When it comes to your website, essay, or article, the last thing you may think about is font size. Likely you are concerned with the content itself first and then grammatical and other considerations. But font size is not something that should be ignored because yes, it does matter.
Why Does Font Size Matter?
If you are writing a paper or essay, the first thing to understand is that using larger font sizes will not impact how many words are actually counted when your teacher or professor uses a word counter. What this means is that you should follow whatever guides your instructor gives you in terms of font size and not try to “sneak” anything past him or her by simply taking up more page space with larger font sizes. If you did not receive specific instruction relating to your paper’s preferred font size, 12 point is generally a good rule of thumb.
The reason font size matters have to do with legibility and organization. Even if you have written something important or beautiful, if it is so small that people have to strain to see the letters, you are hurting the item’s chances of being seen by as many people as possible.
While a few writers want to admit it, everyone wants their work to be read. If you truly believe in your work and put a lot of time and effort into, why wouldn’t you want as many people as possible to see, read, and learn from it? There is something romantic to certain writers about being the next Van Gogh style artist whose work is only rewarded after he or she has passed away. But such thinking is both silly and impractical. For every Van Gogh, there are countless others who were failures in life just as they were failures afterward. The point is that writers need not do anything obscure with their writing that makes their job of recognition even harder than it already is. And there is nothing wrong with recognition—while it should not be at the top of anybody’s list of priorities, there is nothing wrong with writers proclaiming with their heads up that, yes, they would indeed like recognition for their work and that yes, they are willing to make changes to things like font sizes and others if those changes are going to improve their chances of recognition.
How Bigger Font Sizes Can Help
The most important part of font sizes is that they are big enough not to force people to have to strain to read them. This is especially important if the font in question appears on a website. Why? Because people browsing online have an especially short attention span. You must either give them the information that they want and give it to them quickly.
After the absolute size of your body font comes the importance of the relative sizes of your font. It is important that your paper, website, or article features headers and sections with different size font than what appears in typical body paragraphs. Having a different sized font in the headers of your paper, website, or article is very important because it helps break things up and keep people organized and it can help certain text to stand out more when it is larger. You do not want all of the fonts you have on a paper to be the same size. But, with that said, you do need consistency. In other words, the font you use when writing a normal paragraph is referred to as the “body” font. As mentioned, body font should be large enough for people to read without giving them any trouble. Then the header fonts should be larger than the body font and should match. In other words, the H2 header font should all be the same size, so should H3s, and the like.
Now that you know why font size matters, you can decide what the right font size is for your next project.