Baskerville has been decreed the most persuasive font after an experiment by Errol Morris and the New York Times. Happily, a very similar font is available to all Microsoft Office for Windows users.
In an interview in Fast Company, Errol Morris talks about the experiment where people were asked to rate the same text, but in different fonts.
The results were surprising.
The sample size was 45,000 people so it’s a decent size group. Doubtless, there’ll be many more studies into this effect. The advertising industry probably know all about this.
They compared Baskerville, Computer Modern, Georgia, Helvetica, Comic Sans and Trebuchet.
The original NYT article includes a statistical analysis which concludes that the difference is small, but that even a small improvement can make a lot of difference to online marketers.
Microsoft Office 2000 onwards have Baskerville Old Face which is what we’ve used for the example text above.