Thesis font dilemma - help please!

posted
08-Aug-16, 21:21
edited about 23 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Hi,

So I've reached the stage of formatting the thesis.

I've written the whole thesis using Calibri, and now I'm torn as to whether:

1) Keep the thesis in Calibri as it is
2) Change the font to Constantia/another font but leave all the tables & figures in Calibri font.

I ideally want to do 2) but I'm not sure if it'll be ok to have the text in one font, and then figures and tables in another font! I can't change the latter it's all been formatted to fit already, and it'd be too much work!

What would you do?

Thanks!
posted
08-Aug-16, 21:27
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 3 years ago
I would be inclined to stick to the same font throughout.
posted
08-Aug-16, 22:29
by CR1980
Avatar for CR1980
posted about 3 years ago
Does your institution not have guidance on this? Mine had really strict guidelines about every full stop and margin!
posted
08-Aug-16, 22:45
edited about 4 minutes later
Avatar for IntoTheSpiral
posted about 3 years ago
I tend to prefer sans serif in headings, tables and figures and a serif font for text. So, if it were me I'd make the change to a serif font for the text (I'm using Georgia). Your Uni may have specific guidelines but mine just specifies the minimum height of a character.

Oh and from a readability perspective if your thesis is going to be printed I'd absolutely use a serif font for the main text (and left justified). There's evidence serif/sans serif doesn't make much difference on screen. But, on paper, serif is definitely easier to read. With the clean lines and regularity of formatting for tables and figures sans serif makes more sense.
posted
08-Aug-16, 22:48
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From CR1980:
Does your institution not have guidance on this? Mine had really strict guidelines about every full stop and margin!


No, my uni allows us to choose any font.
posted
08-Aug-16, 22:50
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From IntoTheSpiral:
I tend to prefer sans serif in headings, tables and figures and a serif font for text. So, if it were me I'd make the change to a serif font for the text (I'm using Georgia). Your Uni may have specific guidelines but mine just specifies the minimum height of a character.


That's interesting! So you don't see a problem with the text font being different to font in the table or diagrams?

I did consider Garamond for text, and Calibri for headings, tables and figures.
posted
08-Aug-16, 22:55
Avatar for IntoTheSpiral
posted about 3 years ago
Absolutely not. In fact I think it's a good thing. Tables and figures aren't typically going to be 1.5 spaced so a sans serif font makes sense. Plus, it's often for content that is quite precise and regular, especially if it's graphs. I mean, I wouldn't advise having a sans serif font on graph axes, for example. But, for the main text on paper, I wouldn't consider a sans serif as serif is objectively easier to read. (I've read papers on it, but can't remember the references off the top of my head).
posted
08-Aug-16, 23:45
edited about 28 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From IntoTheSpiral:
Absolutely not. In fact I think it's a good thing. Tables and figures aren't typically going to be 1.5 spaced so a sans serif font makes sense. Plus, it's often for content that is quite precise and regular, especially if it's graphs. I mean, I wouldn't advise having a sans serif font on graph axes, for example. But, for the main text on paper, I wouldn't consider a sans serif as serif is objectively easier to read. (I've read papers on it, but can't remember the references off the top of my head).


Thanks! You seem very knowledgable about fonts! May I ask then, what do you think about using Garamond as main text, and Calibri for all headings, diagrams and tables?
posted
09-Aug-16, 02:42
Avatar for DrJayJericho
posted about 3 years ago
I concur with the answers provided above - check with the university. I know that Sydney University has only four mandatory guidelines for the PhD thesis format (seriously):

1. It must be in Arial or Times New Roman only
2. It dictates minimum margins for the left, right, top and bottom of the page.
3. Font in the body of discussion must always be 12 point
4. 1.5 or double line spacing in the body of discussion

I am sure your student union can advise, or your postgraduate coordinator to diredt you to any policy document. A Google search is useful, but you might locate an out-of-date document.

Apart from that, I suggest using one font only in the thesis.

It is not a pass or fail issue. If this is the only thing your examiners didn't like about your thesis, they would suggest minor amendments.

Your are nearly there - well done, keep going.

