Serif for Power Point?

Subject: Serif for Power Point?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 17:28:29 -0400


Lisa Nanette Kemp wondered: <<Can anyone point me toward some credible resources that explain that sans serif fonts are preferred for power point presentations?>>

There's a general rule of thumb that sans serif fonts are more readable onscreen, particularly when projected. It's a nonsensical rule, since it's trivially easy to find illegible sans serif and legible serif type. If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the proof of the typeface is in the viewing. Try a few typefaces and see for yourself which ones work!

<<The marketing department at my company is claiming that there are different standards for technical and marketing presentations.>>

The common standard for any presentation is legibility: if the audience can't read what you're projecting, you might as well not project anything at all. Beyond that, it's true that technical presentations should emphasize legibility above all else, since flash distracts attention away from the points you're trying to make, and the audience expects meat, not just sizzle.

In marketing, on the other hand, the style of the presentation is a large part of the message* and must be given considerable weight. Even then, the type must support the message ("buy my product") rather than distracting from that message.

* In incompetent marketing, it's the only message.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)


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References:
Serif for Power Point: From: Lisa Nanette Kemp

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