35 great fonts that you can use to simplify the display of lyrics during worship. Make it easier and simpler for your congregation to enjoy worship, remove the distractions, keep it simple.
Churches have a LOT to answer for when it comes to design – I tell you, some of the notices, Powerpoint and other media I’ve been given to show …. and lets not get started on some of the sermons I’ve seen projected.
Comic Sans, Times Roman (or Times New Roman), Zapfino and other flowy scripty are the usual culprits. It’s sad, when there are actually a heap of really great fonts out there.
So why can’t I use these fonts?
When you are projecting song lyrics & sermon notes, clarity should reign over any theme, font, colour or layout. If it’s not clear it’s not going to work. I’ve heard it many times “this font looks biblical” so I used it. Zapfino is one of the least biblical fonts I can think off and is very hard to read from a distance. (Side note: in Caps it’s okay but I still wouldn’t use it)
People singing songs (esp worship songs) are in a very personal place with God, chances are the song is one they are familiar with & the lyrics on the screen are there as cues – they should be able to glance at the screen, get their cue and carry on praising God. Likewise with sermons, the words should be big, clear and easy to read.
Remember the oldies
Remember while you are probably a young person (esp if you are driving the computer) a lot of your churches audience was probably born before computers were invented. At Pakuranga Baptist Church we just switched out our projector & computer (we got an iMac! Yes!) – meaning we now have more visuals behind our lyrics, and we overhauled the fonts we use. The number of older folks who’ve come up and said “thank you, we can now read the lyrics” outnumbers those who’ve said “yeah we have moving backgrounds”
Trends around themes, colours, moving backgrounds etc come and go – there is never any excuse for using bad fonts that stop people reading what’s on the screen.
So here are 35 free fonts you can use to help your congregation enjoy the song lyrics & sermons better (we’ll do a full sermon set at some stage – these fonts below refer more to titles & small/short blocks of text)
35 fonts for projection
Lets start with some simple (& probably already installed on your computer) fonts that you can’t really go wrong with. (Technically these are NOT free, the fonts that come with your computer are generally licensed, but they are installed already so you’ve already paid for them)
Carries more weight than Arial and can be seen clearly at greater distances
A lovely elegant font with good readability over gerat distance when used in bold
Helvetica and Helvetica Neue are solid fonts for projection – although I’m not sure they are on all Windows platforms
Good clean font for clear reading at great distances
A softer more sculpted font that carries well at distance
Good ol’ reliable Verdana
Lets download some new fonts
If you want some new flavours in your church font directory try some of these (to download simply click the font image & you’ll be taken to the page you can download them from)
Note: fonts with a * after the name are part of a paid commercial font family. If you want the whole font family you’ll need to pay, however I’m only talking about the free weight in this article, you might need to register to download, but you don’t have to pay.
Boris Black Boxx
Museo 500 *
Alte Haas Grotesk
Sorts Mill Goudy
Bitstream Vera Serif
Old Sans Black
Gnuolane Regular *
Expressway Regular *
Ayita Pro *
Note: the beautiful Ayita font face is a paid set, however as of writing this post it’s heavily discounted with Thin Italic & SemiBold weights being free. Which is perfect because the Semi Bold Ayita Pro font is elegant and perfect for projection
If you want a more relaxed font (maybe for a youth service or family service) Matiz is a creative font that has enough weight to hold clarity and throw over distance. Just watch it when you drop the font size as the letters can ‘bleed’