back How do I know which font to use for a project?

Since there are so many options for choosing and formatting fonts, you might be wondering how to make the right choices.

There are a number of general rules that apply to using fonts in multimedia. Experienced designers sometimes break these rules but when you’re starting out, it’s best to follow this rough guide.

General rules for text in multimedia projects
  • Don’t use more than 3 types of fonts. If you need to make certain areas of your text stand out you can change the style (bold, italic etc) or the colour of the font. If you use too many types of fonts your text becomes confusing and difficult to read.

  • Don’t use all capital letters - it’s too difficult to read.
  • Don’t crowd your computer screen with too much text. Separate large blocks of text onto different screens. This is called ‘chunking’ the text.
  • Limit your use of italic fonts as they are more difficult to read.
  • Body text on a computer screen should be in the range of 12 to 18 points.
  • Remember that text is designed to give information to the reader. The most important factor is that your text is clear and easy to read.
Typography and computer screens

Computers generally come with a set of commonly used free fonts. You can also buy or download more unusual fonts from the Internet. However, when you are making projects that will be shared on other people’s computer screens such as websites or PowerPoint presentations, it is important to only use common fonts.

Using unusual fonts in shared projects is risky because even though you may have the font installed on your computer, other people looking at your project on their own computers may not have the same font. This will cause problems when they try and read the text. The text may only show as scrambled codes.

Standard fonts for use on computers

Times New Roman

Has a classical look.


Has a classical look and was designed specifically for computer screens.


Has a modern look and was designed specifically for computer screens.
Can be used for small text on a computer screen.


Is quite plain and is good to use for body text

Making your own headings and logos

You can still use unusual fonts in your project to make it stand out and look unique. It’s important to give your work your own individual flair. Using unusual fonts adds to the over all design and style of a multimedia product and makes it look more visually appealing and professional. The way you do it is to design your headings or logos and then turn them into graphics.

This way, when people on other computers view your work, they can still see the text even if they don’t have the same font installed on their computer.
Design software such as Illustrator, Photoshop or GIMP can turn text into a graphic file. Common graphic files that can be used are .jpg, .gif, .pict, tiff, .png