Posts Tagged: Fonts

Dating Around


Last September, our super design-savvy Editor, Deborah Kim, blogged about why the font you choose to use matters  in the submission process. Last week, however, I stumbled upon typeconnection, a website that is home to “A Typographic Dating Game.” The concept is basically the same as online dating—you select the font you’re most “attracted” to, and then you’re given several new fonts that you might like based on your previous selection. You check out pics of those fonts, read their bios, and then, if you fancy, you send the new font and the original font on a “date.” You’ll be told whether or not these fonts are compatible together.

While I’m a Garamond gal myself, I can’t pretend I wasn’t intrigued by the concept. Was I missing an opportunity? Was there a font out there for me?

Well, after exercising extreme care in a decision-making process that took the better part of my workday (sorry, Deb!), it turns out the two fonts I sent on a date weren’t compatible. Maybe Garamond and I are doing just fine on our own.

What about you, dear readers? Do you think a font has the power to alter the way you perceive a piece of writing? How so? We’d love to know your thoughts!


Why you should care about fonts

Back in May, Karyna McGlynn posted fantastic submission tips over at the Gulf Coast blog. Lately, I’ve thought about how typefaces can unconsciously influence—and maybe even ruin—the reception of your submission by a magazine’s editors.

As Karyna says, classic serif is the way to go. We wrote about this in 2007, although I’d add that the fonts do vary between genres. Generally, I see 12-point Times New Roman for prose. However, that’s not as effective in poetry; poets lean toward Garamond or Perpetua. Courier New is too bulky. Arial and other sans serif tend to look less professional, less polished. This doesn’t mean I or any other editor will automatically reject a submission on the basis of its font choice (except, perhaps, if the font were Curlz MT), but presentation does matter, in print or online. Often design works unconsciously, subtly; you usually don’t notice it when you navigate a seamless website. You definitely notice it when the navigation is clunky and user-resistant. I don’t notice a font if it looks fine on the page—I notice when it doesn’t.

Don’t agonize too much over your font, but do put some thought into it. You want your work to be the primary focus, not your affection for Comic Sans MS.