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Additional Tips for Using Fonts

Summary:

This handout addresses how to make appropriate font choices to add additional meaning and emphasis to print documents and web pages

The more you experiment with fonts the more flexibility and options you will find among the available choices. Here are a few more tips to consider when attempting to use fonts with purpose.

  • Some fonts look drastically different when displayed at smaller or larger sizes. Readability should usually be the key factor. You may fall in love with a font, but if it looks odd at the size you need it, consider trying another option.
  • Italics and bolding may also affect the character of a font. In particular, sans-serif fonts often don't have an italicized version that stands out particularly well (they often become just slightly slanted). See if the italicized version still suits your needs or consider an alternate method of emphasis.
  • Despite all the font options available to you, there is nothing inherently wrong with using a very traditional and well-known font. Popular fonts have often had centuries of perfecting, and professional designers use them all the time for their reliability and timelessness.
  • There is a range of computer programs available for designing. Each one comes preloaded with different font choices that the others might not contain. Familiarity with a variety of programs will give you more design options.

Material adapted from Before & After Page Design by John McWade, Berkely: Peachpit Press, 2003.

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Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.