Generally when designing your artwork on screen, no matter what size your finished item is going to be, you will zoom in to a resolution that fills the screen and as a result use any font size that fits or looks good. The one thing most people don't consider is how this will look when printed at actual size.
Unfortunately, due to this, customers can be disappointed with their final print because the text is illegible. When designing your artwork you need to consider the finished size of your item but also the distance at which it will be viewed. Business cards and flyers are intended to be viewed closely; however, this may still be at arms length so extremely small text may not be detected unless scrutinized by the receiver.
At the other end of the scale, artwork for posters and exhibition graphics are intended to be viewed at a distance so small or even medium sized text won't be suitable for important information. Essentially, the size of your text should increase with the size of your artwork, therefore the larger the finished item, the larger the text required.
EXAMPLE: The minimum text size on all artwork should be decided depending on the design and finished artwork size. Text no smaller than 7pt should be positioned on a white background and text no smaller than 9pt should be positioned on a coloured background. Bear in mind, text that is 7pt on an A4 poster will only be noticeable when viewed closely and on anything larger is unlikely to be seen.
Avoid using small text on your business cards or 'special occasion' artwork such as wedding invites, especially white text on a dark background as a halo may appear around the text if the printing plates are slightly misaligned.
If you are unsure whether your selected text size is appropriate we suggest printing a test copy on your desktop printer at actual size enabling you to judge the suitability.