The Best Newsletter Fonts

By Paul Parcellin

A good typeface makes newsletters more attractive and readable.
i Amebar/iStock/Getty Images

Creating newsletters is easier than ever when you use current desktop publishing tools. However, to make your newsletter as clear and readable as possible, you must choose the right typefaces and fonts. Typefaces fall into two basic categories: serif, which is type with small, spur-like decorative embellishments added to the basic form of a character; and sans serif, typefaces without the extra decorative flourish. Use them wisely in your print and electronic newsletters.

Typefaces vs. Fonts

The terms "typeface" and "font" are often confused. Although they both refer to the various styles of letters and numbers we use, each term has a subtly different meaning. Typefaces are the various type styles available to publishers, such as Garamond, Helvetica and Times New Roman. Fonts are a subset of typefaces representing the different type sizes and weights you can select from. You must choose both the proper typefaces and fonts for your newsletter.

Type for the Web

Web designers typically choose sans serif typefaces for text that is displayed on the Web. The consensus among those who publish electronic media is that sans serif typefaces, such as Helvetica, Arial, Trebuchet and Verdana, are easier to read than their serif cousins when displayed in electronic media. Sans serif type is a clean, simple format with a distinctly modern look that feels like the right choice for the Internet age.

Typefaces for Print Media

When it comes to print media, graphic designers tend to favor serif typefaces for paper documents. While sans serif typefaces work well on the Web, serif typefaces are considered the best choice for the printed page. Serif typefaces are generally easier to read in print than sans serif, and they present a traditional look and feel. However, graphic designers occasionally use sans serif type in print publications when a large point size is called for, such as in a headline.

Open Fonts

Aside from the fonts that are installed on your computer, an almost endless variety of open source fonts are available for download from the Web. Open source fonts are free fonts that are posted online and can be used or changed for any purpose, either commercial or noncommercial, without notifying the creators. Sites that offer open source fonts include The Open Font Library, Adobe Edge Web Fonts, TypeDepot and Freeware Fonts Project.