It’s time for Times New Roman to hear this:
Dear Times New Roman,
I’m writing to let you know that your time has come.
It’s unfortunate for you because you were superb at what you did, the font of choice at the pinnacle of word processing! You still are… but you’re ancient, like my gran.
Remember when you were the face of The Times, I was so proud of you. Since then it’s all gone a bit down hill though, hasn’t it. Your so called friends, Arial and Calibri were so jealous of your achievements, but if I’m honest, they are stealing the limelight now. I agree with you, they shouldn’t be, they will never be as timeless as you, but maybe it’s time to kick those serifs off, sit back and watch the world go by.
The word on the street is you’re just not cool anymore. Designers are using other fonts instead of you. Hell, you’re even being misrepresented by Georgia half the time, you do look a bit like her though, weird.
So what I’m trying to say is this. I don’t think we can see each other anymore. You’re kind of cramping my style and I found some new friends. Their names are Roboto, Lato and Montserrat (the posh one I told you about), and they are smooth, hip and readable.
Times New Roman, a brief history
Some 87 years ago, Times New Roman was created by typographer Stanley Morison and artist Victor Lardent. At the time, the British paper (Times of London) had expressed a need for a new font. Almost a century later, Times New Roman is an archaic font that is more unadventurous and mundane than respectable and timeless.
The font has been described as “ bigoted and narrow, mean and puritan”, but retained its popularity because it was the font of the popular newspaper.
This begs the question: was it widely used due to its quality and style, or merely because it was ambiguous in nature?
Morison and Lardent’s new font was ideal for The Times. It was a narrow font, allowing editors to fit more text on a single newspaper sheet. It was tested by readers under natural and artificial light time and time again, and was later given full approval by the ‘distinguished ophthalmic authority’ (a medical thumbs up).
Times New Roman established itself as a major ‘default’ font and was present in font libraries across all mediums; from Microsoft Word to Adobe Photoshop. The familiarity of Times New Roman has meant that the font is still being used today in book publishing and widely used in the Law industry in legal documents. Plenty of Times New Roman font variations have been created too, demonstrating longevity and an ability to be altered for other uses.
However, Times New Roman’s bold typeface makes it hard to read. As a result, it has lost much of the formality it was once regarded so highly for.
Online, Times New Roman has lost its authority as a font. Users regard Times New Roman as outdated and dull. The familiarity which once made it a popular choice has since translated to overuse and tedium.
It’s main competitors are, of course, Arial and Calibri; their lack of serifs and better spacing flexibility make for easier reading on web and e-books.
Choosing a font for your website
Avoid outdated fonts like the plague in order to get your business’s message through to your reader.
Websites and marketing materials speak volumes about your brand, even down to the smallest of details, like your font. Choose your font wisely and opt for simplicity and clarity over boldness or intricacy. A simple and user-friendly site can often be far more attractive and appealing than a detailed one.
Online markets are saturated with competition, so ensuring your branding, image and message is clear and current will ensure you stand out, your message gets heard and your customer comes back.