The right font can make or break a presentation.
But fonts pose unique challenges in presentations. They can vary based on platform, where you are presenting, and even what type of content you are using. Some are stylish but hard to read, others are clear and don’t stand out.
There there are serifs, sans serifs, weights, and so many more things to decide before you even write a word.
So how do you choose the best fonts for your presentation?
In this blog, we’ll cover our top 4 favorite fonts to use in PowerPoint presentations, along with a few suggestions for the best way to use each one.
What is a font?
People generally use the term “font” to refer to a set of letters with a specific style.
Traditionally, a typeface is the larger family of letters (for example, Arial) and a font is a specific version of that family (Arial > Arial Bold). But since font is the common usage, we’ll stick with that.
Why does it matter what font I choose?
Fonts serve two purposes: to share your content, and to add visual style.
Some fonts are clear and easy to read, like Arial or Helvetica. Others are complex and striking, but can be hard to decipher.
The font you choose can also set the tone for your brand and your presentation. Some fonts are playful and fun, while others are serious and weighty. This also means that not every font is appropriate to every presentation.
For more on fonts, check out our Typography 101 post.
Serif vs. sans serif
Most fonts fall into two categories: serif fonts and sans serif fonts.
A serif is just a decorative stroke on the end of letters. Serif fonts are often used in body text, as the serifs make letters easy to read, even when they are small.
Sans serif fonts don’t have the decorative serif (or stroke) at the end of the letter. This tends to make them appear more “modern,” which is why you’ll see them used in apps or social media platforms, for example.
What are the best fonts for presentations?
Because each font (and presentation) is unique, there’s no single “best font” you can use, but there are some that work better than others.
Here are the five best fonts to use in your next presentation.
Best fonts for presentations: Sans serifs
Arial is one of the best fonts for presentations for a few different reasons.
First, its simplicity makes it clear and easy to read at almost any size. This means your audience can understand the content of your slides without any distractions. And with its classic look, it feels both familiar and professional.
It’s also a system font, which is a bonus for presentations. System fonts are ones that are on most computers by default, so they won’t look funny if a user opens your presentation on another device.
Our second favorite sans serif font is Calibri.
Calibri excels for the same reasons as Arial – it’s clean and legible, and it’s a system font. In fact, it’s probably the most widely recognized system font, as it was the default font when Microsoft Office launched.
But each option brings a slightly different feel. Where Arial is classic and elegant, Calibri is casual and approachable.
Its contemporary look makes Calibri adaptable to various presentation themes and styles, from a school project to a marketing deck.
Best fonts for presentations: Serifs
For serif fonts, Georgia is an excellent choice.
When you want to make text more readable, serifs can help guide the eye from letter to letter. It’s also a system font, so it’s a reliable choice for presentations that you need to share with multiple people.
Georgia also has an elegant and timeless look that adds a touch of sophistication to your presentations. This makes it a great choice for bringing a sense of established credibility to your content.
Best font for presentations overall: Your brand font
If your brand has a unique font that is set in your guidelines, that’s often the best choice for your presentations.
The reason your brand font is best is that it has been carefully chosen to best represent your brand. It also helps to ensure that all of your brand assets are consistent, including presentations.
Using a brand font is ideal for cases like custom presentations or conferences, where you are controlling the creation and ownership of the presentation and you really want to showcase your branding.
If you have a template, your brand font is likely already included. If it’s not, you should consider embedding your brand font into your presentation to make sure it displays correctly. Note that embedding can be tricky depending on the font you’re using, so make sure to test it out before your presentation.
These options are effective fonts for almost any presentation, but the best font to choose is the one that fits your audience and your content.
When you are considering fonts, always think about what type of presentation you are giving, who the audience is, and where it will be given. The answers to these questions can help you choose a font that is clear, legible, and appropriate.
Looking for more information about PowerPoint fonts and beyond? Check out our resources for expert advice and tested strategies.
About the author
Danielle John is the founder of VerdanaBold. She has more than 25 years as an award-winning designer and creative lead, directing the visual expression and production of thousands of high-value new business pitches, C-level presentations and internal presentations for major global brands. When she’s not busy at VerdanaBold, she can be found antique shopping and spending time with her husband and two kids.