Friday, March 06, 2009

A Short Note on Fonts

I know, you're looking for a much more management-oriented post than this one, but you'll have to wait til I get some breathing room. This is a quick note/hint/nudge/whatever to let you know that yes indeedy, font is important.

You hopefully already know that wingdings is not what you use when you send out a cover letter, resume, or other important document. (Unless you use it *really* cleverly, but it's safer not to try.) More librarians should know that while the Comic Sans font is fine when you send out your family holiday newsletter, most professionals consider it inappropriate for resumes, cover letters, reports to directors or other bigwigs, and anything else that is work-related and not intended to be a joke. Really. I cannot count the number of discussions I've had with other librarians who are bemusedly horrified when any document that purports to take itself seriously arrives on their desk in Comic Sans.

I could go into how the textual representation of yourself is sometimes all folks have to go on. On how you should manage your image with every item you send out. But I haven't the energy. It's the Friday at the end of a long week.

Say it with me: Comic Sans is the word-processing equivalent to printing in crayon. You wouldn't send your resume in crayon, would you? (Maybe if you are a children's librarian, to be cute. But aside from that.)

In short, it is comic. No one will take you seriously if you use it in a document being sent to folks you don't personally know *very* well. Seriously, people. Step away from the Comic Sans. Crack would almost be a better habit to have.


allisonknits said...

I view people who use comic sans as being sans self respect.

Erin said...

Baha! I love this post and completely agree with you. When looking at professional documents, the wrong font can break the deal immediately. Thank you for making me feel less shallow (I thought I was the only one moving those cover letters to the bottom of the pile).

Drew said...

And on a related note it's equally frustrating when your composition students think they can pull a fast one by changing their too-short-for-page-requirement papers int meeting the requirements by switching from Times New Roman 12pt to Courier New 12pt. Somehow they always seem so shocked when they get their paper thrown back for being a half page or more short. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

When I got my letter stating whether I passed or failed my comps, it was in Comic Sans stating that I had Passed with Distinction. I thought it might have been a joke, but I'm not asking questions...just a little dumb-founded.

Colleen said...

Anonymous - I can't decide if that is the best or worst thing I've ever heard. I think I'd give that the Blue Ribbon of Awesome Irony. And frame it :)