Tips and Tricks

Best font size for reading

I currently have the text set at font size 12, but it sure is small on the screen.  Can someone tell me whether font size 12 is will be a reasonable size of text once I have my book printed?

I can’t print because I’m using a friend’s computer that is not connected to my network, so I can only see things on the screen (and not a very big one).

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Posted by
rutled
Dec 6, 2009 4:24pm PDT
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rutled
 

12 point is very readable.  you don’t want to go higher than that, not for normally sighted readers.

Posted by
ventdevie
Dec 6, 2009 10:06pm PDT
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ventdevie
 

I agree.  And yes, the font does seem to look small on the computer screen.  But it is much more readable in printed form.

 

Posted by
friend1979
Dec 7, 2009 10:13am PDT
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friend1979
 

The best font size for reading is directly proportional to the age of the reader :)

Posted by
Charybdis
Dec 7, 2009 12:43pm PDT
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Charybdis
 

Well, it depends also on the kind of typeface and how you’re using it. For example, if you’re using serif fonts (like arial, futura etc) those tend to need to be a little bigger and have a decent amount of space between the lines of the paragraph for good readability.

Newspapers often use 7 or 8 pt type. Lots of text books/manuals use 10. it’s definitely more “designey” to use smaller type for lots of copy and even for some captioning etc. but as the last person said, it really depends on your audience. if the person is older, they need larger type.

http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/typography-and-the-aging-eye

Posted by
fryelock
Dec 8, 2009 11:05am PDT
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fryelock
 

Thanks everyone.  I went with the 12.  Based on the comments I expect it to be perfect for the audience.

Posted by
rutled
Dec 16, 2009 4:24pm PDT
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rutled
 

Arial and Futura are actually sans-serif fonts.

It’s interesting how personal a decision fonts can be. A font/typeface that one person loves another will hate. One person might really prefer sans-serif (like me) while another prefers serif.

I guess a lot also depends on your application.

Posted by
glennaa11
Dec 24, 2009 3:27pm PDT
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glennaa11
 

I’m using Verdana 8 and Mistral 12 in my book. The Verdana 8 seems readable enough but the Mistral 12 seems a tad small. If I was to start over I’d up the Mistral to 13 or 14.

Posted by
brass
Mar 11, 2010 10:10pm PDT
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brass
 

8pt is also fine depedns on typeface / font.

Depends on how hard you want to make the text to read.

Different typfaces / fonts have different heights for the same point size.

I know it sounds mad but its true.

Posted by
dukedesilver
Mar 17, 2010 8:26am PDT
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dukedesilver