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How should I perceive large font use in email?

A site visitor inquires:

Does the font size matter in an email? What I mean is if your font is large does it also mean that the person is yelling or screaming at you? I have a coworker who does this and am not sure how to take it…

We have to look at how the larger font is being used. Is it the entire email or just certain words/terms?

Unless you know that the sender or recipient is visually impaired and requires the larger font size so they can see better, anything larger than the standard default font size can be perceived as adding emphasis. Otherwise why would one make the font larger?

In professional business communications there is no room for formatting. Remember my golden rule?

If you wouldn’t do it on business letterhead — don’t do it in e-amil!

Visually Impaired Emailers

I do know folks who make the fonts in their emails larger because it makes emailing easier for them. If that’s the case, the courteous thing to do is after typing your message reduce the font back to default before clicking Send. That is unless the person on the other side likes larger fonts as well!

If that’s the case you can both agree to increase font size. Personally speaking it seems the older I get, the smaller fonts get!

This is all about perception and trying to determine one’s intent and tone, right? We look at every character, dash, dot and choice made to try and determine what the other side means.

Since it takes a manual setting change to increase font size (and can make your email spammy and cause it to be misidentified as spam and possibly blocked) — folks will wonder what the reason is for the larger font. And if certain words or phrases ares much larger, yes, one can assume the sender meant to “raise their voice” — or at the very least add strong emphasis.

If you are unsure; ask before assuming.

As I always recommend, it is better to rely on the words you use for intent and tone — not formatting — and you’ll never be misunderstood!

Go ahead and share!