Font Size on Business Cards

I’m in the process of designing a set of business cards for a client, I came across the difficult decision of what is the appropriate font size. I know I know. Different fonts at size 12 vary widely in overall real estate, but I’m speaking in general. Imagine the standard Arial font.

My designer friend (who’s opinions I trust cause he’s actually a designer, and I’m just a hobbyist) and I got into an interesting discussion when I showed him the draft. He says the text should always be legible, use size 10. But to me, legibility is a relative measurement. So then I thought about how Business Cards are intimidate objects. When you handle a business card, there’s a tendency to hold it closer than normal documents. While normal documents with 10 Arial font is fairly legible from the desk, business cards might benefit with a smaller font size. The person’s name should be in a bigger font, but the essential business info should be presented in size 8 or 9 font. Smaller means the audience has to hold it closer to the eye, thus examining it more closely.

So if you were giving out your business cards, wouldn’t you want the other person to hold it closer than some regular boring document?

So they can read it in a more intimate fashion?
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14 Responses to “Font Size on Business Cards”


  1. 1 esther November 5, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    when I shuffle through a stack of business cards to find somebody, i hold it at a distance until I find something I want — usually their contact info. so the name and branding definitely needs to very legible and clear. and i want get the contact info fast and accurate — to avoid mistakes on trascribing their email or dialing it on the phone. so smaller font may not be ideal here.

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