Although many websites declare a certain font style, size, and color to be the best for poster use, the correct font depends on the poster’s purpose, space, and style. The font should visually organize the poster for the viewer, and make it easy to focus on the content.
Below are a few font recommendations for posters; feel free to use them as a starting point and tailor them based on your poster needs. For a well-designed poster, the most important thing is to be consistent with your design choices (Example: All headers look the same, all body text looks the same, etc.).
Choosing a Font Style
The best font to choose for a poster is the most legible font. It is advisable to use commonly used, professional fonts such as Times, Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, Verdana, and more.
Bolding the headings is a great way to organize your poster, but be wary of fonts that become difficult to read when bolded. Additionally, it is not recommended to use italics for text that is crucial for the viewer to read; italics should be reserved for footnotes and other non-crucial text.
- Should I use color font? Color is another great way to visually organize a poster (Example: Using dark green for the title, dark blue for sub-headings, and black for the body text). However, make sure the color of your text is easy to read on the background color and from afar. For a more polished looking poster, use colors that compliment each other and do not clash.
Choosing a Font Size
Using font size to denote headings, body text, and important info is a great way to lead the viewer through the poster without much explanation. Below is a breakdown of the major poster sections and how to use font size to organize those sections. Note how the font size goes from largest (title) to smallest (captions).
Body text: 24pt.
As for legibility, the following sizes are a good starting point:
To be legible from 6 feet use 30pt.
To be legible from 10 feet use 48pt.
To be legible from 12 feet use 60pt.
To be legible from 14 feet use 72pt.
- If you are designing your poster at half size (ie: designing at 18"x30" for a 36"x60" poster), cut all these font size suggestions in half. More on designing at half size below.
- Pro Tip: If your poster has too much empty space, increase the font and make use of formatting to fill the gaps. If your poster is too crowded, try decreasing the font until you find the right balance between legibility and space to text ratio.
Font & Scaling Your Poster
If the file size of the poster you are designing is too large, you can design the poster at half the size and we will enlarge it upon printing. When designing at half size, be mindful to reduce the font size, images, and other elements accordingly.
Most venues require title text to be 1 inch in height. To achieve this, set the font size to 100.