Design Dos & Don’ts: Fonts and Text

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If you haven’t read the first post in this new graphic design for eLearning series, be sure to catch up. Our Trivantis designers, Tony Cavalier and Anthony LaQuatra shared some great tips in Design Dos & Don’ts: Images and More. This next post focuses more on fonts and typography with some helpful tips for using text in your eLearning course. 

Consider these graphic design dos and don’ts for eLearning:

Do: Make the right font choices.

Match headline, subhead, and body font selections with each other,” Trivantis designer Anthony LaQuatra says. Choose a few fonts to use per project, rather than going crazy with a new font on every page of your course. In a recent post on the Everything eLearning Blog, Stephanie Ivec asks this question: “What if you limited yourself to three fonts and four colors per project?” That’s a good way to ensure you make the right font choices. Read the whole article here: Define Your eLearning Style with Capsule Fonts.

Do: Use the tools you have.

Art Director Tony Cavalier suggests that Lectora® users take advantage of the eLearning Brothers assets built into the authoring tool and says they “can make designing easy.” Tools like these are especially helpful if you need to save time but still want to create a cohesive design. For example, templates can provide a starting point for fonts and other design elements that will be used in your course to make it look professional. (Try out the eLearning Brothers templates in Lectora® Inspire for free.)

Don’t: Use Comic Sans or Papyrus or the like.

This tip is from Anthony (and I think most designers would agree). Fonts such as Comic Sans or Papyrus have a few problems—being overused and chosen for the wrong situations—and designers have strong opinions about them. Avoid using them in your eLearning course to keep it professional and effective. To learn more about fonts and typography, check out this article: The Essentials of Typography.

Don’t: Let text dictate design.

Tony explains, “Too much text can be a bad thing. Keep the text short and sweet to get the point across clearly and with more style.” He also says that your focus should be to “drive engagement and keep the design simple and clean.” The course design should give a positive first impression, so don’t overwhelm the learner with huge paragraphs of text. Get more tips for making a good first impression with your training in this article: The Halo Effect: First Impressions for e-Learning.

Have some more dos and don’ts for using fonts and text? Share them in the comments below. And don’t forget to read the first post in this series: Design Dos & Don’ts: Images and More.

  • alan

    I tend to stick with two font types. One for titles, another for text. I use bold and italics when necessary. Font sizes are good way to emphasize points without changing fonts types. I also tend to use bullets and lists with as few words as possible.