Tools and Resources

Best Fonts for Captions in Videos

Closed captions are a vital part of visual production. These are words that appear at the bottom of the screen as you watch a video. Captions represent the spoken words and sound in a video as they appear in the scene. They allow viewers to understand a video without hearing it. 

By adding captions to your videos, you make your work accessible to people with auditory or learning disabilities and those who speak a different language. If you want superior quality in your production, you should choose a closed caption font that makes the text easy to read.

In this article, we will discuss the best fonts for closed captions. When choosing the best font for your captions, consider the ones:

  • Leading broadcasters use
  • With optimal height, size and spacing
  • People find visually appealing

Closed Captions vs. Open Captions vs. Subtitles vs. Dubs

While each of these options increases the accessibility of your video, there are a few key differences:

  • Closed Captions: Include spoken words, background noises, and speaker differentiation. Viewers can choose to turn off the captioning.
  • Open Captions: The written text is embedded in the video, so the viewer cannot turn it off.
  • Subtitles: Subtitles assume viewers can hear the background noises, and only include the spoken words. These are typically used to translate between languages.
  • Dubs: Dubs replace the original audio with a translation of the script.

Ideally, you would provide multiple options to keep your video accessible. You can hire a dubbing artist for those who do not like reading as they watch, while also providing closed captions or subtitles for those with hearing trouble or who prefer the original voice acting.

Best Fonts for Video Captions

Here are some closed caption fonts that you can use in your video.

Arial

Arial is a sans serif font developed in 1982. This versatile font is neutral, readable, simple, and effective. When choosing a caption font, you want to keep the focus on the scene. Since Arial is the default font on many word processors, people are used to seeing it.

Helvetica

Helvetica is one of the most popular font families today. Designed in 1957, this font is extremely versatile. Helvetica Neue and Helvetica Now are modern and readable versions of this font that are legible in all sizes. One of the main Instagram caption fonts is Helvetica Neue for body text on iOS.

Verdana

Verdana is a sans serif font designed in 1996 for computer screens. This modern font is legible at all sizes due to its large vertical space between the tops of lower-case characters and baseline letters. Since this font has a tight construction, it will not clutter the screen.

Roboto

Roboto has a mechanical structure with smooth curves and geometric forms. The characters are wide, which makes them appear equally readable on all screens. This font was released in 2011 for the Android interface, so it appears legible on computers, mobile screens, and televisions. Roboto is an Instagram caption font for large text on Android.

Archivo

Archivo is a high-performance font that supports over 200 languages. This grotesque sans serif font resembles late 19th century typefaces, so it feels familiar yet professional. You will often find it in headlines, but you can use Archivo for closed captions.

Futura

Futura is a paid geometric sans serif font released in 1927. Based on a circle, this font represents futurism and efficiency. The lowercase characters have tall ascenders above the cap line, which somewhat resembles handwriting. The uppercase characters resemble Roman capitals. This retro font is simple yet artistic, making it suitable for closed captions.

Tahoma

Tahoma is a sans serif font released in 1994. It has a narrow body and small spaces between characters. This popular font stands out just enough to make it readable for captions.

Lato

This 2010 sans serif font began as a design for corporations. Lato has classical proportions with a sleek feel, which contributes to its harmonious appearance. It has semi-rounded and strong lettering, keeping it serious yet not overly sharp.

Open Sans

Open Sans is a humanist sans serif font with 867 character sets. It has open forms and upright stress that lead to a neutral appearance. This font is optimized for print in addition to online and mobile publishing, making it suitable for transcriptions and captions.

Lucinda Grande

Lucinda Grande is the default font for Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2019. It is a sans serif typeface that reads as legible and clear. Even though it is a default font, it has a distinct enough appearance compared to many other sans serif ones.

Times

Times font is a more simplistic variation of Time New Roman. This sturdy font suits newspaper printing, and it is highly readable and versatile. Since it is so popular, people will not be overly distracted by it. Furthermore, it stands out more than the other fonts on this list.

Best Closed Caption Font Size

The ideal closed caption font size depends on the platform where you publish your video and the aspect ratio.

TikTok

  • 9:16: 20px – 32px
  • 1:1: 20px – 32px

Facebook

  • 1.91:1: 10px – 16px
  • 16:9: 12px – 20px
  • 4:5: 16px – 24px
  • 9:16 (Facebook stories): 20px – 32px

Twitter

  • 1:1: 10px – 20px
  • 4:5: 16px – 24px

Instagram

  • Feed: 16px – 24px
  • IGTV: 20px – 32px
  • Stories: 20px – 32px

YouTube

  • 4:3: 8px – 16px
  • 16:9: 12px – 24px
  • 1:1: 16px – 20px
  • 9:16: 20px – 32px

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for the best fonts for captions in videos, the above options are a great place to start. For something simple and widely available, you could always start with Arial and experiment from there. Keep some of these tips in mind for readable captions:

  • Align the text in the center
  • Choose a contrasting color like yellow or white with a black outline
  • Make the font size big enough to read comfortably and small enough to not detract from the scene
  • You may need to add a background color to your captions to keep them readable in specific scenes

Now that you know all about the best fonts, you can get started with closed captions today!
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