Arial is for suckers (or why fonts matter)

This morning Greg sent me a PowerPoint that was going to be part of a media kit for our podcast Venture Voice. I gave it a quick once over, and though the text was perfect (clear, sparse, to-the-point), something was off about the document. It didn’t grab me. What was it about it – it just looked a little, sloppy . . .

Slide4 - Original

Greg is great at PowerPoint – but really its the little things that matter. You have to remember with PowerPoint documents is that most likely, the people you show them, see TONS of presentations or slides a week. TONS (as in multiples of a lot). So for them to see a slide show that uses the default settings for text in a document, shows a lack of effort. Maybe they don’t think that outright, or really know or understand that Arial (color: black) is the default, but they know they’ve seen it a hundred times. Really, all it takes to stand out is a simple font change. Obviously, content matters, but in terms of presentation, a little change of font and color can make a world of difference.

Slide4 - Fixed

Not only is it about just picking a random (cool-looking) font, its about Identity. Creating a print/web identity is hugely important. It lets users/customers/general-peeps associate a font and group of colors with your business. For VV, the font is Trebuchet MS. Its only a side-step from Arial, but its different enough to be noticeable. (Note: the logo is a different font, Soul Papa to be exact.) The colors are all dark blues and dark grays. The point is, pick out a set of fonts and colors – and stick to them. Moreover, in PP, pick some rules for headers, bullets, etc. (like CSS) and stick to them.

2 Responses to “Arial is for suckers (or why fonts matter)”


About Soul Papa and other fonts you use in your graphic designing: Do you have a suggestion for perhaps creative commons fonts, or a great big zip file to download full of lots of free (but stylish) fonts? I’ve been to far too many “free font” websites downloading individual fonts one by one.

I enjoy what you do at Venture Voice!

AQ Says: #

Thats a good question. Personally, Ive accumulated a ton of fonts over time and moved them from computer to computer as the collection has grown. I think the original stash I accumulated on a old 1000 font CD, but have added to the collection with individual font and font packages as time went on.

I have a couple good links to font info here:

Thanks for the comments,


QuirkeyBlog is Aaron Quint's perspective on the ongoing adventure of Code, Life, Work and the Web.




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