Fonts With Purpose
What are fonts?
Fonts, as mentioned earlier, refer to a complete set of characters within a typeface. There are different fonts provided in Microsoft word which you can use to make your work look unique. They provide a wide variety of writing styles from which you can choose from. The type of font you decide to use is important as it:
- Ensures that the visual appearance of your paper is extraordinary and hence the presentation guaranteed. You should choose a font that clearly displays the writing and not too small that will make the reader strain.
- Determines whether the target audience will be interested in reading your work as it whether the readers will understand the message you are relaying and the time it will take them to read your work since most of them may not have all the time to read through the document. Hence, you should use a font which is just the appropriate size: it should not be too wide such that the document seems too lengthy as this may make the reader lose interest in reading the document.
- Creates a conducive reading environment for reading by ensuring that the reader can comfortably go through your work without straining.
- Determines the mood or atmosphere for the reader to go through your work.
- Helps a reader while scheming through your document to get the intended and most sort after points and ideas without any difficulty.
While the content you deliver in your document is prime in ensuring that it will spark the interest of the target audience to read your work, the presentation is also key and determined by the writing font and the document layout.
Types of fonts
Fonts can fall in any of the following 5 classes:
- Serif- they are the most original fonts and are named for the little feet at both the top and bottom of the letterforms. They can further be grouped into; old style, classical style, neo-classical style and transitional. Fonts in this category include; Times New Roman, Bookman Old Style, Cambria and Garamond.
- Sans Serif- this type of font lacks the little-serifed feet, that is, they lack the short serif lines at the beginning and end of each character. They are considered cost-effective, efficient, clear and modern choice. Fonts in this group include; Arial, Helvetica, Humanistic and Calibri.
- Script- includes all the fonts that resemble curvy writing and may be subdivided into formal and casual. Formal script fonts are characterized by their extraordinary curls and flourishes that extend from the serif often referred to as swashes. Casual script fonts, on the other hand, have fewer swashes and are clearer as compared to a formal script. The letters were developed in the twenties and are applicable in writing logos, posters and pamphlets while the former were developed in the seventies and eighties and are mostly used in wedding invitations, covers for romance books among many other publications that require a feel of the good old days. Fonts in this category include: Calligraphy styles, Black Letter styles, Zapf Chancery and English Adagio.
- Decorative typeface- Cosmic, Kids, Keyboards and Palette are among the types of fonts written in this typeface.
- Symbol or icon- refer to images sized in points including; Wing Dings, Bullets, Ornaments and Holiday fonts.
- Handwritten- these are unique fonts and as the name suggests, they do not follow the structure and layout of letters in a traditional script but rather resemble the loop and flow of one’s natural handwriting. Typically, such may take the form of serif but take the structure of an individual’s own handwriting. They are mostly applicable in writing book covers, posters logos among other advertising documents since they are appealing and capture the reader’s attention within a glance due to their uniqueness. This is a relatively new font style that has come about with the advancement of technology, in this case, the creation of font design software.
Fonts with purpose
Some of the guidelines that are important when choosing a font to write your work in include:
- The font size you are going to write your work in- some fonts will appear too small when written in a small font size while others will appear extraordinarily large when another type of font is used.
- Whether you are going to italicize your work or not and if you are going to make the writings bold- italics and writing in bold contribute to choosing the type of font you are going to write your work in. some fonts are already bold enough hence do not have to be written in bold while some have a unique style hence do not have to be italicized.
- Here are different types of Microsoft office programs each with its own set of fonts provided from which you can choose and hence you should have knowledge of the various fonts provided by the program you intend to use before deciding on the font style that will be most appropriate for you to use within the program.
- Most importantly, consider the type of document you are writing before coming up with the writing style to be used. Some documents have specifications on the type of font style to be used while the formal documents including resumes, reference letters, academicassignments and research papers and proposals have to be written in a font style that is clear and easily readable. On the other hand, other documents such as posters, advertisements and logos do not necessarily require font styles that are clear but those that are attractive and eye-catching.
