Text Size Matters

Digital scrapbookers often wonder what is the right size for text on their layouts? This is something that I (Katie) still have to think about as well because it seems like the “perfect size” of text is a little harder to determine when you use a variety of fonts in your scrapbooking.

It also depends on if you want to print a page as a 12×12 or in a smaller size such as an 8×8 (my favorite size). Generally I use a 12 or 14 pt. size of text but I have varied these numbers as low as 10 and as high as 20.

A lot of it depends on personal preference as well, but do try to think ahead into the future when smaller print will be more difficult for your older eyes to read. (Sad, but true!) Also, you want Grandparents and friends of all ages to enjoy looking through your layouts so keep the text size readable.

One thing to note – I create my layouts as 12×12 and then print them out as 8×8. This means the text will shrink down a bit as I reduce the size. I know many digi scrappers like to create their layout in the size it will be printed as, but I like to have the option to print something larger if I want to.

When I put together my Week in the Life album last year, I had SO much journaling to include that I chose a font that was a little more compact (Courier New) Even though I chose a 14 pt. size, I have to admit that after I printed up the pages in 8×8 size, the text is a bit small. I wish I had bumped it up to about a 16, even if that meant I had to create an extra few pages. I don’t have a problem reading the text now, but someday I will probably have to pull out my glasses to fully enjoy those layouts. Live and learn!

See the link on Flickr for this layout to read the journaling and get a better look at the text size.

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Layout by Katie. Template and word art by Ali Edwards. Story of Everyday Life collab kit available with monthly or annual subscription at The Daily Digi. Courier New font

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Here’s a layout I did with a font that prints up in a larger size (CK journaling). I also used a 14 pt. text size on this layout, but the font is larger than most. See link on Flickr to read the journaling and to get a better look at the text size.

Layout by Katie. You’re my cup of tea by Sir Scrapalot, template by Kellie Mize, CK journaling font

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Can you tell that this is not an exact science? You sort of have to get a feel for how prominent (and readable) you want your text to be – both on screen, and in printed form. The best way to do this is to just try a few different sizes and see how they look once they are printed out. I think I will start making a note in my credits of the text point size used. This also will come in handy if I later create an opposing page and want the journaling to look cohesive.

I asked our creative team members to share some of their tips and tricks for text size as well. I find that I always learn something new from these talented ladies!

Heddy:

I always journal on my pages, so text size is a big deal for me! I want to be able to read my pages when I am old and gray! I scrap in size 12×12 and size my layout on the screen to 25%, which approximates an 8×8 layout on my monitor. (I print in 8×8) If the text is readable on the screen, it will be readable once printed.
– For bold texts and clean texts, I find I can go a bit smaller.
– For script or messy fonts, I err on the side of a bit larger.
– In general, I rarely go below 12 pts and usually prefer 14.

Tara:

Depending on the font style I usually us 12 to 14 pts. Unless I am looking for a larger size for a label, title etc. I scrap 8.5×11, 8×8 and 12×12 normally but I don’t change for the size of the layout.

Anne:

Right now I’m mostly using 12 pt, sometimes 11 pt; especially when I use an easy to read font. When I first started digital scrapbooking I tended to type in 16 or 18 pt, the PSE work screen kind of tricked me to believe the font needed to be that big to be readable (I forgot that when printed the page would be so larger than what I saw…) I print the pages in 8×8 if I do an 12×12 size to save a little money as well as storage space.

Melissa S.:

I usually use 14pt. 12 is great on 12×12 prints, but I find it gets pretty small if you resize it down to 8×8 (I create 12×12 and print my photobooks at 8×8)

Jenn:

I tend to start with 14pt, and adjust as necessary depending on the font I’m using. For me it tends to depend on how much journaling I have, and what kind of space I’m trying to fill up with it. I usually keep the text size fairly small and if I want to fill up more space with it, I’ll adjust the space between the lines of journaling versus enlarging the text size too much. Like others have stated, I used to use a much larger size when I first started digi scrapping but when I had them printed the text seemed too large so now I tend to keep it smaller.

Wendy:

I scrap 12×12, but print 8×8 or 10×10. The smallest I make my type is 18pt. I have trouble reading small type, even with my glasses, so I take that into account and make my type larger than most people do. If you want to test your perfect size, type something up in a bunch of different sizes and print it out at 100%. See how it looks. Pick the size you like the best. Then make the size conversion. If you scrap 12×12, but print 8×8, multiply your favorite type size by 150%. If you scrap 12×12, but print 10×10, then multiply your favorite type size by 120%. (I like 12pt type when printed, so I multiply that by 1.5 and get 18 pt type. So I know my 12×12 must use at least 18pt type.)

We’d love to hear if you have any great tips for determining the best text size for your layouts!

katie big