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I am designing new business cards for employees and many of them have several credentials after their name. To make them all "fit" do I bring the entire name and credential line down a point or can I just make the credentials a point smaller? Is there a rule to this?

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I don't know about standard conventions, but if you wanted a way to make them smaller without it looking like you're implying they aren't important, small caps might work. While looking for an example I saw this thread on an almost identical topic on Typophile, might help –  user568458 Nov 26 '13 at 18:04

4 Answers 4

In many cases it's more aesthetically pleasing to have credentials slightly smaller than the name.

I don't know if there's a "rule" about it. However, in almost every business card I've ever designed credentials are slightly smaller than the name.

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This does seem to be the norm for the 'business card' look. I've used bold as an alternative to larger font size when I had similar issues in the past. It worked well. –  Jenna Nov 26 '13 at 19:07

Yes, go ahead and make it smaller. I second @Scott, most cards I have made have the credentials smaller (though I come from a country where little importance and attention are paid to credentials..)

Should you decide to make it smaller, I would suggest actually going possibly a couple of points down. If it is the same fontface, a too-small difference in size might make it feel a little "off".

Italic generally uses less space, and personally I am not a big fan of small caps.

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From a Design point of view, I agree that dropping the font size on the credentials makes sense.

Just make sure your client agrees...

Many people work very hard to earn that string of characters and it is very important to them. To those clients, minimizing the impact of their efforts can be as insulting as spelling their name wrong.

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I absolutely agree that the credentials should be smaller by a couple of pt. sizes. Esthetically they look better and the person's name is the most important element on the card.

Hope this helps.

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