Presentation font choices can be difficult since there’s such a wide variety of font families and styles. Each font has its own strengths and weaknesses. In order to choose your perfect presentation font, you first need to decide which one fits your purpose.
Understanding your overarching goal isn’t just important when it comes to writing your story. The final deliverable, audience, and even the room layout needs to be considered when choosing your font. After all, if the audience can’t read your message, what’s the likelihood they’re going to remember it or engage with it?
There are two main font categories for you to decide between: serifs and sans serifs. There are others, such as script and stencil, but we’re trying to keep this simple. Both serifs and sans serifs have their own benefits and specified use cases, making it easy to find the right font category for your need.
Serifs are the little extra flourishes (feet) that sit at the ends of the larger strokes. Serif fonts more closely represent handwriting and, therefore, are universally acknowledged to be easier to read in print. Serif fonts create joins between letters, similar to how we’re taught to write in school.
We wouldn’t recommend using serif fonts for body copy, as they aren’t always the clearest, but for titles, or as a supporting font, they can work nicely to liven up your slides, while delivering that touch of class some of you might be looking for.
If you’re looking for a presentation font that’s versatile, simple, and modern, you should consider sans serifs. Following the shift from print to digital, sans serif fonts have come to greater prominence. These font families are considered better for online and screen formats because their simplified forms translate well across different screen resolutions.
Below are seven simple rules to help with your presentation font choice, followed by thirty different fonts that look great on slides.
- Keep it Simple
There are several choices available for your presentation font. However, you are better off choosing standard fonts, such as Calibri, Tahoma, Gill Sans, Garamond, or even Times New Roman or Helvetica. These fonts are more common and generally come installed with most programs, plus they look good and are easy to read.
- Consider Contrast
Whether colours or font types, high contrast always catches the eye. Black and white are often best for legibility, but this also works with dark fonts on light backgrounds and vice versa. Some font types are thin and lightweight, while others are dark and thick, so make sure you have plenty of contrast to ensure your audience can clearly read the copy, whether you’re presenting face-to-face, screen sharing, or sharing slides digitally.
- Pair Fonts Carefully
Pairing fonts can be a delicate act, but it helps create hierarchy while lending some visual flair. Often designers will pair a serif with a sans serif font, but pairing isn’t limited by this rule. It’s about finding the right font to emphasise your header and a more legible font for body text.
- Avoid all-caps fonts
In this digital age, all-caps fonts look aggressive, and audiences will assume you’re yelling at them if they see them on slides. Furthermore, all-caps fonts are generally more difficult to read, particularly if it’s a large block of text. Capitalising entire words is only useful of emphasis, but even then, use sparingly. Regardless, don’t use fonts that are only available in caps; they won’t help your presentation or audience.
- Size matters
Whenever you’re presenting to audience, whether in person or via webinar – font size is important. Presenters must ensure audiences can easily read an on-slide content, regardless of what size screen they’re viewing your content on. Size is critical for legibility, but it’s also important to be mindful of how other aspects, such as line and character spacing, affect your font choices.
- Avoid Scripts, Italics and Decorative Fonts
While these font types can look good, they’re often harder to read and don’t serve a practical purpose for audiences when used regularly. Scripts, italics, and decorative fonts can be useful for titles, headers, and emphasising text, but better used sparingly and cautiously.
- Consistency is key
Keeping things consistent is more important than creating a visually stunning presentation. You could include the most elaborate and beautiful presentation fonts, but if they’re difficult to read, used incorrectly, and vary between slides then your slideshow will look amateurish. Use PowerPoint’s slide master function to help create a consistent font theme.
30 Presentation Fonts
- Open Sans
- Fira Sans
- Proxima Nova
- Century Gothic
- ITC Souvenir
- Abril Fatface
- Gils Sans
- Playfair Display
- League Spartan