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  • Writer's pictureNorthPoint

Pixels to Print: Minimum Imprint Sizing

As designers, it is our job to always make sure designs will work both technically and visually when printed on product. We know the ins and outs of what it takes to make this happen, whether it’s limitations in font size, stroke weight, imprint methods, or colors! When promoting your brand with fresh new swag, there is nothing worse than having the imprint illegible or unrecognizable because of technical problems.

No need to fear, we are here to save you from this printing disaster! The limitations of printing on product is a topic that is not discussed enough within the world of promotional products but is something that is much more important than most people think. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply “shrinking” a logo or design to fit the imprint area of a product. You also have to consider the fact that when shrunk, small lines and words are likely to be completely filled in, therefore making a logo or design illegible. This is important to keep in mind when designing something to imprint onto your latest swag because we want to prioritize the quality of the imprint to be the best that it can.

*In comes minimum font sizes*. Minimum font sizes exist for most printing factories with the goal of ensuring that an imprint comes out clear, readable, and visually pleasing. As mentioned before, when designs or logos are printed below the minimum suggested size, you risk losing the small details in your art. Let’s take our very own glass cleaner spray for example. This is an image of the label after it has been printed, giving a perfect portrayal of an imprint that could have gone wrong.

If you take a look at the small text below our NorthPoint logo, you are just enough able to read what it says, but if that text was any smaller, the letters would start to blend together and become illegible. On average, the minimum font size to be imprinted legibly is 6 pt, however, this all depends on the material it is being printed on. For example, hard plastic or metal products have the best chance of having an imprint legible at 6 pt font, but if the product is something soft (something like a stress reliever, tote bag, or soft cover journal) the font size suggested is more towards 8 pt to avoid the risk of the ink spreading and blending into the other letters. On the other hand, when it comes to apparel and an embroidered design or logo, the average minimum font size is much higher at 20 pt because of the space needed for the stitching process of embroidery! Definitely something to keep in mind when submitting your next design to be imprinted!

Just as font size makes all the difference in the outcome of a printed product, small details like stroke weight and lines are just as important for the same reasons. Let’s now take a look at another example using this pen and our 4 service logos below. As you can see, what the logos should look like in comparison to what they would look like when imprinted in such a small imprint area is much different. Because they were shrunk down so much, the details on the objects in each box are completely gone, and we have lost the design that we intended for in the first place.

Keep in mind these tips and recommendations when designing your next promotional item, and your swag will come out looking the BEST that it possibly can!!

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