When I was a burgeoning designer I thought small fonts were the best – and in a few applications – they are. However, as I’ve matured I’ve seen that larger font sizes really are superior.

*Note: These thoughts are mostly within the context of body copy on web, mobile, and print media.

Saying less with more

I employed smaller font sizes because I was designing for a client and would ignorantly relegate body copy to a necessary evil of the design. It got the least attention because, after all it was just lorem ipsum, I didn’t know what was actually going in there. It just had to look good within the gestalt of what I was creating.

The sad side affect of this approach was that my design, instead of the client’s idea or thought, determined the amount of text needed. It forced the client to produce more words than necessary and therefor the reader had to consume more. Yep, sad times.

I wasn’t concerned with what the body text was saying to the reader. Unfortunately, the designs suffered. Design is all about communication. Sure, they looked pretty, but did they communicate the best they could? No.

Saying more with less

Now that I’m more involved with what’s being said within the applications and websites being designed, I’ve noticed that I’m much more inclined to use larger font sizes. I’ve also noticed another interesting effect: I’m using fewer words.

This is great because the reader/user is served better in two ways!

  1. The larger font size makes reading more comfortable and enjoyable.
  2. Fewer words communicates the message more succinctly and quickly

Winning for everything!

So to sum it up, when designers care about what’s actually being said on a project, you’ll end up with better copy, more elegant and effective communication, larger fonts that are more comfortable to read, and a better design. Make them a part of the copywriting process.