A Graphics.com site
ladylee's picture
131 pencils

Font size for medical journal

Has anybody ever done some type of medical journal, just curious if you have any advice on font size/etc....

I know that 10 pt would work the best, but I know a lot of people complain about 10pt being too small.

It's going to be very educational, with VERY FEW pictures.


Ivan's picture

You can do larger if the color is lighter.

ladylee's picture
131 pencils

Thanks Ivan, thats a great idea, you mean like a 80% black or something? What would you suggest as max? 12pt?

riqsane's picture
119 pencils

It depends on the typeface, but yeah stick with 10pt.

If it's too hard to read, try increase the leading (spacing between the lines).

If there is a lot of type, and going to be read on paper—Use a serif typeface, my favorites are Minion Pro, Garamond, Caslon, Baskerville.

riqsane's picture
119 pencils


Art D. Rector's picture
1322 pencils

Run it by the client for approval before you do the whole thing - show them single pages with different type samples. I get some insurance stuff that's in easy reader type - 12, 13 pts - so maybe some companies are concerned about their older customers. I'd get approval on the size before doing the whole thing.

ladylee's picture
131 pencils
gwells's picture
1601 pencils

what riqsane and art said.

(a) it totally depends on the typeface. 10pt myriad pro looks much bigger than 10pt adobe garamond. just like you should base leading on the typeface and usage (like line lengths) and not just stick with 120%, you shouldn't stick with a specific point size regardless of typeface.

(b) do the type studies. decide what typefaces you think will work for the project, print out sample pages of each laid out in different point sizes and with different leading. you really need to print them out for yourself anyway, since nothing looks quite the same on the screen as it does on the printed page. once you've worked your way through the studies, you will have some examples to show your client--including some bad ones you can keep hidden in your back pocket to pull out if they insist on doing something you think will look bad. then you can show them a bad sample and explain why it doesn't work and how you've already worked past that problem.

my vague recollection (and it's been nearly a decade since i did scientific pubs) is that they tend to have fairly small point sizes and be pretty dense typographically compared to, say, a nice magazine. but things could have changed. see if you can find comparative publications and see what they are doing as well. should give you some ideas about what their competition looks like, too.

Latest critique

  • Business card for humanitarian NGO
  • Looking for...

On Demand Videos

Listening to Type
Author and educator Alexander W. White demonstrates how type experimentation can enrapture your audience like a master speaker.
watch a preview

On Demand Videos: Video tutorials for advertising pros and designers providing tools and information you can trust — and use — on your very next project. Subscribe today!

Creativebits recommends