Re: MINIMUM FONT SIZE FOR READABILITY
Can you point me to any research proving that printed text should not fall
below a minimum font size?
No, and I wouldn't if I could. All such so-called research is highly suspect, for reasons I've elaborated on in the past.
I've read some articles stating font size
shouldn't go below 9 point for printed text.
That's absurd. It depends entirely on what font you're using. Some fonts are perfectly readable by anyone with corrected vision at 6 points or smaller.
Other articles state it's a
matter of page size.
Now you're getting warm. It isn't really page size but a combination of column width and leading (line spacing). The narrower the column the smaller the minimum point size. Increasing the relative leading slightly as you drop in size helps as well (going, say, from 120% of the point size to 125%).
If your average line length is under 65 characters, your point size is not too small. Stretching it to 75 is possible if you fatten the leading up to 135-140%. The absolute point size, as I said above, depends on the font. A large x-height font like Times New Roman can be set at a smaller size than, say, Caslon, and still be readable.
My team uses a smaller page size for its books (7 x
9.5"). Our maximum font size is 12 point (not including headings), and our
minimum is 8 point. I'd like to make a case for increasing the minimum font
size to improve readability, but I need research to back up my case. So I
appreciate any resources you can point me to.
On that page size, I can't think of any common text font that I'd set larger than 10 point (with headings larger, of course). I'd suggest any good book on typography (Bringhurst, Elements of Typographic Style, has gotten great reviews among people I respect, but I admit I haven't read it yet) before I'd point you to a research paper. The guidelines I gave you above are consistent with the conventional wisdom based on 500-odd years of typographic craft tradition, and they should be adequate for your purpose.
- Re: MINIMUM FONT SIZE FOR READABILITY, David Neeley
MINIMUM FONT SIZE FOR READABILITY: From: Anna Langley
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