Have you ever opened up and e-mail or seen an advertisement that you thought the design was lacking something, or didn’t quite convey the message correctly, but you weren’t sure why? This could have had something to do with font choice. When designing eLearning, font choice is an important factor. Different fonts can convey different messages, therefore font choice is not just aesthetic. First, let’s talk about the different classification of fonts.
Serif: Serif fonts have small decorative lines added as embellishment (with serifs).
Example Font: Times New Roman, Georgia
Sans Serif: Sans Serif fonts have no serifs (no decorative lines)
Example Font:Arial, Comic Sans
Script: Script fonts resemble handwriting, more specifically cursive.
Example Font: Mark Script, Reklame Script
Decorative: Font that is unique and does not fit in any other font classification. These fonts are usually used for headings a titles.
Example Font:Lobster, Monoton
Now that we have a basic idea of what each of the font classifications are, how to we relate those to creating eLearning? Two key points to remember are consistency and readability.
Consistency: I recommend picking a Serif or Sans Serif font to use throughout your eLearning for body style paragraphs. It is important to keep the same font throughout the eLearning to avoid confusion, as well as keep the user engaged. If a learner navigates to a new section and there are completely different fonts it can seem distracting and draw attention away from the eLearning. Also, pick a script or decorative font for headings, but don’t choose too many otherwise it can seem busy. Another good idea to keep the fonts to a minimum is to use the same Serif or Sans Serif font that you are using for your body text for sub headings by just enlarging it slightly and even bolding it.
Readability: How many times have you seen something on a presentation or a flyer that was just too tiny, or that blended in with the background so you couldn’t read it? Make sure that your color choices have an appropriate contrast, and that the sizing is readable. If you are using a dark background, then use a light color font, and if you are using a light background then use a dark color font. It is also good not to introduce too many colors into your font choices. I prefer to add a little pop of color to something important as an alternative to bolding, or even at times I would suggest using color and bolding to really accentuate the importance (as demonstrated above).
Remember to keep these tips in mind next time you are choosing your fonts for your project! And don't forget that you can download additional fonts for your library online from websites such as www.dafont.com, just be sure to check the use of the fonts before using them for a project.