minimum font sizes header image

The Short and Sweet Guide to Minimum Font Sizes on Promo Items

You’re planning your wedding. For your big day you want to order some custom koozies imprinted with your names, the wedding date, and a cheesy quote you saw on Pinterest.

Sure, that'll work.

Sure, that’ll work.

You send your artwork to your sales rep, and they inform you that everything you want printed doesn’t currently fit in the koozie’s imprint area. No worries, easy peasy. You’ll just bump down the font size on the quote. Changing it from a 10pt font to a 4pt font should do the trick, right?

Sorry to break it to you, but no.

In the midst of your wedding-planning craze your eye starts twitching, steam starts coming out of your ears, and you shout, “Well why the f*@& not?!”

First things first, take a deep breath. Now, I’m going to explain minimum font sizes, what they are, why we have them, and how you can get out of the conundrum you’ve found yourself in.

What are minimum font sizes?

The minimum font size is the smallest possible font that you can use in your imprint. As you probably know, all of our items have a designated imprint area. If the desired text is larger than the imprint area, the instinct would be to simply make the font size smaller. However, most of our factories have a minimum font size requirement so that no matter what you put in the imprint area the imprint comes out clear, readable, and just how you want it.

If your font is smaller than our minimum requirement you run the risk, especially with ink printing, of losing small details in your imprint. For example, at a teeny tiny size the inside of the letter “o” could end up filled in with ink.

The average minimum font size is 6pt, but minimum font sizes can vary based on the product material and imprint process.

Items made of hard plastic or metal like pens, water bottles, and USB drives can usually be printed with the minimum 6pt font and still be legible.

hard-plastic-items-minimum-font

Soft, squishy items that will absorb a lot of ink like tote bags and koozies will turn out better with a bit larger font, like 8pt. Since these items absorb ink, that means the ink is more likely to spread out a little bit when printed, which could cause some of the smaller details to be lost if the font is too small.

soft-items-minimum-font

Items that are decorated with embroidery like apparel and blankets require a much larger font due to the stitching process, so the minimum font size for embroidered items is on average 20pt.

embroidered-items-minimum-font

Please keep in mind that those numbers are averages, so you’ll  need to double check the minimum font size on your specific item with your sales rep.

Why is there a minimum font size requirement?

I’ve mentioned that the key here is to have your logo turn out crisp and legible. What’s the point of an imprinted item if you can’t read what it says, right? Let’s say we went ahead and printed your koozies with that quote in 4pt font. It would end up looking something like this:

small-font-on-koozie

Can you read that? Yeah … didn’t think so. Unfortunately, since we don’t all have superhuman vision, if your imprint is any smaller than 6pt, no one will be able to read it without a magnifying glass.

You must also take into account that you’re looking at that 4pt font on a computer screen, where it’s as crisp and clear as it gets. I hate to break it to you, but that quote isn’t going to get any easier to read after it has been screen printed.

Let’s check out another example. First, take a look at this art proof:

small-font-example-art-proof

As you can see, the font in that crest is pretty small. The art proof even points out that smaller lines will fill and detail will be lost. Now, let’s take a look at the finished product.

small-font-example

See how the negative space in the “O”s is slightly filled in? Notice how the negative space in the letter “R” is completely filled in? These are the risks you run if you imprint a font that doesn’t meet our minimum font size requirements.

Here’s the thing: we want your logo to look as clear and perfect as possible, so that you are satisfied with your order. In order to guarantee you the best imprint possible, we have to ask that your imprint meet our minimum font size requirements. Just trust us, it’s for the best! We promise!

What do I do if my font doesn’t meet the minimum font size?

Okay, so if you want to fit you and your fiance’s names, the wedding date, and your quote on your koozies, but you can’t shrink the font of the quote down to 4pt to make everything fit, what the heck do you do?

Luckily, the QLP sales team and art department are very experienced and knowledgeable. Our art department is usually able to give you a recommendation for how to get your desired imprint to fit within the imprint area.

So if your font is too small, or your logo is too complicated, all you need to do is work with your sales rep in order to reach a solution that makes you happy!

As I mentioned previously, the minimum fonts stated here are simply averages, so if you’d like to know the specific minimum font requirement for your item before you submit your artwork, just check with your sales rep. Quality Logo Products wants to make sure that you have the best-looking imprint possible. So if you have any more questions about minimum font sizes, imprint areas, or anything else related to your promo items, you can contact our knowledgeable reps by phone (1-866-312-5646), by email (info@qualitylogoproducts.com), or via our live chat.

Did you know about our minimum font size requirement? Do you have any questions about minimum font size? Sound off in the comments below!

Expand Your Brand!



Jenna Markowski

Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Bret Bonnet

    Bubba is dead to me. I never got my save the date or wedding invitation to his and Bubble’s wedding…

    I’ve apologized countless times for that one night in college… :)

    Anyway, I think this is a great post. Can you maybe update the post or share some examples of actual products, printed, that show what happens when the font selection is to small? I’d like to demonstrate what the final product will look like when printed if font size is not taken into consideration.

    That, and maybe some actual customer artwork before and afters?

