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PowerPoint Questions, tips and technical info how to use PowerPoint in ministry.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Thursday, August 27th, 2009, 03:21 PM
rev_65's Avatar
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Font size formula

OK, so I've searched the past posts but can't seem to find it.

Does anyone have/remember/point me to the formula for determining minimum font size based on your projection screen size and furthest viewing distance?

Trying to break some old habits at a new church, and I need more leverage beyond, "... because I'm telling you it is so..."

Thanks, gang!
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Old Thursday, August 27th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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The only one I've heard is (age of the oldest member) / 2.

I usually try to stay at 32 for the minimum. 28 if I have to. This is on a 9'x12' screen with a 60' long room.
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Old Thursday, August 27th, 2009, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osborn4 View Post
The only one I've heard is (age of the oldest member) / 2.
Very funny...

After wading though most unhelpful and outdated information on a variety of sites, here's one site/post that at least seems to be rooted in an honest attempt at combining some research with scientific analysis.

http://pptideas.blogspot.com/2008/02...ig-enough.html

Download the attached chart as well.

Feedback?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ViewingDistanceTable.pdf‎ (30.6 KB, 31 views)
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Old Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009, 05:48 PM
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Nothing scientific about this... I had a group of 'vision challenged' folks (old folks) meet me in the sanctuary one day and experimented. Here's what I found...

1. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT SIZE (but in my space with my screen I don't go under 36 font).

2. IT IS ABOUT FONT - some are easier to read! I did research this at one point, and found that Verdana or Tahoma work well for being easy to read. Making it bold helps too!

3. CONTRAST - make the background very different than the text. When I use a dark colored font I pump up the brightness on the background, bright colored fonts get an extra dark background.

4. EASY TO READ - being able to read it is not my goal... being able to easily read it is.
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Old Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pianomandan View Post
Nothing scientific about this...
Your "experiments" do add further clarity to the issue.

For most churches in their media ministry infancy--ones that I have worked with or consulted for--the issue of font size seems to be paramount, and the article clearly addresses that with valid, usable information.

Font choices, contrast, etc. are elements that need to be discussed as well, and should be a part of the extended conversation regarding readability.

Blessings!
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Old Sunday, September 6th, 2009, 03:28 PM
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I just started doing our slides for worship songs a little over a month ago. What I noticed, and we have a smaller church and some older people is that Ariel Black font is working good. We tried a few other one, the size I have been using from 38 and up depending on fitting the words on the slides, and the contrast has been challenging, my projector colors are not coming out like the screen color and that is my next project to work on.
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Old Saturday, September 26th, 2009, 08:35 PM
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I read somewhere that a sans serif font (arial, verdana) is best for a screen and serif fonts best for printed material.

Anyway as far as font size you really would have to specify the psrticular font because I've told some of my volunteers a certain size but some fonts are a lot smaller or larger at that same pt size. I've told my team, for example, that it has to be no smaller than 28pt Arial font. If they use a different font they should compare its size to that default.

The way I came up with that is if I can read it from the soundbooth in the back of the church without my glasses then it's good. We also project on the back wall over the booth and the people at the pulpit have to be able to read it.
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Old Saturday, September 26th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Oh and correct me if I'm wrong, but one size doesn't fit all so to speak. It also depends on how far back your projector is from the screen, how zoomed in it is, yada, yada. I would just figure out what is best for your situation and then set that as the rule.
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Old Sunday, September 27th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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I would have to agree that size does not matter as much as how well you arrange the text. Of course 12 point won't fly on any screen for general viewing but I have seen instances where font sizes as large as 40+ were still difficult to read as a result of the colors, shadowing, shading, etc.
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Old Saturday, April 24th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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I'd suggest you pick a font face before trying to determine the size. It's easy enough to test fonts on a normal screen: keep the font size the same and vary the font, and see which font is legible from the greatest distance. We use Arial Black for notices (where it's possible to shorten the text to make things fit on a line without reducing the font size), and Franklin Gothic Demi for songs (where no shortening is possible). I've also been looking into the Tiresias fonts, and like the look of Tiresias Signfont and Tiresias PCfont Bold. They were made by the UK Royal National Institute for the Blind, with research to find the best readability.

The 'right' font size is dependent on screen size, screen resolution, distance to screen, viewing conditions (basically how much contrast can you achieve between font and background), font face, and most of all on how bad eyesight you want to cope with. A reasonable rule of thumb is to find the smallest font that an adult with normal eyesight can read from the back, and double that.

Remember, for media based on adding light to make an image (CRT, LCD, projector), you're best off with light text on a dark background; for media based on reflected ambient light (print), you're best off with dark text on a light background. With a projector, an added benefit to using a black background is that then you don't need to leave margins: the area outside your projected area can serve as a margin.
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Old Saturday, April 24th, 2010, 04:18 PM
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Comic Sans is always a good choice.
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Old Monday, April 26th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Comic Sans - you sick puppy.

I agree with all of the above. And it can indeed have a big subjective factor, that being the visual acuity of the individuals using it.

We have found that sans serif fonts and good contrast serve us well. For sermon cues we design elements with lots of "white space" for the eye to rest in
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