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Church Font Formula—Why Comic Sans Is a Bad Choice

Sep 28, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Church Font Formula—Why Comic Sans Is a Bad Choice

I hate Comic Sans.

Truly. I do. And just about everyone in the world agrees with me!

“But Comic Sans is fun!” you protest.

I’m going to stop you right there.

Its curved sides and round handwriting script were originally designed to resemble comic book text (hence the name), and I’m even hesitant to allow it to be used in comic books because it simply isn’t the best out there.

You can like Comic Sans and use it for your family Christmas card, but it really has no place on your church website or any documents you produce professionally.

“What am I supposed to use instead? Comic Sans is my favorite font!”

Well, luckily there are thousands of fonts available, so there is no shortage of attractive and easy-to-read fonts.

It’s important to remember that your church operates like a business. You’re in the "business" of ministry, of making fishers of men, and your image should reflect that mission. It’s a serious job—the most serious of jobs, because it’s about eternity!—so your church’s font should be serious as well.

Fear not. Your website and print materials can still be fun even without Comic Sans, and here’s how:

What Fonts Not to Use

Besides Comic Sans, avoid fonts that are overused or that look old or tacky. Here’s a brief list:

  • Times New Roman makes people think of high school research papers, especially if it’s in 12-point font.
  • Lucida Handwriting is sometimes used to make typed documents look like they were written by hand, but it fools no one, so it really has no place on your website.
  • Brush Script is just plain hard to read.
  • Courier or any monospace font that looks like it is great for typewriters, but not for churches.

What Fonts to Use

Now that we’ve thrown out the bad fonts, here’s a list of the good ones:

  • Helvetica is like Arial’s older, better-looking sister.
  • Cambria is miles ahead of Times New Roman, as far as serif fonts go.
  • Calibri is the new default font in Microsoft Word, and it’s easy to read.
  • Myriad Pro is also quite popular.

How to Use These Fonts

In many of my professional writing classes, we learned to make headings sans-serif fonts (like Helvetica) and body text a serif font (like Cambria). Serif fonts tend to be easier to read, and having a sans-serif font as the heading really distinguishes the difference between the two.

Most designers will advise against having more than three fonts for any one project. Your two or three chosen fonts should complement each other rather than looking too similar (so you shouldn’t pick three script fonts, for example). Stick to just one fancier font if you want to use one—a good choice for a header—and more general fonts for your website navigation and any body text.

Vary the size of your fonts too. Larger headers are always a good idea, and you can bold them for added definition. However, don’t vary the size of a font within each category. For example, don’t change the font size in your body text—keep that all the same.

Color is important too! Don’t change the color of your font every other paragraph. Black is a solid choice (pun intended) for the body text, but if your page or website’s primary color is, say, purple (like Lutheran Women’s Missionary League), feel free to make your font white to make it stand out more.

Of course, design rules are flexible to allow for creativity, and you can technically do whatever you want! The main point to remember: your font must be easy to read. If no one can read the information, what’s the point?

And no, you still can’t use Comic Sans.

 

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Hannah Osborne

Written by Hannah Osborne

Hannah joined the CPH family in 2016, first as an intern, then as a copy editor, and now as a copywriter. She doodles Lamentations 3:22–23 everywhere, and she owns way too many throw pillows. When she’s not whistling while she works at her dream job, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or laughing too loudly.

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