Font size and type for magazine

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eetu, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. eetu macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Tampere, Finland
    I'm doing one self-learning design project. It's just a hobby. I'd like to ask you, pros, what font type and size would you recommend for a letter (A4) size magazine. I thought about something simple like Arial.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Arial is boring and makes anything look like you don't know enough about type to be bothered to change it from the default (usually Arial).

    The main bulk of text or 'body copy' as its known professionally is usually between 8-10 point. Personally I try to get away with 8 but old cojers sometimes complain its too small and you end up going to 10 point or higher but 9 is about average.

    As for headings and standfirsts (the line or two after a heading, not always present or required) it all depends on the target audience because that will influence the style.

    Thats just my opinion. Design is all about opinion and I'm sure others may disagree with what i've said to some degree. But as an absolute basic guideline: 9pt body copy. 14pt standfirst and then pretty much anything for headers etc.

    Brace yourselves for shameless self promotion. :D

    Go to my site and click portfolio then editorial, theres a couple of bits in there you can look at. As you will see Heading sizes really depend on the style you are going for.
  3. TimTheEnchanter macrumors 6502a


    Oct 24, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    I'll second that. I try not to go less than 9 pt. with body copy, but clients always want to squeeze in more copy, so 8 pt. happens. Headlines can vary greatly, subheads in copy I like to keep 1-4 pt. bigger. Footnotes and captions can go 7-8 pt. and legal footnotes I like to go no smaller than 6 pt. If you reverse-out copy, stay above 10 pt. with a normal thickness font (light weight could plug-up on you). For magazine readability, keep your leading fairly loose, usually 3-5 pt. over the font size. For a more "designer-look" you can air it out even more.

    As far as "type" (assuming font style or face) that depends on personal taste and what you're doing. I suggest looking at magazines & articles you like for a guide. Explore those fonts at sites like MyFonts which has a nice upload & search feature. There's also many books available on typography that are great reference tools.

    Hope that helps! :)
  4. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    If you have have long articles with lengthy blocks of text, go with a calm, classic serif font. Times is much maligned because it looks like cr@p on websites, but there's a reason why the vast majority of novels are still set in serif faces.

    If Times gives you the heebie-jeebies then try Garamond, New Century Schoolbook, Bookman (one of my favourites and very easy on the eye) or Palatino.

    If the articles are short and punchy, then you'll probably be fine with a sans serif. Gill Sans Light is a great alternative to the inevitable Helvetica/Arial standards. Futura makes for great headlines and standfirsts, but there's something about the lighter versions for body text that makes me want to lapse into a coma.

    Hope that helps!


  5. eetu thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2007
    Tampere, Finland
    thanks, everyone!

    i will take all these comments into account. this is a good help.
  6. Valansi macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2007
    i think it depends on the magazine, I like futura, gill sans, eurostile, those are some of my favs. A common mistake is that people make type too big, remember always view at 100% and watch ur kerning and tracking!
  7. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    i agree with no less than 8pt, no more than 10pt. for body copy. Don't use times, it's not a very good typeface and is so overused, most untrained people think it's the only serif on the block.
    Palatino, Garamond, Minion Pro, Goudy, Mrs. Eaves, etc... are all good serif typefaces.

    As for your headline, subhead, and if you are doing anything lengthy you'll department headers too. I personally wouldn't limit myself to just using San Serifs there. But if you are going to use San Serifs, here are some goodies.
    Helvetica Neue, Futura, Gill Sans, Aksidenz Grotesk, Univers, Myriad Pro, Swiss, Eurostile, Franklin Gothic, Folio, Etc....

    There are also Slab-Serif fonts like Rockwell, that i think can look reall sharp when used properly. Some script fonts can even work well, if used properly. Frenchscript, Fling Plain, etc... are clean kind of funky script fonts.

    Really, you need to just look at fonts together and give your self a style guide to go buy. Something like

    Body: Palatino 9.5pt, 11pt leading
    Head: Futura, Rockwell, Fling Plain <36pt,
    Subhead: Futura book, 14pt, 16pt leading. all caps
    Department head: Futura Heavy, 24pt
    Folio: Futura book, 6pt, all caps
    Cutlines: Futura book, 7pt, 12pt leading, all caps.
    Credits: Futura Book, 6pt, All Caps

    Something like that will give you a starting point, because you have to set rules before you can break them.

  8. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    Actually, do it at 135%. On most monitors that is = to print size. That's most monitors though, not all of them. You can figure out what yours is, the same ghetto way i figured mine out. Open up an 8.5 x 11" document, and make it landscape. Then hold up a normal 8.5 x 11" document, and zoom in and out until they match. It won't be 100%. It will most likely be alot more thanthat.

  9. lofight macrumors 68000


    Jun 16, 2007

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