Choosing a More Legible Font for Your Poster
The challenge with poster printing is to create a design that is easily understood in just a matter of seconds. Few, if any, viewers will stop in their busy trek past your poster to really stare at the design. Therefore, if your poster will contain any text, it must be readable at a glance.
Readability, which is how designers measure how easily blocks of text and words are read, is often discussed within graphic design articles, but legibility is a little less discussed. While the readability of your poster is important, legibility is just as necessary for text that can be understood quickly. Here are some of the aspects you need to take into consideration when choosing a legible typeface for poster printing.
The Purpose of Text
Before completely throwing to the wind all typefaces that are not legible, keep in mind that sometimes in poster printing legibility is not a goal. For instance, your design may include a typographical image with flowing letters that melt into a background image. While not very legible, this is completely appropriate for some poster designs. On this same poster, though, other information may be written in a much more legible typeface.
Never the Star of the Show
One important aspect of a legible typeface is that it does not shout for attention. Readers will be able to concentrate on the message in a poster printing design much better if the typeface is read without noisy distractions, such as fancy curls or stylized whirls.
Legible typefaces have rather big aspects; not bold, just big. The spaces within letters such as "a" and "o" are very open, and the x-height of lower case letters are of a large height in comparison to upper-case letters. In other words, each letter in every word is very recognizable.
Another legibility factor for poster printing typefaces is the actual weight of each letter. Somewhere in the middle is perfect. Too skinny, and words are difficult to decipher; readers have to strain to see the text. Too bold, and it slows readers down.
One last thing to keep in mind when choosing a legible typeface is the actual shape of each letter. The lower case "g" can be difficult to decipher in certain typefaces. If you will be using many numbers or symbols, be sure to check them before choosing your typeface, since some are not very legible even when the letters are.
With your next poster design, keep in mind the legibility of the typeface you choose. In fact, if you have not seen very many results with poster printing, legibility could very well be the problem. Make your text easy to read and viewers will not only understand your message, they will remember it later when they need your particular product or service.
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