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Is the Modern Workplace Ready For Serif Fonts?

Even in the age of texting, the average American employee spends roughly one-third of the work week reading and sending email written in boring, non-artistic fonts. Well, not anymore!

It's almost August, which means quirky workplace news is slowing to a crawl just like our productivity levels. Then I came across an interesting article in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald entitled "Your Email Font Is Ruining Your Life."

While the corporate world has long relied on sans-serif fonts -- e.g., fonts where the letters stick to function over form by avoiding pretty end strokes and wavy-gravy curves -- our wide variety of hand-held electronic gadgets increasingly have the resolution to allow for pretty, formally-unreadable serif fonts to lean in to our corporate writing.

The question is, are we brave enough to use them at work? Could Comic Sans cut it in the workplace?

Well, companies such as Amazon have tested how we read various fonts online. Amazon, for example, found that reading comprehension increases 2% when we read something written in a font called Bookerly.

Font designers, meanwhile, are looking into new, exciting fonts to fit our evolving, 21st-Century e-communication needs.

So will you be the brave soul at work who tries sending co-workers an email written entirely in Buttweasel? It's bold, it's eye catching, but does it proclaim professionalism? Hmm. Perhaps we can start small by using Georgia, which is elegant and more understated.

The point is, we can now make the argument for employing a wider range of fonts in our workplace communications! Our co-workers can no longer make the case that they "can't read it" because smartphone screen resolution can finally keep up with the likes of Caslon and Calluna!

Have some fun figuring out which font works best for you at work. As Pam Beasley from The Office might say: "It's a good day."


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