12 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2009 6:55 AM by Mr. Met

    font size for a magazine?

    jesusleon46 Level 1

      Hello Everyone,


      I am new in this and I am making a little magazine in Indesign. I am trying to find out

      what would be the best recommendation about font sizes in a magazine. is there a

      default size? Also, what kind of font family should I use?


      I am using Times and 9pt for now!


      I would appreciate any advise!! Thanks a lot!!



        • 1. Re: font size for a magazine?
          Level 4

          I like to use a serif type Minion Pro, Warnock Pro and Arno Pro are my favorites. I wouldn't go smaller than 10pt unless you know everyone reading the magazine has 20/20 vision.

          • 2. Re: font size for a magazine?
            zeroskillz Level 3

            There isnt really any hard rule...you're likely to get as many answers as there are answers to your post. I've used anywhere from 8 to 14 pt, but say on average 10 pt. It also depends heavily on the font I'm using, and the leading. I'd suggest that you print out a sample sheet with your font choice in different sizes with different leading, and see which one looks best and seems easiest to read.


            Just remember, the older your audience, the bigger the font.


            And to some degree serif fonts are more readable than sans serif. But opionions on that vary as well.


            personally, I'm not a fan of Times only because it is used so much, but theres nothing wrong with it really.




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            • 3. Re: font size for a magazine?
              jesusleon46 Level 1

              Thank you .Buko for your advice!!

              • 4. Re: font size for a magazine?
                jesusleon46 Level 1

                Thanks Ted! Actually is a magazine for old audience, this program is for Opera Performances,

                So I will try to print it before as you said!!!



                • 5. Re: font size for a magazine?
                  zeroskillz Level 3

                  In which case Id definately go on the large size, considering the age, but also the lighting you'd expect in an auditorium (if this is a program handed out at the show). Dim lights and old eyes = big font, and I'd increase the leading a bit to make it nice and readable.


                  just my 2 cents.



                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: font size for a magazine?
                    Jay Chevako Level 3

                    jesusleon46 wrote:

                    this program is for Opera Performances,


                    Make the font as big as you can get away with. You have an older audience, and even when the house lights are on it's not the greatest for reading.


                    • 7. Re: font size for a magazine?
                      jesusleon46 Level 1

                      You're right! I will try to do that!!


                      Thanks Jay!

                      • 8. Re: font size for a magazine?
                        Jay Chevako Level 3

                        I'm just echoing what Zeroskilz said.


                        I just got a copy of a program done by another designer. He had about 10 point type and a tight leading but it was on such a dark (photographic) background that I couldn't read it under normal lighting conditions. If you have to use backgrounds under your text keep them as light as possible, don't use photographic or textured backgrounds.


                        • 9. Re: font size for a magazine?
                          jesusleon46 Level 1

                          Yes Jay,


                          Actually I am using backgrounds under the text. I will put them lighter as much as possible!


                          Thanks again!

                          • 10. Re: font size for a magazine?
                            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                            There's more to readability than just size. Some faces have larger or smaller x-heights or ascenders/descenders than others at a given size, and leading is an important factor, too. A large x-height is probably going to be more readable for older folks at any given size, but will require more leading to keep the lines from running together visually. You may find that the optimum solution is actually a "smaller-looking" face on narrower leading to keep the readability while maximizing the amount of text you can fit. There are always tradeoffs.

                            • 11. Re: font size for a magazine?
                              Thomas Phinney Level 3

                              Funny, one of my standard talks at design conferences lately has been a rant on legibility, and the example of a conference program book is one of my favorites to use. Like an opera program book, folks may try to read it in poor lighting conditions. Of course, you have the added complication of an older audience... people tend to start losing their ability to focus close up in their early 40s. Probably 2/3 of your opera audience at least would be that old, or older.


                              First off, ditch the background ENTIRELY unless looking classy is more important than readability (which it may be, I suppose). Black on white is going to be the easiest combo in poor reading conditions, which given the audience and the setting is >90% of what your opera program book will face.


                              Other than that, lots of good advice in this thread.







                              • 12. Re: font size for a magazine?
                                Mr. Met Level 3

                                Thomas beat me to it. Unless there is an aesthetic reason such as a pull quote or sidebar you want punch up or accentuate in some way, never put images behind text. That's real poor design. Just step back and think realistically who will be reading this. Print out a few paras at different sizes. Put a ghosted image behind it if you must if for no other reason to see why it's a bad idea.  If this is a short booklet, a sans serif may be easier on the eyes under less than optimal lighting conditions. Also, don't make the mistake of printing all the body text in a bold or semi-bold font either.