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More Fun for Font Fanatics

Yesterday, we explored ten ways to improve your use of fonts in presentations and maps. Here are some more font facts & tips for all the font fanatics.

Free Font Resources: Interested in giving your maps a little extra dash with some interesting fonts? Here are some sites where you can download fonts. Just remember, if you’re sharing your map on other computers, they’ll need the same fonts. If they do not have your selected font, their system will replace it with standard default fonts.


Advice and tips:

  • Guy Kawasaki has an excellent guideline for high-level executive presentations called the 10/20/30 rule. It basically breaks down to 10 slides (or 10 map topics?), 20 minutes, and use 30 point font. I recall another ‘Guy’ rule which advised that you make sure your font size is bigger that 1/2 the age of the oldest person in the room.
  • Garr Reynolds from Presentation Zen advises that we use San-serif fonts for presentations and use Serif fonts when your document will be filled with lots of text!
  • Scott Schwertly and his team advise in slidemagnet not to be boring with your fonts! Their recently launches site is packed with tips for developing presentations.
  • i love typography has a useful post on how to select the right font.
  • WebDesignerWall provides a great perspective of typographic contrast and flow which covers the use of font size, typeface, color, case, style, weight, and space.
  • provides a collection of articles that provide background and context to selecting the right font.
  • And one last tip from Steve Jobs: I really appreciate Steve’s lack of fonts on his presentations. Use images whenever possible!


See the Film: Who would have thought that there would be a film about fonts! And, it’s been really well received!

  • Helvetica: “The historical significance of the typeface as well as the on-going evolution of typography makes this a must see for anyone interested in typography and graphic design, but also a fine entertainment for film enthusiasts.” – Ronda Davis review on The Helvetica blog has some additional information about the film and promotional events.
  • Save the Courier Font: 3 minute font humor break.


Read the Book: Go deeper with some books on typography & fonts.


Font Facts:

  • Oldest Font in Windows: Fixedsys is actually the oldest font in Windows.
  • Times New Roman: First appeared in 1932 in The Times of London newspaper
  • PostScript: PostScript fonts, launched in 1984, are outline font specifications developed by Adobe Systems for professional digital typesetting, which uses PostScript file format to encode font information. Around 1986, Apple, Adobe and Aldus (makers of PageMaker) created the desktop publishing industry and created immense wealth for Adobe and Aldus.
  • TrueType: TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe’s Type 1 fonts used in PostScript.
  • OpenType: In 1996, Adobe and Microsoft surprised the entire industry by announcing that they would jointly develop a new font format that would merge the two main font technologies, PostScript and TrueType. This new technology was codenamed OpenType. Around 2007, an estimated 85 to 90% of all fonts sold were OpenType fonts.
  • America’s Most Fonted: The 7 Worst Fonts: An older post but worth checking out which fonts to avoid.


Have any freaky or fun font tips to share?
Add your comments below.


About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

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