Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Analysing fonts

When you're designing or analysing a text, whether thats a Word or Publisher document, a Photoshop image (perhaps a poster), website/web page, whatever it may be, one of the most important factors will be your font. The choice of font (and its size, colour, case [ie use of capitals] and any effects such as bold, underline or Italics) for any aspect of the text will help suggest:
  • the target audience, always the most important consideration
  • the tone: some fonts have a fun feel, others more serious
  • different fonts also help to distinguish separate sections
Two useful words here: serif and sans-serif. Serif fonts have 'curly bits' or bits sticking out (as the Wiki puts it, 'the small lines tailing from the edges of letters and symbols'); sans-serif fonts are simply made up of smooth lines and don't have serifs!

This is a serif font. (Often used to set a serious tone, which is why Times New Roman is the default font in Word!)
This is a sans-serif font. (Often used to set a light, fun tone: Comic Sans is the classic example)

Lets consider how this works with a screenshot from three websites: the BBC Health website; Kids Against Tobacco Smoke; Dr P Body's Learning/Fun Center.

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