by Adam Noar
At Presentation Panda we talk about fonts quite a bit because they are super, super important. We also talk about them because we’re huge nerds and nothing gets us more excited than a really nicely thought-out typeface. Well—almost nothing else. We’re also super into background textures, design templates, and anything else that can make your PowerPoint design scheme stand out. If you pick a great font, you can almost bet that your presentation will be better received, because who doesn’t love a really pretty typeface? Especially if you combine that typeface with some of our other recommendations for your PowerPoint. But we digress: Today’s a day to talk about presentation fonts—we would like to introduce you to 7 delicious fonts that will surely give your presentations some extra special flair. And what’s really cool is that you can download all of these fonts for free! So let’s get started!
Presentation Font #1: Building
Building has the sort of look that you associate with Chicago in the 1920s or Milan in the 1930s. Maybe this is because its elongated letters make me think of steel girders, or maybe it’s just because of its clever name. It is ever so vertical—the kind of towering, impressive typeface that makes your words leap skywards like steel skyscrapers of ideas blasting off into the clouds. Building is about thin, narrow letters that emphasize the up and down rather than the side to side. The lack of horizontal thrust is really useful because it allows you to type out especially long words without worrying about taking up space on the next line and having one of those awkward moments where a word will not fit on the same line unless you make the font smaller. With Building font, you also need to think about the sort of colors that you are using, because not all colors were made for this sophisticated and vertical font. You definitely want to make sure that you stick to neutral or darker colors when you use a font like this; it looks a little too serious to utilize in brighter shades. Building is an ideal font for a title page or to be used as a header font for the subject areas of a presentation—it will grab your audience’s attention and, like a skyscraper, draw their gazes upwards as you inspire them with your lofty ideas.
Presentation Font #2: Bukhari
Bukhari is a bit more on the playful side of the spectrum, especially when compared to Building, but that does not make it any less useful. It evokes some far away place—maybe the streets look the same and the buildings are pretty, but the language is different and you can’t figure out what to order on the menu without asking someone for help. Everything about Bukhari is rounded off somehow; there are not any sharp points here or abrupt, blunt endings (think of how forceful Building looks in comparison). Curlicues and loopy script are a great, eye-catching way to command attention without being too forceful about it. And there is a certain unity to the design of this font, especially because of the way that all the letters link up to each other and a B becomes a U, and so on. Bukhari is the ideal font to use for a presentation heading when you want something that is not too formal, but without being too whimsical either. Because it is neither too serious nor too informal, it pairs well with a variety of backgrounds; you would be hard-pressed to find a background that did not look good contrasted with Bukhari. The same is also true with font colors, which are a crucial consideration. Lucky for you, this is the sort of font that can adapt to just about any color scheme. Pretty much any sort of color or shade will look good with Bukhari—you simply can’t go wrong. If you combine it with a simpler, easy to read font in the text section such as Bebas Neue or Arimo you will really have something special to look at.
Presentation Font #3: Choplin
As you can see from the sample above, Choplin is an extremely versatile font which, while preferably used as a header, works just fine as the text font for your presentation design scheme. You really get the sense for how easily adaptable this font is by seeing what it looks like with different weights to it. When you type it in all caps it gets about seven times more serious, and if you set it in boldface it looks even heavier—the sort of popping, pay-attention look that really demands an audience’s gaze. Choplin has that sort of effect without being too aggressive. If your presentation involves infographics you should really think about creating infographics with Choplin as one of the principal fonts, because it is easy to read and can stand its own against bright and noisy graphics or images. You can also see how its rather neutral design aesthetic makes it a pretty generous font to use with just about any conceivable color combination. Being color-blind, so to speak, to an ideal color palette will make your life easier when you search for the right hues for your font. It looks just as good in light colors as it does in dark, and you can show it off in contrast to either dark, neutral, or light backgrounds without questioning your life choices or sense of style. Go ahead and use Choplin with gusto on your next PowerPoint presentation and you’ll see exactly how effective it can be.