Jay
posted
09-Aug-16, 09:51
edited about 17 minutes later
Avatar for IntoTheSpiral
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Hugh:


Thanks! You seem very knowledgable about fonts! May I ask then, what do you think about using Garamond as main text, and Calibri for all headings, diagrams and tables?


I think typeface/fonts would be my specialist subject on Mastermind, I'm a bit of a geek about it. My PhD has been about typing and I have colleagues here working on readability and accessibility of text on screen, so it's just a weird thing I geek out on a bit :-)

Personally, I think Calibri is fine. Garamond... Hmz. I've just tried using it in my document and I do find it a bit hard to read, for me the regular width of the lines is slightly too thin meaning that the difference in widths between the thinner parts and the wider parts is emphasised which adds a strange dimension. It also seems to be smaller and lighter than other serif fonts and is particularly hard to read if you're using italics for anything (e.g. statistics). Like I say, for my serif font I'm using Georgia. Edit: But now after looking at fonts for you I'm changing that to Constantia using the lining option for numbers and in tables having the tabular proportions set. Palantino isn't a bad shout either...
posted
09-Aug-16, 09:54
Avatar for IntoTheSpiral
posted about 3 years ago

Apart from that, I suggest using one font only in the thesis.

Jay


Out of interest... why? From a visual design/readability perspective I disagree, so am always intrigued when people say this.
posted
09-Aug-16, 11:24
Avatar for ApolloBullit
posted about 3 years ago
Great thread, haha. The font lover in me is enjoying this.

Personally, I prefer a serif font for main body text. A lot of the san-serif fonts don't actually have a 'proper' italics, and just use an oblique. Since I use italics a lot in my work, I like them to look as good as the regular text. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Calibri does have a proper italics set, so its got that going for it.
Personally I don't like Calibri, but I think it's perfectly acceptable as a thesis font. Garamond is a big no no IMO, like IntoTheSpiral said, it can be hard to read, and I don't think all the letters sit along the same base line...?

I think there are nicer ways to format headings than using a different font, but again that's down to taste.

I realise I haven't helped. I'd stick with what a lot of people seem to like, which is Arial or Times New Roman (shock, horror!) and just get it submitted...When it comes to work related stuff, its often a good idea to choose the path of least resistance.
posted
09-Aug-16, 12:37
edited about 4 minutes later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From IntoTheSpiral:
Quote From Hugh:


Thanks! You seem very knowledgable about fonts! May I ask then, what do you think about using Garamond as main text, and Calibri for all headings, diagrams and tables?


I think typeface/fonts would be my specialist subject on Mastermind, I'm a bit of a geek about it. My PhD has been about typing and I have colleagues here working on readability and accessibility of text on screen, so it's just a weird thing I geek out on a bit :-)

Personally, I think Calibri is fine. Garamond... Hmz. I've just tried using it in my document and I do find it a bit hard to read, for me the regular width of the lines is slightly too thin meaning that the difference in widths between the thinner parts and the wider parts is emphasised which adds a strange dimension. It also seems to be smaller and lighter than other serif fonts and is particularly hard to read if you're using italics for anything (e.g. statistics). Like I say, for my serif font I'm using Georgia. Edit: But now after looking at fonts for you I'm changing that to Constantia using the lining option for numbers and in tables having the tabular proportions set. Palantino isn't a bad shout either...


Thanks!

I'm even more confused now! I was considering Constantia but it takes up a lot more space, and I'm already struggling to keep it within one volume. It takes off 3 lines per page in comparison to other texts!

Maybe I should just stick to Calibri ... as its all already formatted in that font anyways?

I can't believe I am loosing hair over this, I even dreamt about it last night! :-/
posted
09-Aug-16, 12:39
edited about 32 seconds later
by Hugh
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From ApolloBullit:

I think there are nicer ways to format headings than using a different font, but again that's down to taste.
.


Thanks! May I have suggestions on nicer ways please? I don't really like the different font look.
One of my colleagues used a different color, and it looked quite nice. Is that what you mean?
posted
09-Aug-16, 13:13
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
I used a different colour for headings too. I liked it like that. I doubt my supervisors/examiners did but they didn't ask me to change it so I was happy about that :)

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