I'm planning to rent several so-called "Jr. Poster" billboards (about 5 by 11ft), displaying several paragraphs of text (black text on white background).

I was wondering, what is the minimum font size I should use? I'm aware that this ultimately depends on the viewing distance and other factors, but I was wondering if you have suggestions. Some of the paragraphs are rather long and obviously I'd like to include everything, preferably not having to cut down the text more than I already have.

Just curious about your thoughts and experiences.

Thanks for your time!

2 Answers 2


When designing for billboards, I don't worry about making anything too large. Practically speaking, the size of the text should be a function of both aesthetics and the distance from the billboard to the intended viewer. To test your design, print it at a specific scale, like 10% or even 5%, depending on the final size. Then hold or stand back at that same percentage of the intended viewer's distance. If it looks good, then the text size is fine.

The real dangers with billboard design is making text too small or too wordy. Worst case scenario - text that is "too large" will still be legible. Text that is too small or too verbose will be lost on the intended audience, which wastes time and money.

Basic rule of thumb: If you can easily and quickly read it from the relative distance as I described above, then it's not too large or too small.


I usually try to keep text to a minimum when working on large scale print, so I am not sure my experience is exactly what you're looking for. I find that on billboards anything under 120pt makes for uncomfortable reading. Headlines no smaller than 250pt, rather bigger.

How much text are you planning to place on these anyway (word count)?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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