Imagine with me a little scenario: It’s 7 pm in the evening and you’re just starting to check your mailbox. As you sieve through pile after pile of mail, a sales letter riddled with mismatching font sizes – some big, some small, some even smaller – suddenly sticks out at you like the annoying ex you never hoped to see. How would you feel as a consumer? Would you read a piece of text that is barely legible? Would you buy the product that’s in the offer? I know I wouldn’t!
No matter how you see it, choosing the right font size can mean the difference between your ad getting read and ending up in the trash can. The font size is the size of the text that you use in your printed ad and it is measured in points. An example would be 12-point Arial or 10-point Times. Arial and Times are different styles of font type.
As a good copywriter or even a business owner, you must always remember that the goal of a print ad, be it a product flyer or sales brochure, is to capture your reader’s attention and offer information. Marketing research has shown that anything that is visually hard to read will ultimately be chucked aside or get thrown away…and you don’t want to waste your advertising cost!
As a general rule, you should select your font size depending on how much space you have to fill and the number of words you want to fill the space with. Ads that pull the most number of responses normally don’t go under 10-point (smaller font sizes are difficult to read) or over 12 (larger fonts are exhausting to read because your eyes have to travel far to read a few lines of text) . If you ask me what I think, I personally recommend 10 to 11 point Times (for body text) and 12 to 14 point Arial (for headlines).
While it is true that if people are interested in buying your product, they will read your ad regardless of the font size or type that you use, but you really can’t go wrong if you stick to these guidelines:
- Vary your font size according the importance of your message and be consistent – if you decide that your body text should be kept at 10 point, then stick to it.
- Only use bigger font sizes to create impact in important places such as your headline or cover page.
- It also helps to ask your friends and family members (my mom, who is short-sighted, is an excellent judge!) to look over your ad to see if it’s legible to them or not.