sans vs serif

Admin Tip #021 Making Good Font Aesthetics Choices 

Like a majority of the individuals involved in this community, my eye-sight is not great. Its pretty bad actually. It really helps to know a good level of basic understanding for graphic design and picking out what fonts, font-sizes, colors, etc. in order to make your main page as coherent and comfortable on the eyes. If you have a good premise and a great amount of information, potential applicants can spend a long time looking at your page. Font size and basic color choices are extremely important. So, lemme tell you a couple things about fonts, because too many rpgs that I’ve tried to look at recently have had obscenely hard to read text for a bulk, if not all, of their text.

  • Size

So let’s start with me telling you a little about fonts. I’ve noticed that lately people have been choosing to make their font-size choice extremely small - as in, sized inappropriately in single-digit sizes. Not good. A potential applicant who’s interested in your game can spend upwards of thirty minutes to an hour on your page reading through your material. If they’re looking that long at your page, you want to make sure the experience is as comfortable as possible for them. Don’t have them strain their eyes trying to read through you’re information. The absolute smallest you want to go is 10 pt, especially if you have a serif font. 

  • Serif vs. Sans-Serif

Now, what’s the difference between serif and sans serif? Serif fonts have “foots” on the ends of the strokes in a letter. The one you’ll be most familiar with is Times New Roman. Serif fonts can look nice and classy, but a lot of the time they’re much harder to read, and in general, when compared to sans-serif fonts, also take longer to read through in general. Because of the extra strokes on the letters, the mind has to siphon those out when looking at a selection of text. 

Now, as you may have gathered, sans-serif is in regards to fonts like tahoma, arial, verdana, etc. - for example, the default font that tumblr chooses to showcase dashboard posts in. Its much easier to read, and you’ll notice that many apps and websites choose to utilize sans-serif fonts. Tumblr, Facebook, Gmail … there is a reason for this! Not only is it easier on the eyes, but one is much less likely to get tired of looking at a text if the font is sans-serif. It takes away that extra effort that one has to put out when reading through a large amount of text. 

Now, there’s no harm in using a serif or sans-serif font for your text, but for the love of merlin make sure its legible. Don’t make it some minuscule size that requires someone with a larger screen resolution to zoom in four or five times. Yeah, one with a larger screen resolution usually expects to zoom in once or twice, but four times? That’s a bit ridiculous. Make sure you have a good font choice, and make sure its no smaller than a 10 pt. font. That really is the absolute smallest you should go. Sans serif you might be able to push a point size smaller, but honestly, only if you have a ‘wide’ font like verdana. Screw trying to look like some “elite” and “professional” establishment. You’re not getting any where close to 'that’ if nobody can read your shit. 

  • Color

Okay seriously - make sure you have enough contrast between your background color and text color. Lets say white has a value of 0. Grey has a value of 5. Black has a value of 10. For the love of all things good. Do not have a background and text color that are only like, two shades away from one another. There should AT LEAST be five shades of difference between them. 

Take your lightest shade, middle shade and darkest shade and put them in to photoshop or something. Put a black and white filter over it, or take out all the color. The colors should not be relatively close to one another. You want to make sure there’s enough contrast between your color choices! Having a grey background that’s only like, two shades away from your text-color is a complete utter nightmare. 

Font size is one thing that a viewer can usually fix with a quick key stroke or two. Color? If I can’t read your text I don’t look at your page. Simple as that. 

  • All in all

Font size, face and color are extremely important. Please keep it in consideration because seriously: if I can’t read your shit, I don’t look at your shit. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got great content or a totally awesome premise that’s right up my alley - if I can’t read it, I’m gone. End of story. 

–James.