Rules to follow when choosing fonts for print ads


You’ve heard the print vs. digital debate in just about every medium by now. One of the biggest differences between print and digital advertisements is the audience. If you’re crafting a printed advertisement, whether it’s a postcard, billboard, fabric banner or magazine ad, you’ll need to consider who will be reading your advertisement and pick fonts accordingly.

Use these rules to guide you in choosing perfect typeface to give optimum legibility to your printed advertisement.

Rule #1: Size matters

Traditional print uses fonts sized between 10 and 12 pixels for regular web font. But if you’d like your advertisement legible for a wide range of audience ages, it’s a good idea to make all body text at least 16pt. To set them apart, headings should be at least 10 pixels larger than your advertisement’s body text.

Pick: Fonts size 16 pixels for body text, at least 26 pixels for headlines.

Rule #2: Contrast is key

Creating a stark contrast between the color of your ad’s font and the background of the paper will help make your ad easier to read. The best option for legibility is black or gray text on a white background or white text on a black background, though boring. Make your advertisement stand out by giving your graphic designer the freedom to work with a wider range of colors. Just make sure the font color starkly contrasts with the background of the design or shade of paper you pick.

Pick: Dark background colors paired with light font color or dark font color against a dark background

Rule #3: Stick with serif

Serifs are the small lines tailing from the edges of letters and symbols. Another age-old debate in the design community is whether serif or sans-serif typefaces are easier to read. The best rule of thumb is to use serif font for the smaller type often used in print advertisements, as the serifs make each individual letter distinct and allow for more white space between each letter. But if your audience is young children, stick with sans-serif fonts for all text as the letters are often easier for them to recognize. When it comes to headlines or larger titles, the choice between serif and sans-serif can be left to personal preference.

Pick: Times New Roman, Georgia, Baskerville

Once you’ve got your font picked and your advertisement designed, get in touch with us. We’d love to be your go-to company for your ad’s printing process!

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