How small can I go with a light font weight?

rosem's picture

Hey Everyone!

I'm currently working on business cards for a client, and in their indentity currently includes Vectora LT Std 45 Light. How small can I go with this before its print quality starts to get questionable? I've never worked with small/light fonts before when going to press.


rosem's picture

Also, If it helps I'm printing on...

110lb Cover / Neenah Class Crest /Classic Natural White / Smooth

vivicity's picture

How are you printing? Matched Pantone colors or black (which will all come out pretty crisp) or CMYK? (which will have to be screened to achieve the color)
Neenah Classic Crest is a nice paper to print on, but the process will affect the outcome.

If you're printing dark on light you can go smaller/lighter than if you're printing in reverse (ie knocking out white on a dark background etc, where dotgain will affect the type weight)

In addition to that - what is the smallest typesize you're contemplating right now?

As to printing small - make sure that someone over 40 can read it! (You'd be amazed how much people will struggle with small type, and you don't want important info such as the email address or phone number to be too small to read by the person who's getting the card).

Good luck!

rosem's picture

Here is a preview... I moved almost everything up to 7pt.

Katharina's picture

As a very nearsighted person I should have to take of my glasses and touch the card with my nose to read it. A darker colour might help.

Miss Tiffany's picture

7 pt? eek!?

rosem's picture

too small still? :)

blank's picture

Looks fine to me. 7pt type on business cards is pretty common. Sure some of us might need glasses to read it, but it’s not like this requires long periods of continuous reading.

On a related note, “5th Floor” with the superscript “th” is totally Microsoft Word and doesn’t belong on a business card, especially not an executive-level card. And at that size the fake superscript letters just disappear. Either write out “Fith” or just use 5.

rosem's picture

good point, I like "fifth"...

Thanks everyone... you can see an update here (minus the change to "5th"):


blank's picture

Not type-size related: Make some kind of horizontal relationship between the logo on the left and the text on the right. And stick the first line of the address into another frame and align the 1 optically so that the text forms a flush line vertically.

rosem's picture

yeah, I need to kern a lot of the type still. that's coming next... :)

kentlew's picture

Tiff -- Vectora has a huge honking x-height. In my experience (and I used to use it a lot), 7-pt Vectora reads about like 8.5- or 9-pt in anything else.

-- K.

poms's picture

COSI might be okay depending on spacing, but BHAVANI … – give more spacing! And … stylistically this narrowish letterspacing for UC is seventies/eighties, your card is not.
BTW The light weight in that color and size is okay with me.

Miss Tiffany's picture

@Kent — Yeah? Ok. I've not used Vectora before. Then I'll take back my quesiton mark.

nancy sharon collins's picture

from an old-timer who LOVES "ant type" (as we used to call it:)

i recently was the recipient of a market rant by a V.P. at the lauder corp., buddy of mine (and mentee) head of packaging for Clinique. to me he is a kid but, no kidding, he is NOWabove 40.

to my delight and surprise HE was moaning about how teeny-weeny type has become.

when i was growing up 8pt was the smallest for commercial jobs. period.

i, of course, do stuff smaller. but this is okay when engraved. however, some laser writers doe beautiful teeny-weeny type.

old school minimum, 8pt. period.

the rest of the decision is up to you.

sim's picture

Only one thing from your card alignment. I would optically align the number 11 in the address.

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