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I'm using the standard serif fonts in KOMA script for typesetting my thesis, 11pt for normal text. What font and font size would be recommended for use in graphs, diagrams and flow charts?

The same font as the normal text or a sans serif font for better "contrast"?

What about font size in graphics?

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This is more a question of typography than anything particularly related to TeX... – Seamus Apr 5 '11 at 10:25
Maybe this answer is helpful. – lockstep Apr 5 '11 at 10:51
Regarding font size: most diagrams are scaled and this makes it difficult to use the same font size across all diagrams. I'd consider a consistent font size a mark of quality. – Christian Lindig May 14 '11 at 15:33
@Christian Lindig: That's exactly why I try to create my diagrams in "real" size to not have to scale them later. I'm using IPE (ipe7.sourceforge.net), so I can use LaTeX code directly in the graphs and I try not to scale them with includegraphics. – MostlyHarmless May 14 '11 at 19:13
The question and the accepted answer are not specific to TeX, and depend on the style guide that it used. But there are some TeX-specific ways to maintain consistency: (1) use TeX packages to produce the diagrams, (2) use LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX with a TrueType font since this will be easier to use in other applications that create the images, (3) create the images as PDFs with the page size equal to the image size and import using graphicx, (4) import whole-page PDFs with pdfpages. – Andrew Cashner Aug 1 '14 at 11:35
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I found recommendations of Springer publishing for preparing graphics for their books, which are quite interesting and helpful:


They say:

Figure Lettering

  • To add lettering, it is best to use Helvetica or Arial (sans serif fonts).
  • Keep lettering consistently sized throughout your final-sized artwork, usually about 2–3 mm (8–12 pt).
  • Variance of type size within an illustration should be minimal, e.g., do not use 8-pt type on an axis and 20-pt type for the axis label.
  • Avoid effects such as shading, outline letters, etc.
  • Do not include titles or captions within your illustrations.

For the moment I've decided to use the Sans Serif fonts with the \sffamily command for my graphics.

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