Some Data on the Current Use of PowerPoint – Font Choices

This post is an excerpt from “Visu­al Log­or­rhea – On the Preva­lence of Slideu­ments”. In order to get an impres­sion of the cur­rent use of Pow­er­Point for pre­sen­ta­tion design, 1.500 pre­sen­ta­tions found on the inter­net have been ana­lyzed. Read the full story here.

Font Choices

Some Data on the Current Use of PowerPoint - Fonts Usage Most of the char­ac­ters have been for­mat­ted in a font which has been or is Pow­er­Point default (Times New Roman, later Arial and now Cal­ib­ri, togeth­er 69.2%). 95% of all text found on the slides is for­matted in a font which is deliv­ered with the oper­at­ing sys­tem (Microsoft Windows​1 or Apple Mac OS​2) or Microsoft Office. We can assume that the dis­tri­b­u­tion of fonts about exact­ly fol­lows what was the default at time of cre­ation (of the pre­sen­ta­tion or the presen­tation tem­plate it is based on). In con­clu­sion, most of the presenta­tions or their respec­tive tem­plates might not con­form to cor­po­rate stan­dards (which do not base on default fonts in many cases).

Some Data on the Current Use of PowerPoint - Font SourcesOnly 3% of all text is for­mat­ted in a font sup­plied by 3rd par­ties – anoth­er indi­ca­tion that there are almost no spe­cif­ic design  cus­tom­izations being done (and that prac­ti­cal­ly nobody wants to pay type foundries or font design­ers for their work – or at least look for a suit­able free font). Font choice is large­ly not rec­og­nized as a way to dif­fer­en­ti­ate; in par­tic­u­lar for recent pre­sen­ta­tions cre­at­ed using the very dis­tinc­tive Cal­ib­ri font, this is more than evi­dent: “You can­not use Cal­ib­ri and expect to cre­ate a ‘Pow­er­Point that does not look like Pow­er­Point.’”​3

In sum­ma­ry, com­pared to the ubiq­ui­ty of text, the impor­tance of font choice appears to be aston­ish­ing­ly under­rat­ed.

This post is an excerpt from “Visu­al Log­or­rhea – On the Preva­lence of Slideu­ments”. In order to get an impres­sion of the cur­rent use of Pow­er­Point for pre­sen­ta­tion design, 1.500 pre­sen­ta­tions found on the inter­net have been ana­lyzed. Read the full story here.

Foot­notes:

  1.  Microsoft Inc., “Microsoft Typog­ra­phy — Fonts and Prod­ucts”, Accessed Feb­ru­ary 16, 2014, http://​www​.microsoft​.com/​t​y​p​o​g​r​a​phy/fonts/. Microsoft, Pow­er­Point, Office and Win­dows are either reg­is­tered trade­marks or trade­marks of Microsoft Cor­po­ra­tion in the Unit­ed States and/​or other coun­tries. All other com­pa­ny and prod­uct names may be trade­marks of their respec­tive com­pa­nies reg­is­tered in the Unit­ed States and/​or other coun­tries. Pow­er­Point as the pre­dom­i­nant appli­ca­tion for pre­sen­ta­tion cre­ation mere­ly serves as an exam­ple in this doc­u­ment. It is assum­able that most of the find­ings will apply to other prod­ucts of the same class, too.
  2.  Apple Inc., “OS X: Fonts includ­ed with Moun­tain Lion”, Accessed Feb­ru­ary 16, 2014, http://​sup​port​.apple​.com/kb/HT5379. Apple and Mac OS are trade­marks of Apple Inc., reg­is­tered in the U.S. and other coun­tries.
  3.  Schultink, Jan, Pitch It!, (Axiom One Ltd., 2012), accessed Feb­ru­ary 16, 2012, https://​itun​.es/de/xG72I.

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