I think most designers would argue that design isn't about the big picture as much as it is zeroing into the tiniest of details—they are, for one, what set apart a generic IKEA chair from an Eames classic. On that note, designers make sure with almost everything they do that the details are right on the nose, which is what made University of Cincinnati industrial design student Matches740's recent typographical query in the Core77 discussion boards worth noting:
"One of my biggest problems I'm having in my presentations for classes and my portfolio is fonts. I don't really have a clear view on what sort of fonts to use for presentation and my biggest fear is going with something bland or old so I reach out and use different serif fonts and I get called out on it. So if anyone has any good articles to look into this sort of thing or if anyone can point me in the direction of some good font family to use that would be appreciated."
This is a simple that can surprisingly generate rich discussion. Is it better to pick fonts that are new and interesting or something so typical you barely notice it so your work can take all the glory?
Here were some worthwhile suggestions from our very own readers—
Don't go overboard
Reader van_ID wisely notes that it's important to remember why you're creating a presentation, which is to highlight whatever product you made. This means the overall focus of the presentation should ultimately be on your own handiwork:
"I have taught a few classes at the local ID school over the years. Every year there are always one or two students (make that 5 or 6) that over-design their presentation boards. Crazy backgrounds, wild fonts, Poorly executed logos for their project... these embellishments can often backfire and your crit ends up being about your board layout rather than your design work."
Helvetica never fails
To start off the discussion, readers were initially quick to respond with this fallback font designers have all come to love. Discussion board moderator TaylorWelden writes,
You can be the slickest design student in your class and always use Helvetica fonts. Use light, regular, and bold, that's all you need. If you're really bad with fonts, and don't want to mess with them too much, with Helvetica you can never fail.
edit: that is... unless you actually really do want to learn, which is what I would suggest. the Helvetica suggestion is both a joke and serious if you don't care/don't want to explore/or suck
Essential typography books for designers
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A few of our readers gave some great suggestions for books that can instruct designers in these particular matters. Here a few of their book tips: