I would like to know what is an ideal and readable font size that I can use in a business card with the dimensions listed. Not too big but not too small. I was thinking it can be about 7pt for titles and then about 5pt for subtitles but I'm not sure!

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    Hi Zozzy, welcome to GDSE! Are you sure you are making 8.56x5.4mm business cards? Those seem awfully tiny to me, and I don't think your name will fit... – Vincent Jul 29 '14 at 11:35
  • Thank you and ohh i made a mistake on the title, it should be 85.6 x 54 !!!! – Zozzy Constantinidou Jul 29 '14 at 11:50
  • I already corrected it for you, but you can always click edit to change things or revert them, if you feel my edits don't reflect your intention. – Vincent Jul 29 '14 at 11:51
  • Thank you very much! Im a newbie here so in a matter of time i'll catch up! – Zozzy Constantinidou Jul 29 '14 at 11:54
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    @Bakabaka. If you type [edit] in a comment, it is rendered as an actual edit link: edit. I often write comments like "Please edit clarifications into the post body, rather than leaving them buried in comments where no one will see them." – TRiG Jul 29 '14 at 15:45

5pt is not a readable size, especially if any bleeding or misalignment occurs. Why don't you just print some tests out? Its not like you're printing a poster or billboard. Any printer is big enough to let you test business cards.

Also there is no Ideal Size you have to look at it and determine how it fits with your image, your audience, and the text it contains. My name is Ryan, someone else might be Constantinidou. The font size for me vs the font size for that person could potentially be two very different sizes.

  • Thanks a lot Ryan, yeah you are right i should print out some tests and decide! – Zozzy Constantinidou Jul 29 '14 at 11:41

I had the same problem when trying to determine the ideal font size for a specific website layout. At a moment I came across a tool, the Golden Ratio Typography Calculator. It calculates the ideal font metrics related to the content width, by applying the Golden Ratio rule.

Now, because there is a relation between web and print dimensions, you can use the Golden Calculator for print as well. It should go like this:

By creating in Photoshop a 85.6mm x 54mm layout @300 dpi (a decent print resolution), the image will be 1011px x 638px.

With that in mind, head over to the Golden Calculator, input 1011 as Content Width and you will get a Base Size of 20px as the ideal font size.

Converting 20px using a converter like Endemo Converter will give you 15 pt for the ideal font size for your business card.

You can go larger and smaller by applying different typographic scales, like x 1.414 – Augmented Fourth or x 1.618 – Golden Ratio. The last one will have the following results:

H1 – 63 pt
H2 – 39 pt
H3 – 24 pt
H4 – 15 pt – your Base Size
Small – 9 pt

More on typographic scales and a tool to visualize these is available at http://type-scale.com/. It works with px and em, but you can convert em to pt easily using the 6th option, character – Y at the Endemo Converter.

If you want to know the science behind these formulas, go on and read Chris Pearson’s blog entry http://www.pearsonified.com/2011/12/golden-ratio-typography.php on the Golden Ratio Typography Calculator. It will answer a lot of “Why this needs to be like that” typography questions :)


I had this same issue when I was making my business cards a few weeks ago. I didn't want to be smaller than 10pt for fear that it wouldn't be readable. However, after printing out some tests I found that 8pt was the perfect size - still readable and everything fit nicely on the card. You could do all one size (IE 8pt) and then bold/italics/different color for headers if that suits you.

If you need any help designing the business card, let me know!

  • Thanks a lot for your answer! On what font it suits 8pt though? – Zozzy Constantinidou Jul 30 '14 at 17:24
  • Bebas Neue always looks nice, but it's all-caps. So personal preference, I didn't use that one. I think I ended up using Gotham. But anything basic, sans-serif style will look ok. Also shy away from bolder fonts as it starts to blend together the smaller it gets. – Alicia Uhacz Jul 30 '14 at 17:33

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