Choosing the right font for readability

Choosing the right font for readability


Any designer knows that typography is an integral part of the overall design. With posters, leaflets and large format advertising, readability is vital if the message is to be effective. That’s why designers put a great deal of thought into the fonts they use for headlines, subheads and content.

Your choice of font can set the mood for a campaign but if headlines and text are not easy to read and understand instantly, no one will bother to try.

So, what’s the best type of font?

The fonts you use will depend on the product, your business and your target audience, but also on the type of campaign. Style and size will vary depending on your medium and there are a few simple rules that will help you get your message out there loud and clear.

Large format and outdoor advertising

With large format, outdoor or poster advertising the simple rule is to go large and go clear. Few people will have the chance or the inclination to stop and read a poster so as well as keeping it brief, keep it big. Sans serif fonts work well as they can be read quickly. Remember that type that’s easy to read on screen may not be so easy to see on a poster. For example, if you’re designing a 48 sheet poster, print it out at business card size and hold it at arm’s length. Can’t read it? Change the font style or size – or both.

Leaflets, brochures and books

Traditionally, text heavy documents used serif fonts as it was thought they were easier to read. However, modern thinking is that sans serif fonts offer greater readability. If there’s a lot of content remember that function is more important than style so choose a simple sans serif with no extravagant flourishes or big differences in stroke width. For text heavy documents it’s also best to have dark text on a light background. Reversed text can fill in and be hard to read. Even dark text on a light background can lose readability if the font is too light so err on the side of slightly heavier text on any background other than white. You can be more creative with headlines or titles but make sure you choose a font that works well with the body copy and gives the design consistency.

Flyers and direct mail

Best design practice for font choice on flyers or direct mail is similar to that for large format in that you should keep the headline and message brief, although you can be more creative with the font as the reader will have time for a closer look. Scripted or serif fonts can work but don’t get too carried away with a hard to read typeface or your flyer might see the bin before the reader sees the message.

At we have 30 years of experience in printing everything from leaflets and books to outdoor advertising like 48 or 96 sheet posters. Our website shows examples of printed work across our extensive product range. You can get instant prices, upload artwork and order your job online as well as see customer feedback and reviews. To find out more and see great examples of effective, printed marketing products visit today.

Published by DigitalPrinting

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