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​.micro​soft​.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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