What is the smallest
Font size I should use?
The key here is to have your logo, business cards, packaging & more to turn out crisp and legible. What's the point of an imprinted item if you can't read what it says, right? This is why we recommend 0.6mm +. If you are only able to go by the font size in pt – use 6pt + and do not use thin/lightweight font styles or go to Artwork Guidelines page to learn more.
A font is a collection of characters cases and numbers, accents and symbols all produced to a common design. Any versions of the same design, like bold, regular or italic are called the ‘type family’.
Changing the font can alter the look and feel of a block of text. Some fonts are designed to be simple and easy to read, while others are designed to add a unique style to the text. For example, Arial has a simple, modern look, while Palatino has an older more traditional appearance.
The fonts you use on your artwork have two main jobs, to attract attention and to be easy to read. Learn more on How to choose the best font for your Business Cards.
We recommend an absolute minimum thickness of
0.25pt for Offset Printing
0.5pt for Digital Printing (our main process).
The challenge with printing and graphic design for print is understanding the balance between form, function and the process that is producing it.
In our experience majority of people designing printed products are using 23inch plus screens and say an 6pt Open Sans Light font with a stroke width of approximately .112mm or 0.3pt will look good, however from screen to print does not always occur and this is why it is very important to understand some basics of good design for print.
As more people DIY their artwork and also engage Graphic Designers who are not familiar with the idiosyncrasies of printing we are finding that they're not aware of how colour is produced in CMYK process in that it is basically made up of very small dots which you can learn more about here. While our team will try to pick up on possible challenges if you were to say use a solid back ground when combined with a very "light" and small font it is more often than not going to be difficult to reproduce in print what you may see on your screen and difficult to read in the physical printed format.
To keep it simple, the font size helps determine how much space is taken up by the entire text on the layout while the line thickness is merely a component of the font size, making up the thickness or width of each individual line from the letter or artwork element.
Line thickness is also one of the most vital components when weighing possibilities for certain finishes such as foiling, and font size is crucial to the finished look of an artwork and whether or not the text would be legible once put into physical print.
It’s important that the line thickness and font size compliment each other - you wouldn't want to have a huge size font with lines as thin as a strand of hair.
Form and function are extremely important to take into account for your end user, please keep in mind what may look wonderful within your design on your screen, may not function as will in print and for your customer and they may find it difficult to read. Not everyone has the eyes of Superman or carries around a magnifying gloss like Sherlock Homes!
As smart as our printing technology is today, there are still minimal imperfections that are just unavoidable when it comes to print. Shifting is simply a part of the printing industry when it comes to digital and offset processes.
As paper moves through our printers, the sheets are subject to move slightly or "Shift" from left to right which causes prints and graphics to come out printed on a slightly different spot every time on each sheet. Learn more What does shifting mean?
Line Thickness vs. Font Size
As all fonts are different, it’s important to look over fonts that have thinner lines to ensure the minimum line thickness is being met. One method of doing this is using your design software to make a straight line with a .25pt stroke thickness. Compare this to the thinnest areas of your font and resize your font if needed.
The whole point of printed marketing is to make sure that your message and branding is sent out loud and clear, you wouldn’t want to have to squint your eyes shut just to get a glimpse of what that seasonal promo is offering.
Considering this, for any kind of artwork there should be sufficient contrast between the text or image and the background, enough space between the letters and words to be readable, all while not sacrificing the aesthetic of the entire look.
In short, all the components of your artwork must compliment each other to assure that the reader or user will have an easy and pleasant time reading through your information.
Refers to the actual size of the entire print or artwork once produced into physical reality, this is the term we use to identify how big you need your print to be as a finished product.
This is important because when submitting artwork, it has to be fitted as the exact print size you require so that when it is pushed into production it will reflect the correct size.
This is another reason why it is standard protocol for our prepress team to send through artwork proofs with the indicated print size to assure that your prints are produced accurately.