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Promo University

What Are Minimum Font Sizes for Promotional Items?

Alyssa Mertes

Published: March 23rd, 2022

If you've ever drawn bubble letters too big on a birthday card or signed your name too small on a check, then you know a thing or two about font sizes. It can be tricky to find the Goldilocks - a font that is "just right."

Are you ordering promotional products for the first time? Let's make the printing process easier for you. Here's the ultimate guide to font sizes!

What is a Font?

Zoom in on book page

In the world of printing, a font is the style of text that you're using for the words. It can also be thought of as the shape of each character, whether it's bubbly, narrow, jagged, bold, tiny, cursive, or all caps.

You'll find over 550,000 different fonts in the universe, from the spooky, squiggly lines in "Happy Halloween" to the basic Times New Roman used in term papers. So how do you narrow down the best fonts for your promotional items? It's simple - be proportional and be clear!

Zoom in on book page

What Are the Two Types of Fonts?

Fonts are classified as either serif or sans serif. The difference between the two can be found at the bottom of the letters. Serif fonts have little lines or curves at the bottom, while sans serif fonts are straight up and down.

San Serif font

Sans Serif

Each letter is clean and crisp with no extra flourishes.

Serif font

Serif

Each letter has little "feet" that make the words more decorative and fancy.

You can't go wrong with either style, but if you're printing on small promotional items like pens or USB drives, it might be better to go with sans serif fonts. Those little "feet" can take up a lot of space!

Did you know?

Typefaces and fonts often get confused. The difference is typefaces are a group of fonts or a "font family." Fonts, on the other hand, are a specific style of text.

What is the Minimum Font Size for Printing?

T-shirt with the word hotel

The minimum font size for printing is the smallest possible font you can use to fit the imprint area. The average is around 6pt, but it will vary depending on what custom products you're ordering.

The font size is important because it could affect the readability of your text. For instance, the letter "o" could end up being filled in with ink if you go too small. Overall, you should use a font size that keeps your message clear and legible.

T-shirt with the word hotel

Small Fonts on Promotional Products

The smallest font you should use on promotional or printed items is 6pt. Any smaller and you'll need a magnifying glass to read the words!

Print a small font on the following products:


  • Ballpoint pens
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Stress balls
  • Keychains
  • Luggage tags
  • Stickers
  • Magnets
  • Sunglasses
  • Candy
Holding pen up Ballpoint Pens
Holding hand sanitizer up Hand Sanitizer
different shape stress balls Stress Balls
Keychains Keychains
Small tags Luggage Tags
Stickers on products Stickers
Magnets on fridge Magnets
Lip balm applying to lips Lip Balm
Pile of sunglasses Sunglasses
Candy on display Candy

What is the Best Font Size for Business Cards?

Man holding card

The ideal font size for business cards is between 6pt and 10pt font. Print your name, services, and contact information in dark text that is easy-to-read. If there's room, include a design or logo on the front as well.

You can also try debossing! This creates a 3D look, which is elegant, professional, and overall, a memorable way to get your name out there.

Man holding card

Medium Fonts Size on Promotional Products

A medium font size is between an 8pt and 12pt font. You will use this font size on promotional products that are a bit bigger, but still need to be read at a close distance.

Print a medium font on the following products:


  • Koozies
  • Coffee mugs
  • Water bottles
  • Notebooks
  • Baseball caps
  • Hot cold packs
  • Plastic cups
  • Beach balls
  • Drink tumblers
  • Padfolios
  • Umbrellas
2 koozies with beverages Koozies
Coffee Mugs
3 water bottles Water Bottles
notebooks on table Notebooks
hat on head Baseball Caps
various products Hot Cold Packs
Cups on table Plastic Cups
Ball in water Beach Balls
2 tumblers Drink Tumblers
Padfolio on table Padfolios
Person in rain with umbrella Umbrellas

Large Fonts on Promotional Products

A large font for printing is between 12pt and 20 pt. For signs and banners, you can go as large as 72pt. You want the text to take up about 40% of the sign, leaving 60% for white space.

Print a large font on the following products:


  • Shirts
  • Tote bags
  • Floor stickers
  • Posters
  • Blankets
  • Tablecloths
  • Outdoor coolers
  • Duffel bags
  • Banners
  • Signs
People wearing shirts Shirts
Tote bags Tote bags
Stickers on floor Floor stickers
Poster with some fun text Posters
Blankets
Tablecloth at convention Tablecloths
Cooloer and tumbler Outdoor coolers
Duffel bag Duffel bags
Banner in store Banners
Large sign Signs

Can You Change Font Size?

2 letter A's at differant sizes

You can adjust the font size on promotional items, but it still has to fit within the imprint area. This is the space where your design is printed, and it's preset by the factory that makes your chosen product. You cannot change the imprint area on promotional items.

It's possible to use a tiny font on large promotional items, and even a medium font on smaller items. It just depends on the amount of detail in the design you're printing.

2 letter A's at differant sizes

What is the Best Font for Printing?

Book spines

The best font for printing is easy to read without much effort. It should be proportional to the size of the product and not overly decorative. You also don't want it to be plain, boring, or most notably, Comic Sans!

Book spines

What Are the Easiest Fonts to Read?

The 25 fonts listed here are easy to read. Use them in your next printing job!


  • Adelle
  • Arial
  • Armitage
  • Bodoni
  • Caslon
  • Century Gothic
  • Clarendon
  • Bookman Old Style
  • Futura Book
  • Garamond
  • Georgia
  • Gotu
  • Helvetica
  • Impact
  • Lucida
  • Merriweather
  • Montserrat
  • Myriad
  • Palantino
  • Open Sans
  • Roboto
  • Segoe Script
  • Times
  • Quicksand
  • Verdana

Can I Get Fonts for Free?

2 letter A's at differant sizes

You can absolutely get fonts for free! Download them from a trusted database like DaFont, which has over 34,000 options. Once you find a style, see how it looks on your promotional items by previewing it on the Free Font Preview Tool.

2 letter A's at differant sizes

The Bottom Line

Ever since you were a kid, you've been taught to use your words. This age old saying holds true even when printing on promotional items. A custom message takes your design to the next level, so pay attention to font sizes and have fun with the process!

Quality Logo Products are experts on all things printed and promotional. Let our team of awesome, incredibly good looking, and fun promo nerds help you select awesome promotional swag today!

4 random promtional products 4 random promotional products tablet
Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.