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Thread: Font-tastic?




  1. #1
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Font-tastic?

    I'm pretty experienced at desktop publishing when it comes to business cards and documents that people would read, such as flyers, newspaper ads, and handouts.

    But I want to try designing some other stuff, and I'm looking for input on what font sizes to use.

    For example, I designed a poster to put on city buses, and it took me a few iterations to come up with just the right size of text for headlines and body text to be readable by people sitting in bus seats. I'm happy with my current design, but it took a while to get there.

    I designed a 2-feet x 4-feet sign to attach to one of those windshield shades to put on the windshield of my car when I'm not in it, to attract the attention of people walking through parking lots. I had no idea what font size to use for headlines and body text on that, so I made some guesses. The final result looks okay, but if I had it to do over, there are definitely things I would change.

    Now I'm thinking it would be nice to try a yard sign, or maybe a car wrap. But, what font sizes are good for these purposes? How big does a font need to be in order to catch the eye of someone driving past a yard in their car? How big does a sign on the side of a car need to be?

    What other types of oddball stuff have people designed, and what font sizes did you find worked well?


  2. #2
    EzmaSiddiqah
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    Big font sizes! I usually create at least a partial printout at 100% of actual size, and place it on whatever…step back the appropriate distance and make adjustments as needed.

    I once tiled, printed, cut and pasted 11 x 17 sheets of paper into a 4' wide x 8' high trade show panel. The client was happy with the final result and I knew the headline size would work.

    good luck!


  3. #3
    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    This might not be the answer you're looking for, but when I've designed something large (up to billboard size), my usual method is to figure out my dimensions, then design something scaled down (usually half to one-quarter). Then when I'm happy with the layout, save the scaled version as its own thing, and then scale it up to actual size. ETA: if you try this, you will know exactly what size font to use for the actual-size version, because the font will scale up.

    This works best with vector obviously, so use caution with inserting raster graphics (like photos, or jpg clip-art) and blowing them up.

    What program are you working in?
    Last edited by Tiziri; 12-31-2011 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Ed. for clarification
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  4. #4
    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiziri View Post
    This works best with vector obviously, so use caution with inserting raster graphics (like photos, or jpg clip-art) and blowing them up.

    What program are you working in?
    I've got both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, and I'm familiar with raster vs vector graphics, so I "get" what you're suggesting.

    The problem I have with starting with a scaled-down version is that I don't know whether the font will be big enough for good visibility in the finished size.


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    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shira View Post
    I've got both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, and I'm familiar with raster vs vector graphics, so I "get" what you're suggesting.

    The problem I have with starting with a scaled-down version is that I don't know whether the font will be big enough for good visibility in the finished size.
    Right; and that's so dependent on what font you're using -- I know you know that because of shape, thickness, and letter form some fill up a space much better than others (the difference between 120-pt Impact vs. 120-pt, oh, Scriptina), to say nothing of legibility and whether it's being used as logo-type font or font to give longer blocks of text. With the note that the taller, fatter, narrower Impact (which is a "go-to" font a lot of times when making signage) will fill vertical space much better than Scriptina, but won't be nearly as wide. FTR, 120-point Impact fills up a heading line of text in a 17" x 11" (like a vehicle mag) quite nicely (just tried it). Scriptina will fill the same width at 72 pts, but won't be nearly as tall, visible, bold, or readable. Then of course you can stretch your text vertically or horizontally with the "handles" to make it fill the space more effectively.

    I'm trying to come up with a definitive, simple answer, and can't seem to...sorry!
    Last edited by Tiziri; 01-01-2012 at 11:11 AM.
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    Ultimate BHUZzer *Shira*'s Avatar
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiziri View Post
    I'm trying to come up with a definitive, simple answer, and can't seem to...sorry!
    Yeah, I realize a definitive, simple answer doesn't always exist. But thanks for helping me think through this!


  7. #7
    Established BHUZzer Tiziri's Avatar
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    Re: Font-tastic?

    I try, I try !

    I suspect that a more straightforward response would come from someone who hasn't spent far too many hours trying to identify fonts, match fonts, pick fonts (and actually enjoys it; I scare myself).

    But yes: it really depends on what fonts you're using -- if you're dissatisfied with the final "look" and feel it doesn't fill the space right even at what should be the right size, it might not be the size per se and you might look at other font choices.

    Ed.: And you also might consider bolding it -- if no bold is available, or looks too different (some are) -- you can add a "stroke" (in Stroke and Fill) which outlines the text.
    Last edited by Tiziri; 01-01-2012 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Adding more stuff


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    Mega BHUZzer Samira_dncr's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Font-tastic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiziri View Post
    I try, I try !
    Ed.: And you also might consider bolding it -- if no bold is available, or looks too different (some are) -- you can add a "stroke" (in Stroke and Fill) which outlines the text.
    I love strokes and use them often. (consider all puns intended)
    Samira Tu'Ala, Producer of the Las Vegas Bellydance Intensive® & Festival


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