I have a game where players talk with characters with dialogue boxes. I would like each character to have their own font to add personality to the characters and dialogue. Will this create a legibility issue I'm not aware of? Do users have to reorient their reading each time they encounter a new font, or will this be fine as long as the fonts themselves are legible. Are there any other considerations for attempting something like this? Thanks in advance.

  • If you are only focusing on legibility as an issue, I would suggest that this is more of a typographical question rather than a user experience one. But the obvious consideration is the number of characters and therefore assets that you have to create, maintain and then update. I think if you can come up with a consistent visual style for the unique font then the users won't find it too hard to deal with (or will get used to it during the game).
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


I don't think it's a legibility issue but a visual perception problem.

In general, people do not immediately perceive minor formal changes when the content has a bigger perceptual weight.

Making a price catalog for a company, with total freedom in design, from one year to the next I made a general typography change. There are about 250 pages of articles with names, text, description, references and prices. The screenshot below is the before and after comparison:

enter image description here

No one in the entire company noticed the change!

This case is a static object, a printed book with articles and prices. In the case of a game the situation is worse.

If the goal in the graphic development of the game is to achieve a greater emphasis on the personality of each character and the typographic change in the dialog box is the possibility, there are several factors to analyze:

  • Dialogue frame size

    In small reading areas the change is hardly noticeable
  • Duration time

    How long each dialog text stays on screen, the shorter the time, the less chance to see the difference
  • Quantity of characters

    For just ten characters, a group of visually well differentiated fonts can be created. If they exceed this number it is much more complicated.
  • Dialogue extension

    In cases of lengthy dialogue in one character, a sudden font change when moving to another character will be perceived more as an error than as a character change.
  • Font Formal differences

    What's the type of formal difference between the chosen fonts? The typographic visual variables are six: family, weight, inclination, size, proportion and color. In the question only a family change is mentioned, but in comics other variables are used to define emphasis in the dialogue, for example the variable of weight (bold) and inclination is used for words of greater interest:

enter image description here

  • What to highlight

    Object or content? The most important data to highlight is the personality of the character or the dialogue content?
  • Where to highlight

    In my opinion, the most important point to consider: the change must definitely be in the font family or are there other possible elements to highlight as text color, underline, container frame, addition of icons, etc.?

I think the use of different typefaces within a game's dialog is so visually subtle that it does not compensate for the effort in exchange for the result obtained.

I recommend this link where is described in detail the grammar in comics to get ideas.

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