Custom fonts (fonts that are not installed as standard on most computers) give your presentation a nice distinctive look from the rest of the world that uses Calibri and Arial. It comes at a price: viewers who do not have your font installed on their machines get a poor experience.

For these practical reasons, I leaned towards sticking with standard fonts in business presentations. Things are changing though:
  • PDF is now my preferred format for sending presentations to people: it can easily be viewed on mobile devices and has a nicer, more permanent feel to it than an editable file. Once a PDF is created, fonts will display correctly on any device
  • There are more and more free fonts available that make it technically easy to download and install a font quickly, without having to count the number of seats that use the font in order to get in trouble with the license I paid for.
So, when do I consider using a custom font?
  1. Smaller organisations that are relatively tech-savvy. The big traditional Fortune 500 company is still locked into Calibri for the time being I am afraid.
  2. When I can use an open source font, not so much to save money, but to save the hassle of having to deal with license seat counts

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