Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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When fonts fight, Times New Roman conquers

From The Guardian: When fonts fight, Times New Roman conquers

[A]uthor Sean Richardson had asked the internet to “reveal the deepest part of yourself: Which font and which size do you write in?”, little realising he was about to open a Pandora’s box of preference and prejudice.

This is funny. Also, it’s true.

Not only do I write exclusively in Times New Roman, but I can’t stand other fonts. If someone sends me a document in anything else, I immediately hit Control-A and change the font to Times New Roman. Then I double-space the document. THEN I am prepared to read the thing, whatever it may be.

I suspect I am adamant about this because I spend *so much* time looking at words on a screen that when I say, “I’m used to Times New Roman,” I mean, “No, really used to it. Honestly, this is how typed words should look.”

I know that’s a little over the top. Nevertheless: Times New Roman only. I especially detest all sans-sarif fonts.

You know I’m teaching a class this semester, for the first time in forever. I’m going to describe lab reports today and assign one next week, and yes indeed, I will be saying: Write this sucker in Times New Roman, font size 12, and do not get creative on this. Reserve your creativity for other aspects of your life.

This was basically the Twitter response, though it wasn’t uniform.

Arial 12 pt, replied Poirot novelist and bestselling crime author Sophie Hannah. For Hugo-winning American science fiction author John Scalzi, it’s Georgia, 12-point, single-spaced, and “when I’m done, I double-space the entire document and put it into Courier, again 12pt”. For the Canadian fantasy novelist Guy Gavriel Kay it’s “New Century Schoolbook 12 … because I am young and cool”.

But then the surge for Times New Roman began

Click through and read the whole thing … if you find font wars interesting, of course!

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7 Comments When fonts fight, Times New Roman conquers

  1. Kathryn McConaughy

    I use different fonts depending on what series I’m working on… I use Times New Roman for my adult historical fantasy series and Arial for my middle-grade comic fantasy series. I think it’s because Arial looks more like the font used in my favorite series of MG books from back in the day.
    I’m amazed that anyone uses Impact. That would drive me crazy…

  2. Mary Beth

    My company uses 14 point Calibri in its house style, and I do a lot of drafting in Google Docs with 11 point Verdana—sans serif is a bit easier on my eyes for on-screen reading.

    I did find though that in reading your feedback on ONE SUN, I was able to pick up on other things that my eye had previously skipped over—somehow changing the font and size made it look like a whole new document to me! So that’s a trick I will probably use going forward for final edits.

  3. Rachel

    That’s neat to know, Mary Beth. I wonder if I should actually try changing the font to revise? I probably won’t because I do find fonts like Calibri just annoying, but it might be interesting to try it and see.

  4. Rachel

    Interesting that you switch back and forth, Kathryn! I wonder if I should have tried that when I was having trouble getting books to fall solidly into the YA vs adult categories.

  5. Elaine T

    I can confirm that changing the font makes different things visible. Even changing to a different size, although a new font is better. Can be a different serif font – I like TNR and usually use it, but for checking text I’ll switch to Palatino or something.

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