  2. ronde

    This article is great information! Plenty of clients want to have as much information on their promotional item which is understandable, but if it is too small to read, it defeats the purpose! Either way, we will make your final product be legible and fantastic! The awesome thing is that you will get a Digital Art Proof to see what your final product will look like! You will be very happy with the outcome when we are through with it! :)

  3. Chuck Sullivan

    What a great Blog post. Most customers are unaware of this information. These are great guidelines to make sure the text you want to print on your promo goodies comes out nice and clean for everyone to read. If your text does not meet the required font size, just ask your sales rep for help, we’re a creative bunch we probably have an idea or two on how to arrange the text so it will all fit.

  4. PMO

    Please. Pretty please.

    Let us fix your fonts to fit within the imprint area.

    We’re really nice people and I promise we won’t bite when something doesn’t work as initially planned.

    Thank you!

  5. Chase

    This is a great blog! So many people do no grasp why we cannot print a 2pt font on a Koozie. I am going to link them to this blog from now on. I wish there was a way to show exactly how something is going to print on an item. But due to technology, it just is not possible. I think a cool idea would be to send out a sample that has the pt sizes already printed on the item. If that was an option, what a game changer it would make!

  6. Kelly Bird

    In addition to making sure you meet minimum point sizes so that everything can be legible. Playing with different font sizes and weights is a great way to draw attention to important information in your imprint. For example make your company name and phone number larger and/or bolder than your physical address so that the most important information stands out and provides better advertising for your company. If nothing stands out it won’t grab attention and after all…isn’t that what you are paying for?

  7. Alan

    Size does matter!

  8. David

    Very good post!

    I’d also add that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to force a lot of information onto a pen/pencil. Name of business and phone #/email/website <–(Pick one) When too much is crammed on, people will rarely read it all.

  9. AG (A.K.A. Myrtle)

    Great read! We are most certainly the masters of 10 pounds of poop in a 2 pound bag but sometimes… less is more ? Making sure things read well and look good in the process is an art believe it or not, LOL!!! Good to know there is a company (QLP) out there that actually cares enough to put this one blast! BLUE AND ORANGE BABY!!! WOOHOO!!!

  10. Angie

    As always . . . great information. How many times have we all gotten a short novel that needed to squeeze onto a 1″ x 1″ decoration area? I wasn’t aware of the embroidery font sizes . . . so I learned something as well.

  11. Mike Wenger

    At times, it can be very difficult to balance logo standards and imprint standards BUT that’s why you hire pros. Aaaaand that’s why you hire QLPers! Our job is to make sure the finished product makes YOU look great. Gaining that trust is not easy, but let us earn some of yours and you will not be let down!

  12. Jaimie Smith

    This blog is beyond great!

    This information is something that a lot of people do not think about. I will be honest, before working here, I probably still would assume that a 4point font would be fine for a small coozie.

    Everyone just has to remember that all we want is to make sure that your logo will look amazing and that all of your customers will be able to point out your logo in a crowd. We are all more than happy to help you out! :)

  13. Kat D.

    GREAT post! I feel like I say “I just want to be sure you are happy with the final outcome” at least 5 times a day!! It’s true, we DO care.

    Something else to point out though – Even though the font size may meet the minimum requirements, you should ALSO take into consideration your audience and who will be given these promotional items. For example, I did an order of Magnifier Bookmarks a few years ago – met the min font requirement – and the customer was so disappointed because (little did I know) she was giving these to people in a retirement community – and they couldn’t SEE the imprint! Old(er) Age = Bad Eyesight. Definitely a lesson I learned myself a while back. Now I ALWAYS ask who the audience is when dealing with very small font sizes :)

  14. Jon Cacioppo

    I am glad I have something to point to now with my customers to prove that I am telling the truth and not just making stuff up to save ink at the printers.
    I understand wanting promotional products to have a lot of info about your company – but we do have limits and I want these products to work as a marketing tool so we have to make sure it is legible and looks great most of all. Thanks for explaining this in such a succinct way for each type of good we have – I will be linking customers here with a caption of “Nuf Said”

  15. Greg

    Great info for anyone looking to have promo products produced!!

  16. keith

    Very informative! It is great to let customers know what will work the best for them on different items. Sometimes more info on the item can be too much! Keep it short and simple so we can make it as large as possible on the item and get your information out there and noticed! Another fantastic article!

  17. Jay Hoffman

    I agree with everyone above except AG. Never agree with AG.

    Going back to pens in the first example, this damn near inspired me (and still might!) to write a blog post about logos… when to use them, when to not use them.

    Many times I tell customers, especially on an item like a pen, that as much as “logo” is in our company name, it can be more to your detriment than it is to your advantage. Sure, take up all the space in the imprint area to make your logo print super small and possibly not that legible (despite our efforts), OR.. thrown on your company name, phone number and website. After all, your logo doesn’t make the phone ring! Your phone number does!!! Unless you’re an internationally recognized company like Apple, Nike, etc (who all have one color logos, mind you ;), skipping the logo is a good idea sometimes. I don’t need to know where to be told to find Nike shoes or iPhones. However, if I want to get a hold of John’s Discount Plumbing, I could care less about his logo (NO OFFENSE JOHN!), all I want is his phone number because my house is flooding!

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