There is no opinion shortage about the U.S. State Department’s announced shift from the Times New Roman font to Calibri (A font feud brews after State Dept. picks Calibri over Times New Roman)
This post, however, is about font size and not type.
The “controversial” State Department cable also directs future written communications to use 14-point font. The Washington Post explained:
Size is important too: The best practice, according to the University of Edinburgh’s Disability and Inclusive Learning Service, is to use 14-point font and avoid writing in block letters or italicizing or underlining text.
I hope others follow the lead.
The too-hard-to-read font is “problem condition 9” in the 17 Avoidable pain points when authoring and electronically publishing local court rules (and orders) toolkit I wrote for the National Center for State Courts. The reasoning is straightforward:
But here’s the “size” part that is far too often overlooked: Respect for the reader does not end with the body text; footnotes and endnotes should also be formatted in a font type and size that is readable.
Don’t shrink your footnote or endnote font size. Otherwise, you risk alienating your otherwise engaged readership.
Here is a friendly nudge reminder to pump up your font and ensure that your writing is accessible to audiences of all sighted abilities.