Choose the Correct Type Point (Size) for Your Infographics

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

You always need to be aware of how legible the type in your infographics will be when people view it. Text has to be large enough and clear enough that people can read it.

Common design standards dictate that body type shouldn’t be smaller than 10 points (pt), and it’s recommended in most cases to use 12pt or 14pt type. Many web design purists are now even calling for a 16pt minimum.

If your body type is between 12 and 16 points, scale up and down from there to determine the size for headlines, footnotes, and other features. So, your headline might be about 24pt type (or larger if it’s a big graphic and needs a large headline). Footnotes will probably be 8pt type.

In Illustrator, you can test what your work will look like before exporting. From the View menu at the top of your Illustrator window, choose the Actual Size option to get a sense of how your published work will look. That way, you can check whether your type will be large enough to see clearly. You can also choose File→Save for Web for work you intend to publish online.

No matter what the characteristics of your infographic, you should keep these three questions in mind:

  • Is my key information visible when readers first navigate to my graphic?

  • Can readers easily read the text on the page?

  • Does it look right under a variety of conditions, on different screen sizes and resolutions, and when viewed through different browsers?

New technologies debut all the time, and keeping up with them is virtually impossible. Getting some working knowledge of HTML and CSS can help designers make sure that their content continues to be legible and attractive even after technology marches on. If you had to answer “no” to any of the preceding questions, head back to the drawing board.