The Most Trustworthy Font

Aug 13 2012 @ 2:02pm

by Zoë Pollock and Chris Bodenner

Errol Morris questions [NYT] the "effect of typography on the perception of truth." He recently asked Times' readers, "Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?," but the quiz was a ruse to assess their receptivity to various fonts:

QuadroBaskerville_903I have often wondered about the visual element in text. Yes, we read the word "horse,"  but we also see the letters, the fonts, the shape of the word on the page. Is this not part of the meaning? … The conscious awareness of Comic Sans promotes — at least among some people — contempt and summary dismissal. But is there a font that promotes, engenders a belief that a sentence is true? Or at least nudges us in that direction? And indeed there is.

It is Baskerville.

The second part of Morris' series is here [NYT].

("The Baskerville" illustration is one of many Typefaces by Tiago Pinto, via Mark Wilson)