If you're giving a PowerPoint presentation, you've got many design decisions to make. What should the color scheme be? How many slides should you include, and how should the slides be laid out?
Another design choice is choosing the best font for your PowerPoint presentation. Typography sets the tone for your presentation and is instrumental in presenting your content.
If you're wondering, "what is the best font for PowerPoint presentations?" we'll answer that question in this tutorial. You might be surprised how many PowerPoint font options exist and how you can use them to your advantage.
Also, we'll share some PowerPoint templates that make good use of fonts and typography.
The Essentials of Font Selection
With so many PowerPoint font choices, it might be challenging to choose the best font for PowerPoint presentations. In this section, I'll share tips that help you match your font choice to your content to complement it perfectly.
1. Understand the Types of Fonts
When you're choosing the best font for PowerPoint presentations, it helps to understand the basic types of fonts that you can choose from. In this section, we'll discuss popular font styles: serif, sans-serif, script, and decorative.
First, let's cover serif fonts. Serif fonts have a more classic feel to them. You'll notice serif fonts thanks to the brush strokes on the edges of the letters, sometimes called "feet." These edge strokes are called the serifs. The popular system-installed serif fonts include Garamond, Georgia, and Times New Roman.
In 2019, the category of best font for PowerPoint presentations goes to sans-serif fonts, the modern and smooth typefaces that you'll find in most presentations. Sans means "without," so it's only natural that these fonts lack the edge strokes. The result is smooth, rounded fonts that are popular in modern design.
These two simple categories are useful to describe most fonts, but other choices might be the best font for your PowerPoint presentation. Script and decorative fonts are unique options that are sometimes right for special purpose presentations.
Ultimately, choosing the best font for presentations comes down to the style and content in the presentation. Design is about combining many elements—color, typography, layout, and more—that work together to present your content.
What is the best font for PowerPoint presentations? The answer is, "it depends." As always, let the content drive your design decisions. Formal presentations in ideal environments should opt for serif options, while most presentations should typically use sans-serif fonts.
2. Choose Font Sizes for Your PowerPoint Presentation
For the best use of PowerPoint fonts, it's crucial to consider your choice of font size. Many PowerPoint users will ask, "what is a good font size for PowerPoint presentations?" In reality, you should vary your font size based on the content that you're presenting. Headlines should always be larger than the supporting points, for example.
My rule of thumb for PowerPoint fonts is to use a size 32 or larger for headlines, with 24 or larger for supporting points. Go much smaller than that, and you're entering "only readable for print outs" territory.
Font size goes hand-in-hand with the principle of "less is more" on your PowerPoint slides. When you don't have to cram tons of content onto your slide, you can use larger font sizes. Remember: your PowerPoint presentation should support you, not speak for you.
3. Use Font Pairings
Many graphic designers use more than one font when building PowerPoint presentations. Using more than a few fonts is over the top but combining two complementary font choices is a pro design move. This practice is an art called font pairing.
One idea for a font pairing is to use a sophisticated serif font for headlines and titles, with sans-serif fonts for the majority of the body points. That balance creates visual interest and emphasis to your headline points.
If you use a free font resource like Google Fonts, you'll see pairing suggestions that help you combine fonts that work together well. The key to font pairing is to use the alternate font choices consistently; for example, always reserve headlines for one font in your selection.
5. Select Font Color and Contrast
Beyond size, style, and pairings, one element of font choice that you can't avoid is color and contrast. You can choose the perfect font and format it correctly but clashing color schemes disrupt slides.
Keep three essential tips in mind when considering font color and contrast:
- Create contrast. Contrast is important so that your text stands out on the slide and is easy to read. Don't use a dark grey font on a black background, for example. Ensuring proper contrast will make the important content stand out.
Consider accessibility. Colorblindness is surprisingly common. It's likely that a member of your audience has some form of it and will experience your slides differently. Make sure to choose color schemes that don't interfere with their experience.
- Use colors that fit the scheme. Make sure that you consistently use font colors that are part of your branding guide. Use the color swatches to ensure no variation from one slide to the next.
Check out the tutorial below to make sure that your presentation is accessible to those who may be visually impaired, including color blindness:
6. Use Creative Text Effects
So far, we've covered font choice, including style, size, and pairings. Once you've got text on your slide, you might be wondering about creative effects that you can use to make your points boldly.
PowerPoint has plenty of effects to ensure that your text doesn't go unnoticed. Effects like animation, drop shadows, and reflection should be reserved for a few specialized uses in your presentation.
