I just created an icon in fireworks with a size 17*15 (which is small) and when i try to label the icon the minimum size of the text is 8 pixels which is very big . I want to have a label with text size 3. and I do not want the label to be blurred. It should be at least readable . Can anyone help me regarding this ?

3 Answers 3


Nope. What you are asking for is pretty much impossible. You can't render letterforms with only 3 vertical pixels. There have been attempts at making incredibly small screen type, though. For instance:


That face has a 3px x-height. So pretty small. Is it readable? Not really. But a fun experiment.


Do you want it small or do you want it readable? Anything smaller than 8 pt won't really be easily readable by anyone using standard (1024x768) screen resolution.

Remember that a logo is supposed to provide a graphic representation and good practice encourages redundancy (i.e. a text label below the icon). So for instance this button:
enter image description here

could mean many things to many people. It could mean:
enter image description here
enter image description here
This is 10 point text; probably readable by the majority of folks. 3 point text will look like this:
enter image description here
and won't really be useful. You are probably much better off having a clean graphic and either labeling it below or providing something somewhere else that explains the (nice and clean) graphics. think the toolbar in Photoshop - most folks who are used to the toolbars know that the little brush is the brush tool, the little pencil is the pencil tool, etc. If you hover over the tool you get a pop-up that actually tells you the proper name, but it's normally not there. This keeps the interface as clean and organized as possible.

  • Can I steal the second one for an avatar? For somewhere? :) Feb 28, 2011 at 18:41
  • If I said "no" and you still used it, would that be irony? ;-) Feb 28, 2011 at 20:12
  • As Mathew points out (in a separate answer), this answer talks about points, when it should be pixels.
    – e100
    May 10, 2011 at 18:08

You can have the text at whatever size you like so long as it has a sensible mouseover (with normal screens).

Haven't a clue why people are talking 'pts' here - points are dead tree and not pixels, points have no use to you here as a screen could be 72 or 96 or anything else dpi.

In the early days fonts were on 8x8 monospace fonts. If they could have used less pixels then they would have done. But they did not have dithering and 'cleartype' then, never mind proportional width fonts. With these innovations you can go smaller, but screens have gone up in resolution so legibility is tricky for most people with 8 pixel high fonts. With that in mind, do consider your customers and whether there is any point at all in 3 pixel high text.

  • "You can have the text at whatever size you like..." Not if it's to be readable. Only one answer mentions points rather than pixels - this would have been better as a comment there.
    – e100
    May 9, 2011 at 19:00

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