The font you’re using is all wrong.
Before hitting that send button, you better check your font. According to Bloomberg Business, there’s such a thing as a “right” and “wrong” typeface?—?and believe it or not, we’re not just talking about Comic Sans.
A GOOD font requires the following criteria: Legibility, comprehension, comfortability, and it should be “emotionally acceptable.” The shape of the letters and spacing dictate the ease of readership.
Sure, Helvetica is a very hip type. It’s the font of choice for trendy brands and the default for Apple Mail (everyone knows Apple= very hip). But while typeface dweebs gush over its uniformity, some say it makes for a bad email font because its inconsistent spacing makes it difficult to read.
Type designer Nadine Chahine told Bloomberg, “The letters are too close together.” That makes it too tight.”
But it’s not just Helvetica that gets a bad rap?—?Arial, otherwise known as Helvetica’s “ugly bastard son,” is also a no-no font choice. Despite the fact that it’s the default option for Gmail?—?another very hip brand?—?designer’s say that it’s a bad choice because of the “ambiguous” letter shapes that tend to blend when grouped. The letters are often mirror forms of one another, making it difficult to discern when reading long text.
Take the image above, for example. Bloomberg pointed out how b and d mirror one another?—?this is hard to process. Also, note the spacing between h and e in Helvetica are larger than between t and i. It doesn’t seem like it would make much of an impact, but the inconsistencies actually make it really hard to skim that wordy email from your boss.
So, what font fits the criteria?
Georgia makes for a great reading font because of the serifs, which are those small protruding bits that edge off a letter. The additional stroke makes the letter more recognizable and according to experts, that helps the letters to look less ambiguous and easier to read.
Verdana is another great option because the spacing between characters is more even than with Helvetica or Arial, therefore easier for readers to process. Plus, the open shapes used in Verdana are more easily grouped for comprehension.
So, consider making your emails a little easier on the eye. Gmail offers six font options and customization for letter width, while Apple Mail has an even larger selection to choose from. Adjust your preferences so readers aren’t overwhelmed by your mail?—?it could make the difference between someone giving your cover letter a read, or skipping it over.