Do certain fonts convey truth more than others? Is Comic Sans less credible than Palantino?
Errol Morris over at The New York Times set up an interesting experiment to address that question. First, he asked readers to evaluate the truthiness of the following excerpt, and to tell how confident they were with the accuracy of their assessment. The quiz was sold as a way of testing how pessimistic or optimistic the quizee was.
If a one kilometer asteroid had approached the Earth on a collision course at any time in human history before the early twenty-first century, it would have killed at least a substantial proportion of all humans. In that respect, as in many others, we live in an era of unprecedented safety: the twenty-first century is the first ever moment when we have known how to defend ourselves from such impacts, which occur once every 250,000 years or so.
Here’s the catch: the excerpt was displayed to randomly selected users in either Georgia, Comic Sans, Baskerville, Trebuchet, Computer Modern, or Helvetica.
Read the article to find out which typeface to use the next time you refresh your résumé!