Presentation Font #4: Nexa Rust
Nexa Rust is the kind of spicy looking font that will give your presentation slide a burst of character. Think of it like a dark old mahogany cabinet filled with clear bottles of amber bourbon in a room painted blinding white. The great thing about this font is that you will never find it challenging to make it stand out. It does that just by being on a slide. A big, wide typeface like this has a sort of swagger to it, a commanding presence that makes people catch their breath for just a moment when they notice it. And the occasional patch of “rust” on the letters lends a touch of aging quality to the font. Nexa Rust is definitely in a more serious category of font; it is not the font you want to use in your body text, just the title page—we would hesitate recommending it as a good header font, because it simply is that bold. You also do not want to get too elaborate or fancy with colors or weighting. Try imagining Nexa Rust in neon yellow and it just does not seem possible—that’s because some things are not meant to be pictured! If there is a weak point to this font, it’s that Nexa Rust is so darn assertive that some colors will simply never do—in fact, most of them probably are not worthy of this big, beautiful font. Stick to basic earth tones and background images that have Western themes to them, like red clay colors or golden prairie yellow. Also, when you do pair it with a font, consider something light and delicate, including semi-cursive fonts; the bold, straight lines of Nexa Rust will really look their best that way, and they will be the perfect foil to a more reserved display text.
Presentation Font #5: Bariol
Bariol is a super versatile font from the Spanish graphic design firm Atipo. Man, those Spaniards sure know how to make some pretty fonts! A font like Bariol can be used in so many different ways; it kind of is like the Goldilocks of fonts. Not too bold, not too quiet. Not too thin, not too fat. Not too formal, but not still important looking enough that you take it seriously. If you change it to boldface and possibly capitalize it, you can use Bariol as a neat header or title font. And if you keep the weight at default or slightly lighter, it works just fine as a killer display text for your slide presentation. Another great aspect of Bariol is how it responds to color. The simplicity of its design also means that it is adaptable across a wide range of colors; Bariol is the one size fits all font for your color wheel. And while it may not have the same swagger as a hyper aggressive font like Nexa Rust, Bariol manages to fill many different roles which is only possible because of its suave neutrality. If you want a headache-free font that goes the distance no matter what sort of topic you are presenting about, Bariol is without a doubt the typeface of your dreams.
Presentation Font #6: Aroly
Meet Aroly, a highly distinct font that will look absolutely awesome rocking on the front page of your PowerPoint presentation but a complete disaster if you even think about using it in your presentation’s body text. Luckily, there are plenty of good, simple fonts that will pair nicely with Aroly, especially if you use a handy font optimization tool such as Type Genius. Aroly has the look of a 1940s or 1950s movie theatre marquee in Paris; there is a real excitement in it, and also a little bit of nostalgia to the way that its letters seem to be slightly faded out, as if from exposure to time. If you are going to use this classy font in your slide you will want to make sure that there is minimal visual distraction on the page, because any words you type out with Aroly are going to be the showpiece. It is most likely best to stick to a simple background, such as a solid color, because the slight transparency of the letters means that any images behind the words would show through. For best effect, try sticking to colors such as red, black, or white—nothing too out of the ordinary for this retro-chic font.
Presentation Font #7: Borg
Borg is, as its name suggests, the kind of font that evokes the future yet to unfurl before our eyes. This is an exciting font—it’s like Blade Runner couture. You want this kind of font to set the tone for a big presentation in front of an audience about to witness the future. You want to use Borg to deliver a big bang on the very first slide, and you want it to do so with minimal fuss around it. Because of its relatively minimal design and lack of pretentiousness there is the potential to be somewhat open with color choices. Anything from black and white to metallic tones of basic colors such as red, blue, or yellow would look great. It would also look great juxtaposed with a flat-design image of some sort, although that isn’t really necessary. Using Borg as your font of choice pretty much guarantees an innovative, forward-thinking look to your presentation slide and will definitely leave an impact with your viewers.
So hopefully you’ve picked up some great new ideas for fonts to use the next time you create a PowerPoint presentation. Whether you are looking for something formal and imposing or something more whimsical and light-hearted, these seven cool looking fonts should give you great ammo to come up with a fantastic design for your slides. Remember that you can download all of these presentation fonts for free!
Now that you’ve seen these fonts and how they can be used, what was your favorite of the group? Which fonts remind you of ones you have already used before, and which ones do you think you would never use? Share your favorite images ideas in the comments below!
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