside a slide, typical bulleted text, and inside tables where each cell contains a small paragraph of text.

Sans Serif For Info

Info is everything else that is not “stories”: titles, subtitles, callouts, captions, figure numbers, legends, etc. All of these short, burst-like information packets that we use everywhere inside presentations can be best made accessible and readable through the use of Sans Serif fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Helvetica.

Sans Serif fonts do not have curly ligaments at the end of their legs and these characters look rather stick-like. The look of Sans-Serif fonts is modern and informal. They are best used …[for info]. Sans serif fonts work also very well for numbers inside tables and spreadsheets as well as inside charts and stats.

As a pair, Arial and Verdana guarantee also the highest degree of compatibility with other operating systems and computer platforms, therefore offering  the safest and most reliable choice in terms of readability, accessibility, and compatibility among all Sans Serif fonts.

:: via ::

finally, clean spelling and grammar are as important as clean teeth. i don’t know all the rules, i break lots and often, but the 1000 grammatical errors in the two quotes above (including four missing oxford commas) nearly killed me. death by grammar. it’s real, folks. and there must be more errors that i missed, so please don’t read too closely. this font isn’t suitable for this much text anyway.

is it me, or does stalin bear a striking resemblance to the little prince?

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