Serif vs. Sans:
Which Font Style to Use?

Every time a designer generates a document, he/she strives to create something that's attractive and eye-catching. One quandry is selecting the right fonts, and this is Quinter Design's favorite part of the project. Writing a report, ebook, proposal, newletter or brochure involves choosing fonts and deciding which style to use, serif or sans serif.


What's the difference? A serif typeface has small lines at the ends of its characters, as shown in the top illustration. Serif typefaces are said to have originated when Roman stonecarvers signed their lettering with distinctive feet at the bottom of the characters. Typical serif fonts are Times New Roman, Courier, Georgia, Palatino and  Garamond.  

 Juggling ActA sans serif typeface doesn't have the small lines, as shown in the lower illustration. Typical sans serif fonts are
, Arial, Verdana, Tahoma
and Trebuchet.


The traditional rule for printed materials is to set headlines in sans serif type and text in serif type. Serif fonts are the mainstay for the body of a document. Those little feet are designed to pull the eye from one character to the next, making the text easier to read. Sans serif fonts are recommended to emphasize headlines, subheads and category headings, especially when bold versions are used.


Reading text on a computer screen or tablet has overturned the traditional rules. Because a light source illuminates the wording, reading text on a screen is entirely different from reading text on paper. Sans serif fonts are preferred for the body of text, as simpler typefaces without the little lines are more easily read on screen. When used at a small size, serif fonts seem blurry and more difficult to read. That's why most websites use sans serif fonts for all text, regardless of length.

Juggling ActAnother concern when determining fonts is the balance between serif and sans serif typefaces. A few combinations that compliment each other are shown here. What comprises a good pair? Consider the characteristics of each font: a wide or narrow carriage; the height/depth of the letters that extend above/below the baseline; square or round dots above the "i" and "j"; and the sharpness of the angle of crossbars on "t" and "f". A recent trend in typography is introduction of fonts that include both serif and sans serif styles to assure maximum compatibility, as seen in the last two examples.


Deciding about fonts often returns to the purpose of the document and how the information is conveyed. It's a challenge! If you're uncomfortable making this decision, contact us. Playing with fonts is an aspect of design that Quinter Design absolutely loves. 


Buzz Alert

Attention! Accountants, landscapers, foodies, moving companies, Miss Manners and fun-lovers. The next few weeks include several observances that you can link to your services and products.

April 18: Natl. Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day (after staying up late to finish your taxes)

April 21: High Five Day, Kindergarten Day

April 22-27: Administrative Professionals Week

April 23: Shakespeare's Birthday

April 26: Hug an Australian Day

April 27: Natl. Arbor Day

April 28: Natl. Go Birding Day

May: Natl. Mental Health Month, Natl. Smile Month, Natl. Moving Month, Internatl. Business Image Improvement Month, Natl. Barbeque Month, Natl. Hamburger Month, Natl. Egg Month, Natl. Salad Month, Natl. Salsa Month, Natl. Sweet Vidalia Onion Month and Natl. Vinegar Month (picnic anyone?) 

May 1: Executive Coaching Day, Natl. Dance Day

May 3: Garden Meditation Day

May 4: Star Wars Day ("May the fourth be with you.")

May 5: Cartoonists' Day

May 6: No Homework Day

May 7-13: Children's Mental Health Awareness Week

May 8: Natl. Teachers Day

May 9: Natl. Nightshift Workers Day

May 11: Eat What You Want Day

May 12: Limerick Day, Natl. Train Day, Mother
Ocean Day

May 14-20: Natl. Etiquette Week  

Bundles of [Promotional] Joy

Quinter Design's new Bundles of [Promotional] Joy continue to generate lots of attention from our clients and colleagues. We've combined our three core services and products into packages designed to enhance your self-promotion. Prices of the bundles represent significant discounts when compared to the costs of the individual components.


 The Biz Boost Bundle is designed to jump start your business with custom-designed stationery, cards, poster and enewsletter template, plus creation and online circulation of a news release.


The Strut Your Stuff Bundle is crafted to ensure memorable event participation with a retractable banner stand and custom-designed banner, table drape, enewsletter template, postcards for advance mailing and rack cards for handout, plus creation and online circulation of a news release.


The Show Stopper Bundle is created to make your company unforgettable with a deluxe tabletop display unit with custom-designed panels, table drape, enewsletter template, postcards for advance mailing and rack cards for handout, plus creation and online circulation of a news release.


All packages include marketing consultation with Quinter Design. Contact us to learn more about how a bundle from Quinter Design can help to grow your business.  

Please Help Us Support Mental Health Walks

Robyn and John are putting on their sneakers to participate in the 2012 NAMI Walks to benefit MCF, the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children's Mental Health, and the National Assn. on Mental Illness. As many of you know, children's mental health is a cause close to our hearts, and Robyn serves as President of the MCF Board of Directors. She's also captain of Super Team MCF.  

Please support our quest to shine light on children's mental health issues. Here are two ways to join Super Team MCF:

1)  lace up your sneakers and walk with us at the Silver Spring event on Sunday, May 6 or the Baltimore event on Saturday, May 19  or 

2)  kick back, put up your feet and think kindly of us walking as you make an online donation. Contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated.


We hope our colleagues, friends, family members and companies will help us raise awareness and funds for children's mental health programs. The easiest, quickest and most secure method to contribute is online.

1)  Go to  

2)  In the upper right under "Support A Walker" are two boxes for first and last names

3)  Type in "Robyn Quinter" or "John Quinter" and hit "Find"

4)  Click on Robyn's name in the blue box

5)  Complete the requested information and check out with your credit card


As an incentive and a thank-you to any of our clients who donates or walks, Quinter Design offers a 20% discount on your next project.  


Juggling Act

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week is May 7-13, and Quinter Design is pleased to help the Maryland Coalition of Families for Children's Mental Health with plans and materials for the observance. If you're interested in more information or in obtaining a free awareness kit or teacher's resource packet, visit



Clients of the Week

Recent shout-outs went to several Quinter Design clients on our company Facebook page: Salute Military Golf Assn.; Business and Government Solutions LLC; and Old Line Fine Wine, Spirits and Bistro. 


"Like" Quinter Design's company page on Facebook to see who's our next Client of the Week and to keep tabs on our latest news and sparkling commentary.    


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Cheers and Congratulations our colleague Yihung Mohs, owner of Dream Dinners, Silver Spring, on the shop's 10th anniversary. our great niece Jessica Quinter who, with her teamates from Hammond High School in Columbia, MD, took first place in the Maryland Economics Challenge. They're now headed to the National Championships. Nice to see that brilliance runs in the family!   

Yay, Baseball!

Juggling Act

Baseball season has finally (and thankfully) returned, bringing with it the roller coaster of emotions associated with being Washington Nationals fans. As we write this, we're enjoying the view from first place in the NL East, a perch we'd certainly like to keep.

At Quinter Design, we've worked for 19+ years to earn the trust and respect of our clients and colleagues, and retaining that position is our intention. We are fully committed to fulfilling your needs and exceeding your expectations with creative and innovative design services, spot-on publicity efforts and compelling  trade show displays and large format printing.

We thank you for the opportunity to be of service to you and for your ongoing support and patronage.  
Your feedback to our e-newsletter,     On Target, is appreciated, and your questions and comments are always welcomed. What would you like to learn more about? Please let us know. Our next edition will be circulated in mid-May. We look forward to seeing you in the weeks ahead. 

John & Robyn Quinter

Quinter Design 

(301) 924-4654