Write Your Hardcopy Documents Using Serif Fonts

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By on October 23, 2012 in Leadership with 0 Comments

If you’re writing a document that you will need to print and hand out (report, memo, newsletter, etc.), The AdWeek Copywriting Handbook offers you this counterintuitive but fascinating insight:

In tests of the legibility of printed documents, serif fonts (like Times New Roman, fonts with decorative loops and strokes at the ends of letters) win over san-serif fonts (like Arial, with no decorative extra strokes). And they win big.

In fact, tests find that readers have five times greater comprehension with documents written in serif fonts.

The lesson: If you want to make your document easier to read and digest for your readers, use serif fonts.

Related lesson: If you need to read an important work-related document yourself, and you plan to read it in hardcopy format rather than on the screen, make sure it’s in a serif font. If it isn’t (if it’s a Word document using a sans-serif font like Arial, for example), convert it to a serif font before you print it out.

© 2018 Robbie Hyman. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Robbie Hyman.


About the Author

Robbie Hyman is a professional communications and public affairs writer. He has 15 years’ experience writing for nonprofits, small business and multibillion-dollar international organizations and is available as a freelance writer for federal agencies.

Robbie has written thousands of pages of content, including white papers, speeches, published articles, reports, manuals, newsletters, video scripts, advertisements, technical document and other materials. He is also co-founder of www.MoneySavvyTeen.com, an online course that teaches smart money habits to teenagers.