What Type of Font to Use on a Professional Paper

Your font choice is the first impression your reader gets of your work.
Your font choice is the first impression your reader gets of your work. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The font you choose for your professional paperwork is the largest visual part of your work and the first impression someone has of your work. You must choose a font that is clean and easy to read. If you choose a font that is overly artistic or hard to read it distracts the reader from your actual writing.

Times New Roman

Times New Roman is the most popular font used today in both academia and business. It was developed by Stanley Morison in 1931 for The Times of London, which is where the name Times New Roman was derived from. It is clean, easy to read and easy to use because it is the standard default font for most word processing applications.


Helvetica is more of a block style font, more minimally styled than Times New Roman, with blunt edges. Max Miedinger of Switzerland designed it in 1957. It was named Helvetica because in Latin, Switzerland is known as Helvetica. Due to the blunt edges and concise size it is easy to read and will not distract the reader from the content of your writing.


Arial is an easily accessible font that can be found on most operating systems. It was designed in 1982 by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders. Like Helvetica, it is a modern font with minimal styling and blunt edges. It is simple, easy to read and a more contemporary option for your business writing.


Verdana is the newest of these fonts, created in 1996 by Matthew Carter and Tom Rickner. This font features the minimal styling and blunt edges of Arial and Helvetica, but the space in between the letters is wider, making it easy to read. The letters are also wider, which also adds the the legibility.

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