No matter how big or small, a font has the power to make or break a design. But once you pick the perfect font comes another question. How big should it be? Too small and people can barely read it, but too big and you’re wasting space. How do you know what size to pick? This is an important question especially when it comes to smaller printed products like brochures and business cards. When there is only so much room to work with, font size can play a key role in how much information can be on the product and how the product is designed.
A general rule for business cards is to stick to 10 or 11 point size. Smaller fonts can be used because the majority of your interactions are face to face, and you are handing the card to a potential client. They will more than likely be reading the card while holding it at a relatively close distance. However, if you are posting your business card on community boards, 10 point size is not nearly big enough if you want your card to be seen and read from 5 to 10 feet away. In that case, a larger font will be needed.
The same rules for business cards apply also with brochures. If you are handing it directly to your potential client, font size can be smaller. If you are placing them where they can be picked up, it is best to keep it larger. However, this rule only applies to the front and back cover of the brochure. For the inside, it is best to stick with a 12 point size to allow for more copy, and a larger font for points of emphasis.
As a general rule, you should select your font size depending on how much space you have to fill and the number of words you want to fill the space with.
- Font size should vary depending on the importance of your message. That being said, it is important to be consistent. If your body text is at 12 point size, then stick to it.
- Bigger fonts should be used to create emphasis. They work great for headers and cover pages.
- When in doubt, as a friend to see if it is legible or not. If you are placing your brochure or card somewhere, you can also print a copy and bring it to where you want to place it. There you can see if you can read it from a distance.