Fonts are a design element that most presenters forget about when creating their own slideshow. Fonts that are used clumsily can compromise design quality and the legibility of the text when projected. Problems with fonts can arise when you consider that all computers will not have the same typefaces and transferring them between computers can be an enormous hassle. Here are some tips for beginners learning the ropes of fonts.
You may be inclined to use elaborate fonts when designing a slide. While you may believe that the detailed font looks nice on paper, it can only cause a hindrance to your audience during a presentation. When using text that is embellished with serifs and other design elements, it can make the text illegible. Example #1 shows the difference in legibility between a detailed font and a plain font.
When most people create a slide for a presentation, they will often use bullet points to organize their information. Bullet points are often used for sub-topics but they can be a boring way of presenting your topics. An audience will also lose interest when the font size is too small. Tiny fonts are commonly used when you put too much text on the slide. This will compromise the slides legibility when projected during the presentation. Examples of all three of these issues are shown in example #2.
Highlighting certain words on a slide can be beneficial to the audience because it can help them remember important topics. When different colors are used to highlight different words, it can become straining on the viewer’s eyes. The viewer’s will have a difficult time focusing on the important words when there are multiple colors used to highlight them. Although when you put focus on certain words you should only use two different contrasting colors like in example #3.
Some people will have to transfer the slides between computers in order to present. Fonts that you may have on your personal computer might not be able to translate the font you chose to the new computer. Example #4 shows how the font changes when it is switched to a computer that does not have the same font. Since the new computer does not have your font, the computer has to change the font to a new one. You would have to load the new font onto the computer, which can be extremely time consuming. Instead, as an easy way out, pick fonts that are on most computers. These common fonts include, Arial, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Georgia, and Verdana.