In Praise of Times New Roman

By Michael Studley

We encounter fonts every single day of our lives. There is serif, sans-serif, display, handwriting, cursive, anything you like. With that said, how do you choose a font that is suitable for both professional and personal work? There are many options out there, but the best one is probably Times New Roman. Here is why:

Times New Roman is very nice to look at. For one thing, its design includes serifs, curves, and compatible letters. Serifs are little lines or strokes that are added to letters in a font; they make the shapes more distinctive and as a result, cause the text to be easier to read. Curves can make a glyph stand out, and cause a font to be more distinctive. Times New Roman isn’t the most out-there font, but it can still be recognized as timeless, in terms of usefulness and actual age. Times New Roman is over 85 years old.

Another interesting fact: Times New Roman is faster to read than other fonts. The University of Bristol found that when reading a 140-word paragraph, Times New Roman on average was almost 5 seconds faster than Gigi, a display font. Now, granted, Gigi is a bit of a stereotypically (and almost comically) feminine curly cursive font, and may be a bit of an extreme example, but this can apply to uninteresting fonts too. Arial is an example. How could you get more uninteresting than Arial? There’s nothing that makes it nice or pleasant to look at, and furthermore, there are no serifs! Imagine being born without serifs! You’d be a disgrace upon your entire family! LOOK AT YOU! YOU BRING SHAME AND DISHONOR UPON ALL OF TYPOGRAPHY! YOU ARE USEL-

Sorry about that digression.

Regardless, font choice can have an impact on how the reader perceives the author. For example, if you made a dinner invitation for some friends from work, and used Comic Sans MS, they may think of the invitation as childish and not at all serious. Conversely, if you used something like Apple Chancery, you may come off as strait-laced or overly prim. If you use Times New Roman (or any similar serifed font), it will be perfect, because while it’s not overly fancy or pretentious, it’s still nice enough that it doesn’t leave a negative impact. 

I’d just like to say in closing that, while not an imperative, you should absolutely use Times New Roman (or similar fonts) for writing things whenever you can. It’s a good-looking font that works for many things and is easily accessible from almost all word processing platforms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *