Good Font Choices for Subtitles

Written by mark schoeck
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Good Font Choices for Subtitles
Because white fonts are easiest to read, using a stroke and shadow is imperative especially when placing subtitles on white images. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Of the few rules instated for choosing subtitle fonts, one emerges above the rest: stay simple. A few fonts have become popular to use as subtitles for their simplicity, and it's best to stick to those fonts. But after you've chosen your font, perfecting the details of that font will help you to have an ideal-looking text on screen.

Sans Serif Fonts

Of the best fonts to use for subtitles, all of them are sans serif. A serif is a small line at the end of a character, and sans means "without," so you want fonts that are simple with no protrusions.

Most Popular Subtitle Fonts

Three of the most popular fonts for subtitles are Unvers 45, Antique Olive and Tiresias. All three fonts are thin, sans serif fonts and should be used in their standard form -- that is, without bold or italics.

Font Color

The colour of your font should almost always be white. Colours like yellow and red will be highly visible, but bright colours like these tend to bleed and distract from the other material on screen. White is the simplest font colour.

Stroke and Shadow

Because your font should be white, whenever your subtitles are placed over a white or bright surface, it won't be as visible as possible. Use a stroke -- a thin, black outline -- around your text to separate it from the background. Adding a faint drop shadow will also help to create some distance between the subtitles and the background.

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