Working on a logo design on which there is no budget for doing different design for different sizes -- the logo has to work on a 5 meters wide cut out foil as well as about 20-25 mm wide in a letterhead or a business card.

Big size is no problem as long as the logo look good in it, but for the small sizes I want to make sure that my customer won't have any problem to print the logo with ok result, make a stamp if they have to etc.

Is there any rule of thumb on the minimum line width to use in a design like this to make it compatible with the many mediums in which it might be printed in small size?

3 Answers 3


Stay on the safe side - Explore at first the smallest size. Let the line thicknesses scale up for larger sizes. Of course that's not obligatory. Many fonts stay in good shape altough line thickness do not directly follow the tallness.

You must be sure, if there will be some texts that must be readable in the smallest size. If not, then find the smallest design elements that should have some visible details just like some text of the same size.

Then write a piece of random (=meaningless) text using font of the same size. Random, because a word can be recognized as whole in smaller size.The font should be "single stroke" (=no colored areas, only the curve)

Test, how thick font curve(* is readable at the proper distance for that logo size. That's your thinnest line for that logo size.

This needs some common sense and feel, because thinner line may be enough, if font is made taller. Its more about the total acreage (=area) of glyph's line than line thickness.

To be more safe do not use thin lines at all, only differently colored surfaces - in fonts too.

Check carefully, how the colors should be presented as greyshades. The logo must be well distinguishable also in BW.

*) When fonts are curved (=converted to outlines) you can explore the effect of the line thickness directly without making glyphs taller or smaller - only change the stroke.


Is there a technical minimum dimension on any of thoose aplications?

Is there a minimum due the viewing distance of the final image?

It can not be a rule of thumb. For example in a web page the minimum should be 1 px... you can not have it smaller than that. But this does not say anything about how big the logo was.

A business card can be silk printed, engraved, sheet offset printed, hotstamping or digital. Engraving has less tolerance on thin lines. The solution, do not stamp thin lines or too small logos, but depend on the logo.

In some cases where there is a realy board spectrum of aplications you can have variations. Some fonts (the metal ones) used to have small adaptations depending on the pt size to compensate the acumulation of ink on the inner corners, to avoid "looking" round.

Some of this variations can be removing details from a "heraldic" looking logo, avoiding using text on small versions, etc.

Probably the rule is: Just use common sense.


No specific rule about this. You as a designer are presumably getting paid to deliver something that works. On the other hand, you won't be able to anticipate everything your client will be doing with their logo over time.

Some special applications like sewing on textile might require special adjustments for the artwork, but deal with that when you get there and with the support of the guys producing the items. They will tell you how thin their machines can print lines.

To be mostly covered, print your logo on some paper at different sizes, 20, 30, 40mm and see what it looks like, in both color and black & white, then adjust the lines where needed.

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