The tutorial below is a complete guide to working with text in PowerPoint. Check it out to learn more about adding text as well as advanced effects to make the most of your content:
7. Understand the Power of Custom Fonts
Sure, every device includes standard fonts to choose from. But when you want to really set your slides apart, consider filling them with custom PowerPoint fonts that your audience may have never seen.
In the selections above, I've shared screenshots with custom fonts from Envato Elements. With a single subscription to Elements, you unlock thousands of custom PowerPoint fonts that you can use in your next design.
Elements includes access to fonts across all of the categories that we highlighted above. Particularly for script and decorative fonts, Elements' library has PowerPoint font options that are hard to find.
To learn how to install PowerPoint fonts in 60 seconds, check out the quick screencast lesson below:
Templates Featuring the Best Fonts for PowerPoint Presentations
If you need help choosing a font for your next PowerPoint presentation, my top recommendation is to use a template that already has the fonts selected. If you can eliminate the hard work of choosing a font, you can re-focus on presentation content.
Remember Envato Elements? The same subscription that unlocks custom fonts also gives you access to thousands of custom PowerPoint templates with the best fonts already built-in.
When you use custom PowerPoint templates, you outsource the work of choosing the best font for PowerPoint presentations to talented graphic designers. They've already laid out and built slides that feature good font choices for presentations. Just fill them in with your content, and you'll be finished in no time.
In this section, you'll see templates with the best font for PowerPoint presentations. All of these selections are included with a subscription to Elements, the creative service you saw above.
Agio uses the smooth sans-serif font choices that dominate the most popular modern PowerPoint presentations. You'll also have access to nine color schemes, each of which is already set up with color-coordinated text. It's an example of using fonts that highlight the content, so keep Agio in mind as a template with good fonts for PowerPoint.
The Fashioned presentation template also uses popular sans-serif choices, but it also uses variations on typography for an impact. Notice that many of these slides in the preview use all-caps strings of text to add emphasis to slides. It's a great example of using text effects to enhance slides with bold design.
Wollaz is full of slides that feature the best font for PowerPoint presentation selections. The pre-built slide designs use the perfect font size to keep your content readable. The 30 minimalist and airy slides have strong typography that highlights your content elegantly. It also includes vector icons to complement your font choices.
With a major focus on serif fonts, it's no wonder why this template is an ideal fit for the traditional world of real estate. Serif fonts have a classic feel to them, and this template illustrates that perfectly. It also features many infographic and business-centric slides that are perfect for showcasing your business concept.
Brusher's 120 slides use popular PPT font options that are included for free. It also has modern, custom image masks that can enhance your images. The starkly contrasting black and white color scheme is an excellent example of font contrast. Use Brusher to build a presentation with balanced typography in no time.
If the Envato Elements library doesn't include the right template for you, don't miss out on GraphicRiver. This library also has great templates with the best font for presentations already built-in—the main difference is that you purchase GraphicRiver templates individually for one-time use.
Learn More About PowerPoint
Choosing the best font for a PowerPoint presentation is just one part of designing your next slide deck. PowerPoint has so many features that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But don't worry—PowerPoint can be mastered just like any other app.
If you're still learning PowerPoint, we've got you covered with many helpful resources. The single best starting point is How to Use PowerPoint (Ultimate Tutorial Guide.) This single resource is loaded with tutorials that you can use to improve every aspect of your presentation.
For more templates and guides that include PowerPoint design tips, check out the tutorials below:
- Microsoft PowerPointWhat Is Microsoft PowerPoint? +How to Start Using It For Presentations (Now)Andrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Build a PowerPoint Marketing PlanAndrew Blackman
- Microsoft PowerPoint30+ Best PowerPoint Slide Templates (Free + Premium PPT Designs)Laura Spencer
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make PPT Slide Layouts in Microsoft PowerPointAndrew Childress
Design a Great PowerPoint With Top Typography Today
Typography is a huge part of setting the style of your presentation. The tips in this round-up are helpful to choose custom fonts that fit with your presentation's style.
Remember to choose a font style (serif or sans-serif) that matches your presentation's tone. Also, use font sizes and weights to bring emphasis to the most essential parts of your presentation.
No matter whether you use Envato Elements or GraphicRiver, consider using a template as an aid in choosing the best font for PowerPoint presentations. You can use a template instead of guessing what fonts will work together properly.
Get started on your next presentation today. Choose and download your favorite template.