Font recommendations for a dissertation

Ideas and suggestions

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Hi Peeps,
Been a while since I posted, seeing as I'm not in Munich any more and all and have been as busy as an, erm,...busy thing since i left.
So hi everyone an sorry for not staying in touch as much as I'd hoped to.

Anyway, I'm writing my dissertation/technical project report at the moment and need to get some ideas about what works best in the font department.
I'm using MS Word and it has far too many to go through and test them all.

The font I normally use is Tahoma but the bolds are looking far too nasty after printing. SO i'm looking for something with a modern fresh type feel that isnt too fancy but doesnt look to plain either. Thought I had this with the aforementioned but for some reason I just can seem to get it to look right.

Any ideas would be great,


Tahoma sucks for anything respectable. Most all journals and such require Arial and a font of 12. Some will let you run Times Roman and it is ok. The main point is to make it a readable font and style. Stay away from anything non-standard period.
The Frutiger suite. Clear to read and narrower than your average font. Good range too.
Small Town Boy
I'm with eurovol here. You may find that your guidelines tell you which font and size to use, but if they don't then Arial 12 is the one to go with. Don't try and be different - it won't necessarily be appreciated. Personally, I don't like Times New Roman - looks too 1980s. If you really don't want Arial, try Verdana, which I think is the font you're reading now.
Most schools have a specified font. I had to have mine approved by the dean just to make certain the margins and font were correct before I could submit it to my committee for revisions.
I should maybe have said that they aren't so strict on which font we use as long as the general body text isn't bigger than 12pt.

Verdana was one that I thought of as well...Just unsure which one to go for.
Your universtiy will have their own specification, at my uni we have to double space, and use Arial size 12.
stick w/ Arial or if you for some reason are opposed to that then go for the standard Times New Roman

it's a dissertation- no need to be creative.
Use a serif font for body text because it'll be much easier to read. Unless you want to buy a font you're limited by what you've got on your computer so Times or similar would be a good choice.

Sans serif fonts like Arial, Frutiger, Tahoma and Verdana should really be used for headings only because they are difficult to read in blocks.
I should maybe have said that they aren't so strict on which font we use as long as the general body text isn't bigger than 12pt.
Verdana was one that I thought of as well...Just unsure which one to go for.
Write a sentence using 12-pt Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana. You'll see that there's quite a bit of difference in size between the three, so a general body text in 12pt would almost certainly have to be in TNR.

I would advise you (as others have already done) to use a standard font - TNR or Arial. Speaking from experience, in dissertations, scientific articles and the like, "fancy" fonts (especially when you add bold, italics, etc.) are not only more difficult to read but can be downright irritating.

Follow scrupulously any guidelines that you are given (layout, spacing, referencing, and so on) and, whatever font you choose, remember not to make the footnotes too small or they'll end up being about as legible as a food label!

Good luck!
I was a typesetter way back when. You want a font with serifs for blocks of text. The best fonts for this which you probably have are Times New Roman, Bookman, Bodoni, Garamond, Georgia, and New Century Schoolbook. Of these I prefer NCS, Garamond and Bookman. These are all well proportioned to ease reading and are among the most commonly used serif fonts in the print industry (along with Frutiger, Cheltenham, and Clarendon).

I'd second what Wheel says. If you open any book that is designed to be read cover to cover it will be in a serif font. I'd steer clear of times - it's a bit too cramped - but something like palatino looks excellent in my opinion. Clear and crisp - and bold and itallics look fine. I think in Microsoft speak it might be called something like 'Bookman'.

Attached image
General guideline - serif fonts (e.g. Times) for general text, sans serif fonts (e.g. Arial) for headlines. The serifs help the readers' eyes follow the text.
Actually, Tahoma is not bad and definitely not the one that I was thinking of when I posted that it sucked. I think it may be a Mac font because I can't find it on my computer.
Yep - my uni specified Times New Roman, double spaced, size 12. I think you'll all agree that that's a sexy font.
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