The advent of computerized typesetting and printing meant there were suddenly endless opportunities for new fonts. No longer did a new typeface require the physical creation of each individual letter, symbol and character out of lead, so that they could be put in place by hand, to make up the page. New fonts were being created on-screen, and we could access them at the click of a button; we were all suddenly sub-editors and designers, creating our own (often garishly dreadful!) newsletters, posters and handouts.
It can all get a bit out of hand though – whilst a page filled with swirly script, or a medieval-looking missive might look pretty, chances are, no-one’s going to be able to read it, so all your efforts will have gone to waste. That’s a particular problem when you’re creating teaching materials. The key to good font selection is, of course, readability, and in this, a lot of the time the old ones are the best. The most common, of course, is the Windows default, Times New Roman, a serif font. For non-native speakers, you’re looking for maximum simplicity, so a sans serif font might be even better, (try Verdana in the font menu, for example).
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ian and Katharine Reeve, Macmillan Dictionary. Macmillan Dictionary said: When it comes to typefaces, don't forget that less is often more: http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/dont-overdo-it […]
There was an interesting BBC article that said slightly unclear fonts actually increased reading retention cause the learners spent more time deciphering the text. Unfortunately I can’t find the article. Interesting to think about though.