Fonts (nerd alert)

I am inspired to write this little post and ask for opinions based on a vociferous debate going on at work.

You see, I insist on writing in Times New Roman size 12 in Word, and Arial size 10 in Excel. Before you deride my choices as default settings, our default setting for Excel is Calibri size 11, and I’ve carefully considered other choices, dallied with other fonts for weeks at a time, and I keep coming back to the comforting plainness of TNR and Arial.

My colleague claims that Arial looks alright in Word (where I find it too condensed) but that in Excel it makes him physically ill – an as yet unsubstantiated claim. He claims that Calibri is the way forward. And he’s not alone! There’s a breakaway Calibri conclave here at work, and the war between them and the Arial gang is intense.

My questions to you are:

(a) do you care about what fonts you use at all or do you think we exemplify the accountant nerd with our font debate?

(b) if you care, what fonts do you use, and why?



18 thoughts on “Fonts (nerd alert)

  1. Liburuak 1 May 2012 at 6:17 pm Reply

    I do care about fonts a lot, actually. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Palatino size 11 for written text (I used it for my thesis) and Helvetica size 10 for Excel, but I can definitely see where your fondness of TNR and Arial comes from. They’re like comfort food ;).
    At work, I educated everyone to use Palatino for documents, but just as they’re finally “trained”, we’re getting a new logo and CI, so we’ll see where the designers want us to go with that. I hope they make a good choice!

    • readingwithtea 1 May 2012 at 10:36 pm Reply

      Two more fonts to try!!! Helvetica is famous – is that the Apple font? The London Underground font? Someone famous uses it. Thanks for the tips!

      Sent from my iPhone – apologies for brevity and typos.

    • readingwithtea 2 May 2012 at 9:05 am Reply

      I just tested out Palatino and realised that it’s the font that my Dad uses in emails. It was kind of weird actually – like I had stolen his text! And I tried Helvetica – but the spacing between letters seems a little uneven? I’m contemplating Univers…

  2. Leeswammes 1 May 2012 at 9:20 pm Reply

    I love Arial in Excel but also I’ve recently become to like Calibri too (for Word, I guess – my friend used it on her website and it looked so good). Sorry, can’t help really.

  3. Debbie Rodgers @Exurbanis 1 May 2012 at 11:32 pm Reply

    I do care – but then I’m an accountant….and a not very imaginative one at that: I use Arial in Excel and Calibri in Word – unless I’m printing and then I use the Sprang Ecofont (free version).

  4. jmchshannon 1 May 2012 at 11:33 pm Reply

    I do love Calibri. That is now our default font for Word and I always switch to that font in Excel too. I find it easier on the eyes.

    Of course fonts matter! As a financial analyst, when you spend the day looking at numbers on a smallish computer screen, you need to pick the font that won’t fatigue your eyes. I say fight but allow each to choose the font each person wants to use. Good luck!

  5. jmchshannon 1 May 2012 at 11:36 pm Reply

    Of course fonts matter! I look at it as wanting to us something that will minimize eye fatigue, especially when you sit in front of a computer screen all day.

    Personally, I do like Calibri. It is easiest on my eyes, but I think everyone should use the font they like best.

  6. mareelouise 2 May 2012 at 1:22 am Reply

    I am a total font obsessive.
    I do alot of presentations and the fonts you use say alot about the content.
    I am constantly boring of fonts and moving on.
    No offence, but Times Roman makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. If you must use default fonts, then Arial is the way to go! Try Arial Rounded to spice it up a bit.
    Calibri is also a good one to go with, but like Century Gothic, is likely just a passing fad.
    Sorry to be so opiniated, but you did ask : )

    • readingwithtea 2 May 2012 at 9:06 am Reply

      A very interesting perspective – the fonts saying a lot about the content. I hated TNR as a teenager but now I really like it… we must agree to disagree.

      • mareelouise 3 May 2012 at 12:41 am

        Quite. One person’s TNR is another person’s Comic Sans ; )

  7. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews 2 May 2012 at 4:54 am Reply

    Sorry, but I can’t stand Times New Roman in Word. I am one of the break away Calibri crowd, but my company’s style guide requires Arial in Word. No standard in Excel, so I can use Calibri there to my hearts content 😉

    • readingwithtea 2 May 2012 at 9:06 am Reply

      You’re in good company among my colleagues 🙂

  8. Fascinating question! I use Times New Roman in journaling in Word, but usually shrink it to 10. Arial in Excel, but only becase I can squish more info in the cells. Don’t like Calibri, but it’s okay in a hurry. When I was a middle schooler I wrote everything in Modern, which was so tight and scrawly it made me squint even with 12yo eyes. I almost never see Modern anymore.

    • readingwithtea 2 May 2012 at 9:07 am Reply

      I much prefer the Arial numbers in Excel. Modern is a bit scary!

  9. sakura 2 May 2012 at 11:42 am Reply

    I used Times New Roman all through my student days and for writing my theses and it feels like the ‘proper’ font to use. However, these days I’m finding Arial Narrow to be my choice of font just because it makes everything a little more simpler psychologically. Reading the other comments, I may have to try out Palatino and Helvetica. Interesting post Yvann!!

  10. bundleofbooks 2 May 2012 at 12:53 pm Reply

    I used to be Ariel or Ariel Narrow all the way, but I’ve been getting on really well with Calibri recently. I’ve always hated Times New Roman. I’m not sure whether it’s just because we always had to use it at school and I wanted to rebel?

  11. Maxine 2 May 2012 at 5:51 pm Reply

    I wouldn’t use a san serif font like Ariel for body text. Also, it is’t much use if you have numbers as well as letters as it confuses 1 with l, for example, as we found when it was once imposed by designers for technical figure legends. The authors and readers were pretty cross!

  12. Nose in a book 11 May 2012 at 10:57 pm Reply

    I care. But then I work in publishing so I have to. My preferred font is Garamond. It is classic, easy to read in print and on screen and isn’t overused like Times (which in fairness is also easy on the eyes).

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