Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm designing a name overlay for a series of videos and I'm curious how long of a name I should budget for without knowing what ones might come my way.

As it's for a video it should be reasonably large, so I can't just make it tiny. If there's something ridiculously long, I could go and scale it, but the lesser the better. If only there was a 90th percentile for name length...

share|improve this question
    
My name full is 15 characters long (with space) :D –  Johannes Feb 11 '11 at 18:33
    
Whatever you do, don't forget to test it against something with more "M"s and "W"s and fewer "i"s and "l"s –  horatio Feb 18 '11 at 20:20

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is going to be somewhat dependent:

  • on the parts of the world you are targeting
  • what parts of a name you need to include (middle names/initials?)
  • any other abbreviations that might be needed (Mrs, Dr, PhD, MSc?)
  • characters used in names, unless of course you're using a monospaced font

I don't think there's any substitute for sample test data from your intended markets, from which you should indeed be able to derive a 90th percentile, although failing to fit 1 in 10 seems problematic; I'd be tempted to go for 95th percentile or higher.

I happen to have a long list of first and last names here. Difficult to sort them all by actual length in mm, but if I sort them by number of characters, including spaces, the 95th percentile is 19 characters long, including a space.

I can then set all of my 19-character names in my chosen font size, visually check which is the longest and measure it in pixels or mm.

But that's just an example with mostly British data, and I didn't include middle names or initials, or titles; you should definitely do abit of research.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.