Should you be consistent with respect to font?

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CardozoLaw09
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Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby CardozoLaw09 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:30 pm

If you have multiple documents ie) PS, Optional essay, etc. should you be consistent with respect to the font/font size/formatting? Or is it okay to use different fonts for different parts of the application?

Ti Malice
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:03 pm

As long as you're sticking to the traditional "professional" fonts, you can use more than one and you can vary the size, provided the instructions don't say otherwise. Some people use Garamond to squeeze a few more words into the PS, for example, and then use TNR for the other documents.

Remember that your entire app will generally get five to seven minutes of review time per reader. Adcomms don't have time to worry about this sort of thing.

PRgradBYU
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby PRgradBYU » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:58 pm

CardozoLaw09 wrote:If you have multiple documents ie) PS, Optional essay, etc. should you be consistent with respect to the font/font size/formatting? Or is it okay to use different fonts for different parts of the application?


I.e., is it OK to alternate between Comic Sans and Curlz MT? Absolutely.

SPerez
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby SPerez » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:06 pm

As someone who reads these things, just use the same font throughout. You don't want an AdCom distracted by the font change when you want them to be concentrating on your content.

Also, I assume you can see what your submissions will look like to us. Good idea to double check that. Every year we get a handful of apps where (I think) something in the conversion to PDF messes up the fonts (squishes, garbles, shrinks) making them almost impossible to read. My theory has been that they used uncommon or non-standard fonts that the conversion process didn't recognize, but I've never looked into it.

Dean Perez

PS I once got an LOR from a professor written in comic sans. Very tempted to send the recommender a ding letter.

bp shinners
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:39 pm

SPerez wrote:As someone who reads these things, just use the same font throughout. You don't want an AdCom distracted by the font change when you want them to be concentrating on your content.


Listen to the man!

Ti Malice
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:10 am

Well, an admissions dean can't be ignored, but I assure you that writing your PS in Garamond to squeeze in more words, for instance, and then including your résumé in TNR will have no negative effect on your chances anywhere -- and probably will not even be detected in the first place.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:20 am

Comic sans is good if you want to fit in, but if you want to really stand out, try Papyrus.

Classy.

bp shinners
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:10 am

Ti Malice wrote:Well, an admissions dean can't be ignored, but I assure you that writing your PS in Garamond to squeeze in more words, for instance, and then including your résumé in TNR will have no negative effect on your chances anywhere -- and probably will not even be detected in the first place.


As someone who reads a ton of admissions materials every year, I can assure you that's not the case. It's really easy to pick up on different fonts, sizes, and margins after you've looked at a couple hundred of these things. It's annoying when someone deviates.

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guano
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby guano » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:25 am

Just use wingdings

Ti Malice
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:52 am

bp shinners wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:Well, an admissions dean can't be ignored, but I assure you that writing your PS in Garamond to squeeze in more words, for instance, and then including your résumé in TNR will have no negative effect on your chances anywhere -- and probably will not even be detected in the first place.


As someone who reads a ton of admissions materials every year, I can assure you that's not the case. It's really easy to pick up on different fonts, sizes, and margins after you've looked at a couple hundred of these things. It's annoying when someone deviates.


Right. But even if you're reading a lot of admissions materials as an admissions counselor, you're also not shuffling through their LORs and additional paperwork and reading this stuff for eight to ten hours per day for months on end. I'm sure you're busy with admissions counseling work, but I know from first-hand experience that admissions counselors at test prep companies are not as busy or overwhelmed as actual adcomms. More importantly (and somewhat sadly), you're also putting a lot more thought and care into reading application materials than almost any adcomm, both because you're being paid to drill down into a single applicant's materials and help them improve as much as you can, and because adcomms and admissions offices simply do not have the time and resources to process thousands of applications every cycle with such a fine-toothed comb.

Regardless, even granting that a font shift is always detected (and I still don't think your experience or mine maps neatly onto that of the average beleaguered adcomm), it's not going to make one scintilla of a difference for someone's chances as long as they aren't neglecting stated directions and abusing the process (and as long as they're using the traditional, conservative fonts). Just about every PS ever written can be improved via reduction, but I've seen PSs that were reduced from four or five pages to two, where every sentence ultimately did valuable work and fit superbly into a cohesive narrative, but where that PS was not going to be two pages in 11- or 12-point TNR. In such a case, however uncommon, there's much more to lose by cutting valuable material than by submitting the PS in 11- or 12-point Garamond, or one of the other recognized "professional" fonts that provides greater space efficiency. If a font shift can be avoided by further beneficial editing, great. But that's just saying that it's good to make your application materials better if you can, which is the most obvious statement of all time. Against any other valid countervailing consideration, however, a font shift is really a non-concern.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:29 am

So are people saying not to use different fonts for say, section headers in a resume?

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guano
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby guano » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:56 am

CyanIdes Of March wrote:So are people saying not to use different fonts for say, section headers in a resume?

The better question is, why would you?

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:22 pm

guano wrote:
CyanIdes Of March wrote:So are people saying not to use different fonts for say, section headers in a resume?

The better question is, why would you?


At first it just seemed like the thing to do, but I guess you're right, it looks a lot better now that I've unformatted it some. I think I went a little heavy on the underlining/bolding/text having been working on it for so long now. Thanks.

bp shinners
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Re: Should you be consistent with respect to font?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:57 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:Well, an admissions dean can't be ignored, but I assure you that writing your PS in Garamond to squeeze in more words, for instance, and then including your résumé in TNR will have no negative effect on your chances anywhere -- and probably will not even be detected in the first place.


As someone who reads a ton of admissions materials every year, I can assure you that's not the case. It's really easy to pick up on different fonts, sizes, and margins after you've looked at a couple hundred of these things. It's annoying when someone deviates.


Right. But even if you're reading a lot of admissions materials as an admissions counselor, you're also not shuffling through their LORs and additional paperwork and reading this stuff for eight to ten hours per day for months on end. I'm sure you're busy with admissions counseling work, but I know from first-hand experience that admissions counselors at test prep companies are not as busy or overwhelmed as actual adcomms. More importantly (and somewhat sadly), you're also putting a lot more thought and care into reading application materials than almost any adcomm, both because you're being paid to drill down into a single applicant's materials and help them improve as much as you can, and because adcomms and admissions offices simply do not have the time and resources to process thousands of applications every cycle with such a fine-toothed comb.

Regardless, even granting that a font shift is always detected (and I still don't think your experience or mine maps neatly onto that of the average beleaguered adcomm), it's not going to make one scintilla of a difference for someone's chances as long as they aren't neglecting stated directions and abusing the process (and as long as they're using the traditional, conservative fonts). Just about every PS ever written can be improved via reduction, but I've seen PSs that were reduced from four or five pages to two, where every sentence ultimately did valuable work and fit superbly into a cohesive narrative, but where that PS was not going to be two pages in 11- or 12-point TNR. In such a case, however uncommon, there's much more to lose by cutting valuable material than by submitting the PS in 11- or 12-point Garamond, or one of the other recognized "professional" fonts that provides greater space efficiency. If a font shift can be avoided by further beneficial editing, great. But that's just saying that it's good to make your application materials better if you can, which is the most obvious statement of all time. Against any other valid countervailing consideration, however, a font shift is really a non-concern.


Agreed.

Although I try to give generic advice when posting to these boards, unless I'm responding to a specific situation, and the generic advice in 99.9% of situations is cut another couple of lines instead of going to Garamond.




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