The fonts you use play a big part in structuring communication. They can trigger action, attract attention, encourage a person to read more, etc. Successful brands pay a lot of attention to their fonts because they realize the impact it has on the brand. No wonder, enterprises need to choose the right document fonts to ensure effective communication.
Most firms may not give much thought to the fonts they use in a document, but that is a mistake that can be compared to a singer not caring what instrument is used as they sing. Fonts add tone to a document and make communication clearer and more appealing. The fonts in documents can be compared to handwriting. You probably know someone whose handwriting is always a joy to read while another person’s handwriting can instantly put you off reading.
When choosing document fonts, we are mindful of the purpose of the communication. A children’s storybook will have fonts that trigger excitement while a business proposal would need to be easy to read.
There are various types of documents and we cannot choose a single type as the best font for documents. Even documents as simple as letters may have various fonts for different types of letters. It is necessary that you always take into consideration what the document intends to achieve and then choose a font accordingly. At the same time, take note of the most commonly accepted font for such documents.
Let us consider some of the different uses of fonts:
It is not uncommon for legal practitioners to be more concerned about the content of their legal documents than the font they are using. This is why many of them will just leave Times New Roman as the default. According to a Thomson Reuters article, an experienced lawyer suggested that is the font judges are used to so they just leave it at that.
Well, that’s not exactly the best advice according to font specialists.
Your contracts and other legal documents need a better font for legal documents. This is because Times New Roman has a feel of apathy about it. You need a font that is professional and yet show some kind of authoritative feeling, which is what the next paras deal with.
The legal profession is a highly regulated industry, so there is no surprise that the American Supreme Court has guidelines on font. The Century family is the most favored style and 12 point type is almost mandatory. But not all documents are going to be submitted to the Supreme Court, so the best font for legal documents would be a professional style that is easy to read. Arial, Helvetica, and Century Schoolbook can serve the purpose best.
It is important that a contract is read in entirety, this means the best font for contracts has to be one that is easy to read continuously. At the same time, the font should be professional, portraying the seriousness of the content. San Serif fonts are recommended as the best choice. You can also borrow from the font used for legal documents since contracts are legal documents.
It is also important to consider the size especially if the contract is to be read by someone with eye defects. Between 12 and 14 may do just fine according to professionals. You may notice a variation in the font size for legal documents but the best option would be to go with 14 which is easily read and will not seem too big either.
Given that most fonts have varying appearance, you will realize that one font may be comfortably readable in a particular size while in another it may appear too small. The standard therefore can vary slightly. 12 is the most common standard but some documents fonts may require 14.
Reading technical documents may need more concentration than a contract. It is important therefore that the reader doesn’t have to worry about figuring out if that is an I or L. Experts recommend a mix of Serif and non-Serif fonts. For the headings, non-serif fonts like Arial and Helvetic are recommended and for the body, Serif fonts like Roman, Georgia, and New Times Roman can be used. For words or sections that need to be emphasized, italics will help make them stand out.
Large bodies of text that make up most professional documents need to be easy to scan as well as present a more structured document. Serif fonts fit the bill in this case. Business proposals, reports, and professional letters can use Serif fonts like Times New Roman and Garamond. Some users who want to be a bit different from the prime fonts for professional documents choose Baskerville.
The size of the fonts takes into consideration readability as well as space. If a document may be printed, the size maybe 12 while digital documents need to be not more than 14. The best font size for professional documents allows readers to read with ease and doesn’t give the impression of a raised tone.
Whether you’re a job applicant writing a resume of an administrator drafting a memo to all staff, official documents need to conform to certain guidelines. Among these is choosing the right font for official documents. Calibri is a common font that makes it a big contender for the best font for official documents. Most offices use it because it is the default on their computer, but it is also recommended for official use.
Other official fonts include Times New Roman, Cambria, Georgia, Garamond, and Didot which are all Sans serif or Serif fonts.
For a long time, the default font for Word was Times New Roman but that has since been replaced by Calibri. This has a modern look to it and still maintains the readability that is important for most documents. You can however change your font setting to a font that suits the kind of documents you create often. It is advisable to choose from standard font for documents which include Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana.
The recipient of the business letter may determine whether you use Times New Roman or Arial. More formal recipients would expect Times New Roman font with the standard font size for letters as 12, however, a modern business with a relaxed outlook would still consider your letter appropriately styled with Arial font.
Some other options that can be the best fonts for business letters are Calibri, Helvetica, and Verdana. Sometimes you may consider the business you are writing to when you choose the font. A letter to a legal firm may be best styled with what would be considered the official font for legal documents.
The font used in bank statement is not one you will find in Microsoft Word. It is a slightly edited typewriter font called AOE. You may notice how unique the fonts are and some people say the sight of it triggers the thought of finances. Bank Statement AOE can be purchased online if the software you purchase doesn’t come with it.
As much as the paperless movement has gathered steam, it is still necessary to print certain documents. Flyers, brochures as well as contracts may need to be printed. To ensure that the print job doesn’t end up being a waste of paper, the font needs to be legible. Three fonts are common for printed documents and these are: Verdana, Century Gothic, and Helvetica. When choosing the best font for printed documents, you can choose from any of the above.
While you choose the font for your documents, you should also consider your brand. Many organizations choose to take up a unique font that will identify all their documents. However, be sure that the font you choose is available to all computers or always send the documents as PDF to preserve the formatting.
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