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The 4 Font Families: Choose Wisely

Posted on July 12, 2017

The 4 Font Families: Choose Wisely

Fonts influence how our brain interprets and receives messages. My friend Janice Hurley, The Image Expert, talks about how it is so important to choose the right outfit for the right occasion.  I believe the same is true when picking a font for our slide deck.  The simplest way to approach this is to understand that there are only 4 basic font categorizes of fonts.  Select the one that matches your persona and you are off to a great start.

Category 1:  Serif

Associated with Traditional, Conservative, and/or Trustworthy

This typeface category consists of some of the oldest font families. “Serifs” refer to the small lines or strokes attached to the main body of the letter. Serif typefaces are mostly used in printed text/documents because they are easier to read.  However, use of this typeface online has been debated by some because it can end up looking cluttered instead of clear and crisp.

Sub-categories that can be found in this category include:

 

Old Style Serifs

Old Style Serifs

Transitional Serifs

Transitional Serifs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Serifs

Modern Serifs

Slab Serifs

Slab Serifs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source

 

Category #2 San- Serifs

Associated with Modern, Forward-Thinking, and/or Straightforward

San-Serif literally means without serifs. Fonts found in this family do not have the lines or strokes that serif fonts making them appear more modern and clean. Fonts in this family have become increasingly popular today because they appear well on web and mobile devices.

Unfortunately, the ONE font that I should NEVER see any of you use, Calibri, is in the category. In an article titled “5 free Calibri alternatives so you never use that font again” published by slide bean, they state that “Using Calibri for a presentation speaks almost too much about you, especially if you call yourself a designer of any sort.” Their words not mine. But, I do agree with them 100 percent.

Here are some of the alternatives they suggested:

 

Open Sans

Open Sans

 

 

 

 

 

Alegre Sans

Alegre Sans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helvetica Neue

Helvetica Neue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category #3: Script

Associated with Formal, Casual or Elegant

Remember back in the 18th and 19th century when people used to hand write letters? Such a foreign concept today!  This typeface category was inspired by the fluid, cursive handwriting letterform of the time.  Chosen carefully, these can create a very distinctive look or make a great accent font.  Beware of legibility!!!  Here are some examples:

 

Brush Script    Snell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category #4: Decorative / Display

Provides greater personality

The sole purpose of this font category is to GET YOUR ATTENTION. Fonts found in this family are not suitable to be used as body text. Use these fonts sparingly and only for a specific, targeted purpose. Display fonts are good to use if you want to evoke emotion, they are usually found in print but are also starting to appear more online.

Here are some examples:

 

Cup and Talon