When it comes to making presentations, visual slides are the most effective and compelling way to get your message across. However, even with visual slides you may still need a few words to help tell your story. Making that text easy for your audience to read, and in keeping with your tone, is crucial. So, finding the right Google Slides font may seem like a daunting task. There are so many options to choose from, and from a distance they can all look kind of similar.
Font choice is really important: it can dictate the entire look and feel of your presentation. The right font can make your slides look sleek and professional, but the wrong one can leave your deck looking rushed and amateurish. You need to choose fonts that are clean, readable, and professional to ensure that the content – and not a fancy font – remains the star of the show. In this article we’ll take a quick look at the Google font library, clear up some common font jargon, and introduce you to 10 of our favourite fonts, handpicked by our designers.
Google font library
Google Slides does not currently allow you to upload your own custom fonts. But the good news is that the most commonly used fonts in business are offered by both Microsoft and Google applications, so classics like Arial, Calibri, and Times New Roman will still be available to you while working in Google Slides. However, Google has some stylish alternatives that may appeal to you if you want to branch out and bring a touch of individuality to your work.
Despite the short list of standard fonts available in the Google Slides Font drop down, there are actually hundreds more fonts to choose from. Simply go to the Font drop down and click More fonts at the top.
This will open up a new panel with a large selection of different fonts: welcome to the Google font library!
To add a font to your default selection, just click the one you want, and it will highlight blue with a tick beside it. When you have highlighted all the fonts you want, click OK at the bottom of the panel.
Now, when you click the Font drop down again, you will see these new options. You can also use this technique to remove fonts that you know you will never use, by unticking them in the panel. You can also browse the complete Google font library here.
Some technical terms
You might encounter a bit of technical jargon when it comes to the particulars of different fonts. Here are some of the common terms that you should know:
Serif: A font where the letters have little flicks and tails at the edges that give it a traditional feel
Sans serif: A type of font that does not have these little flicks and tails, just using simple lines and curves
Humanist: A font whose design was originally based on human handwriting
X height: The dimensions of the letters in a font (i.e. their height and width)
Letter spacing: The width of the gaps in between individual letters
Our top ten Google Slides fonts
Lora is very similar to Times New Roman but has a more modern feel. It’s a serif font but brings a contemporary element to this otherwise fairly traditional style of lettering. The additional flourishes are rooted in calligraphy, giving a very elegant style, however it is subtle enough to maintain a strong element of simplicity and boldness.
This font is great when you are making a presentation which needs more of an artistic voice, where a geometric font would not do. It manages this while still keeping a clear and symmetrical feel, and so works well for the titles or main body text of a presentation.
Roboto – nicknamed the ‘Frankenfont’ due to its close similarity with other well-known types such as Helvetica and Myriad – has become one of the most popular fonts amongst designers, owing to its modern yet ‘friendly’ feel. While being bold enough to come across clearly, it still maintains a sleek and elegant feel to it throughout, with natural letter spacing to make the reading experience flow well.
You can use this versatile font in almost any presentation situation, whether you want your slides to look artistic and individual, or neat and professional.
Open Sans is a humanist sans serif font. This simple type was designed with an upright stress and an open appearance to create a straightforward, professional look, and an approachable and easily readable design. Its attractiveness earned it the position of the default font of WordPress, which, despite causing it to lose an element of distinctiveness, is a credit to its design, and brings with it an element of familiarity which audiences often respond well to.
This font was inspired by old-fashioned urban posters, billboards and street names from Buenos Aires. It captures the grandiose – yet fun – look of these carefully designed pieces from the old neighbourhood of Montserrat, using thick letters with wide spacing.
It is best used in all caps to bring out its poppy nature, but still looks good in lower case, working well for making short and punchy statements. This makes it ideal for being easily readable on a slide without distracting from visual elements in presentations. Montserrat is considered an alternative to Proxima Nova, another go-to design font in many industries.
Cabin has a classic look but includes a few subtle elements of modernism which keep it interesting. Like Open Sans, it is a humanist sans font, which incorporates its own unique touches, like a splashed M (‘splashed’ means having diagonal lines instead of straight ones) and shorter middle arms on F and E.
The simplicity and well-designed nature of this font make it ideal for complimenting other, more stylised fonts (like Montserrat or Ubuntu) that you may wish to incorporate onto your slides. You may notice that that thickness of the letters stands out compared to thinner fonts, like Montserrat. This works well for making statements with a heavier feel to them.
This font has a very unique and striking feel. It is sans serif with very minimalistic letters, but the curvy design makes it look modern and intriguing. The simplicity makes you feel like you could write each letter in a single stroke, while the sloping curves give it a more casual feel. This quirky appearance can be useful if you want your presentation to have a lighter tone.
The default letter spacing makes it one of the most legible fonts, allowing the reader to quickly and easily skim tricky looking words like ‘milliliter’ without tripping up over the letters. It is ideally suited to making text on slides instantly recognisable, so that your audience can quickly turn their focus to the visual elements of your presentation, instead of tripping over text labels.
Lato was designed to have a subtle and unobtrusive lower case but with the ability to make an eye-catching statement in upper case. The font is classically proportioned, with a sleek sans serif style, but the roundedness gives an open, friendly feel. It makes a distinctive statement with its thin curved letters and distinctive ‘g’.
Lato closely resembles another font called Avenir, considered to be a modern classic. However, while Avenir may be slightly overused, Lato offers a nice opportunity to branch out from the standard while maintaining a classic feel.
This font was created to be a minimalistic font for making clear statements in headings and titles. While also usable as a main text body font, this type comes into its own when used for bold, concise statements, because it is so plain and simple. The letter spacing of this font is slightly wider than most other fonts.
It might be tempting to try to capture attention through wacky and unique title fonts, but this can sacrifice the integrity of your presentation. Something simple and clear, like Muli, is a smarter choice!
Source Sans Pro
This sans serif font brings a modern element to an otherwise simple type. It hits the mark of looking professional while still maintaining a friendly and open feel and works excellently for both titles and body text.
There is little that makes it particularly distinctive, however this quality is sometimes understated when it comes to presentations in Google Slides. Sometimes you may need a font for body text that looks good, while not distracting from other key elements of the presentation. Source Sans Pro does well here, subtly getting its message across, while standing up well to close inspection.
This font was designed to work well for main body text. Its large x-height and wide counter spacing make for a very easy on-screen reading experience, especially when it comes to larger bodies of text. While the letters themselves are fairly large, the spacing in between them makes text look less intimidating and facilitates easy reading.
While we would not recommend filling up your slides with large blocks of text and distracting from visual elements, this font works well for those situations when you really have to have lots of text on screen.
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First of all the deck looks great, once again you guys have done an outstanding job. Second, I’d like to comment on the quality of the training provided by your colleagues - quite simply it was exceptional. I have spoken to the whole team and that view is unanimous. Please pass this on.