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How to Stylize Text for an Innovative Presentation

Like choosing a color palette, choosing a typeface for your innovative presentation can be an exciting, creative task or a daunting one. Typeface styles communicate the tone and intent of your company and presentation. Just by changing the typeface, the style of your presentation can go from juvenile to professional. Here is an example of how the same word conveys a different feeling just by changing the typeface.

[Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd]
Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd

Sans serif fonts including Ariel, Helvetica, and Avenir are easy to read on a screen, big or small, because of their simple lines.

However, for one or two words or a short phrase, many people think serif fonts can work just as well as long as your display offers a high resolution (serif fonts are most readable at 1,000 dots per inch or higher). Experiment with different typefaces to see which one conveys your message best and looks clear on screen.

Serifs, those embellishments on the edges of letters in serif fonts, guide your eye from one letter to the next, which is why they’re great for printed material. Your brain has to work a little harder to recognize groups of words in a sans serif font.

Your computer probably came with dozens of preloaded fonts and you can find hundreds more if you search the World Wide web for “copyright free fonts for commercial use.” Two sites you can try are Font Squirrel, which distributes free and fee-based fonts and has some neat tools for identifying and finding fonts, and 1001 Fonts, which has a category named Free for Commercial Use.

Please read the terms and conditions for using any fonts that you download, especially if you plan to use them for commercial purposes.

Here is an example of using the visual appeal of text to support your message.

[Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd]
Credit: Illustration courtesy of Ray Anthony and Barbara Boyd

If you work in a large corporation, you may be restricted to approved company fonts and presentation templates when giving presentations as a company representative.

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