Everyone is looking for universal ways to effectively communicate. Words that relay our messages are often demonstrated in a sundry of colors and shapes. They are in print, on signs, and in advertisements. They appear in newspapers, magazines on TV’s, computers, and now mobile devices. The fonts that are used for these messages are bolded, with shadows, underlined, highlighted, or in italics.
Learning to read and write for the first time is cumbersome. If the font changes or is not consistent, then the task is even more difficult.
Take a moment to remember carefully; with which font did you learn to read and write? What font was the alphabet? I remember a colorful line of letters, A through Z, stretching across the top of the blackboard. The exact font, I have no idea.
When teaching language, especially English, consistency goes a long way. So, what is a cultural-friendly font? Can a font be cost effective?
I took these screen shots samples from fonts.com of ITC Franklin Gothic and Century Gothic, respectively, to compare.
Look at these lower case letters: t, a, y, and g. Look at the different ways you can write the “g's” and the “a's”. Now, compare with other fonts such as Times New Roman or Courier -- even Wing Dings!
As an ESOL teacher, I'll put a plug in for using the font, Century Gothic, as the preferred font for communicating. It’s the one I remember practicing to write -- or close to it. Upon my lined paper, with my fat pencil in hand, I rounded my “a's” with straight ends. The “t's” had no tails.
From the economical perspective, The University of Wisconsin studied ink savings. Their study proved a 30% reduction in use of ink using Century Gothic compared with Arial. However, does the wider font type require additional paper or space? What would transition to a universal format cost?
Let's simplify things.
Perhaps, teaching and learning struggles would be alleviated by having consistency in type-fonts. A universal font can belong to the world as marketing and branding are seemingly in a revolution.
This seems like such an easy fix in theory, but the market forces are at play. Comic Sans won't like being put in a corner and forgotten.
Century Gothic is owned by Monotype and designed by Morris Fuller Benton and Sol Hess according to fonts.com.
Editor's note: Wix, our web development platform, does not have Century Gothic in its font library. This article is written in Futura, a close cousin.