- It is also important for you to consider the type of writing style your document is supposed to take when selecting the font, you are going to choose. This is essential because the writing styles have strict guidelines describing how they should be formatted including specification on the type of font that is to be used. Professional documents mainly are written either in APAstyle, MLA style, Harvard style and Turban style which is also referred to as Chicago style. These styles are mostly used in writing formal documents especially academic works including assignments, research papers among others hence, they have specific formatting guidelines one of which is the font which should be Times New Roman and in some specific instances, any other writing font style as long as the words can be easily read such as Calibri.
How to use fonts
As mentioned earlier, fonts go a long way in ensuring that your work is presentable. It is very disappointing if, for example, when writing a document such as a curriculum vitae, personal reference letter, research proposal among other important documents you write quality work but choose to use a terrible font which in result portrays an ugly image maybe to the supervisor hence making it the sole reason that you lose the job position or academic grant that you applied for.
For this reason, as much as the document content matters, visual presentation is also prudent and is chiefly determined by the font style used and thus the overall layout of the document. Some of the key points to consider when deciding on the font style to use in your document include:
- Consider the type of document you are writing. Is it formal or casual? What message do you intend to relay? Who is the target audience? These are just but a few questions to keep you on track in choosing an appropriate font style.
- Stick to only one font style- mixing different font styles makes your work look all jumbled up and may be very difficult for a reader to decipher the message intended. An exception may be made only where you use a unique font maybe for the headings especially for novels and other unprofessional articles. It is also however acceptable for you to use different font styles to show different sections. This will enable you to make a very clear distinction between two or more different sections hence will give the reader a more comfortable and easy time in distinguishing the varied sections including different paragraphs, headings, inserted sections including quotes, examples, reported speech among others that are worth distinguishing from the rest of the sections.
- Different font styles have different characteristics which highly contribute to the mood or atmosphere created when reading a document.
Some of the most commonly used types of fonts, their characteristics and how they appear include;
Arial font style
Arial- is one of the most commonly used font styles especially in writing formal documents since the lines are clean hence making it easy to read.
Calibri font style
Calibri- in most Microsoft Office word settings, this font style is the default style since it is the most font style that is universally accepted and ensures easy reading of documents.
Cambria font style
Cambria- this is as formal as Times New Roman style or Calibri but can be depended on to ensure that the document is well presented. It is should however not be used in too many formal documents.
Datum font style
Datum- this is a classier and decorative font style that is mostly used in the entertainment industry, fashion and photography hence can also be considered to be more casual.
Garamond font style
Garamond – is quite an old style but is elegant and seems polished when printed out.
Helvetica- is considered to be clean and gives a modern look to the document. It is mostly used by designers and typographers due to its decorative uniqueness.
Georgia font style
Georgia- is designed to be read on screens and ensures that readability is guaranteed.
Times New Roman font style
Times New Roman- as mentioned earlier, it is the most required font style when formatting documents especially those that are written in formal writing styles such as APA and MLA. It is also clean and guarantees easy readability.
- It is always prudent to follow the rules provided when writing formal documents such as resumes, proposals assignments among others. Hence in the case where the type of font style to be used is specified, be sure to use that style, never ever use a style different from the specified one as this may jeopardize image.
How to choose the font for your document
In the Microsoft Office word, there are many manipulation tools provided for you to design your work to your specification. The “ribbon” at the top of the screen is usually divided into sections referred to as tabs including: home, insert, page layout, references, mailings, review and view. To choose a font, you should first ensure that the home tab is open.
The home tab is further subdivided into sections including: clipboard, font, paragraph, styles and editing each of which can be expanded by clicking the small arrows on the lower right corner. Hence to choose a font style, click on the small arrow in the font section which will open a dialogue box.
You may also choose to just click on the small arrow in the font style section which will give you a wide variety of font styles for you to choose. Selecting the type of font you are going to use from the Microsoft Office word program simply requires an understanding of the various sections of the program, what is entailed in each section and how to manipulate the sections.
Deciding on the type of font to use is such a simple task and will come in handy in ensuring that your work has just the perfect display and hence the best work presentation. The document layout determines the presentation of the document which in turn will guarantee the readability of the document and hence whether the reader will be able to comprehend the message you intend to relay appropriately.