Viewing Distance & Font Size

What's the smallest text size you can use?

The smallest text size you can use depends on a number of factors. Mostly, it depends on viewing distance. And for that we have this helpful chart below.

Do remember though that if you start changing colours and fonts then things become a little more complicated. The font size chart below is based on using black Helvetica text on a white background and assumes someone with good eyesight in good light

Viewing Distance Minimum Text Size
0.6m  /  2ft 5pt
1m  /  3.3ft 8pt
1.5m  /  5ft 13pt
2m  /  6.5ft 16pt
3m  /  10ft 25pt
5m  /  16ft 41pt
10m  /  33ft 82pt
15m  /  50ft 125pt
50m  /  160ft 410pt
60m  /  200ft 500pt
200m  /  650ft 1640pt

See for yourself

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As mentioned the above chart is based on Helvetica and black text. But if you need to see what things look like in different fonts, sizes and colours then take a look at The Print Handbook. It gives examples in a range of fonts, sizes between 2pt & 10pt, and in a range of colours.

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The Print Handbook

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The Designer’s Essential Print Production Guide

Crammed with examples, charts and tools to help you as a designer, including...

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Preparing your pixels for print

The Print Handbook is crammed with examples, charts and helpful tools. It makes being a designer a little easier.

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