How To Choose and Set Email Font Size
Updated June 24, 2022
Email font size can have an important role in how the reader perceives your message. You have many fonts and sizes to choose from, and finding the right combination can have a positive impact on the recipient. Learning about your options can help you choose the right font size for any professional email you send. In this article, we discuss why is email font size important, explain how to choose and set one and provide a few email font tips.
Why is email font size important?
The font size can determine the feel and look of your email, and it can be just as important as selecting the right font style for your email. It adds value to the content of your email and helps recipients to perceive information from the text.
Selecting the right font size is an important step to making sure your email is professional looking and legible. By selecting an easy-to-read font size for your email, you can increase the likelihood that your email will make a good first impression on your recipient.
An email with the right font size can also make it more visually appealing. Your recipient may be more likely to read the content of your email if it looks businesslike and simple. Also, if the font size of your email is scannable, your recipient may be more likely to read the rest of your message and respond to your call to action. Font size is a powerful tool when it comes to holding your reader's attention.
Related: How To Write a Professional Email
How to choose email font size
Here are the steps you should consider when choosing the best email font size:
1. Opt for a font size that's legible
Choose an email font size that is readable. Make sure it is large enough so that your recipient doesn't have to squint to read your email, but not so large that your message doesn't fit well on the message box and your recipient has to scroll to finish the entire email.
To make sure your message can be easily read, you can use a normal font size, which can be around 12 points, for your body text. If your email includes a heading with your name and contact information, you can make the heading font a bit larger. You can choose between 14 points and 16 points.
You can also ask trusted colleagues or friends to review your email's font size for any feedback. Getting a fresh perspective can be very helpful. Third parties can provide you with a fair opinion, not having looked at and criticize the email for several hours like yourself.
2. Make sure your email's font size complements the font style you use
The exact font size you use usually depends on the font style. Often, different font styles have different symbol heights, so the same 12-point font size will be different due to the chosen font family, like serif, sans serif or monospace. Experiment with font sizes to see what works best for your email. To make sure the consistencies and variations are as intended, send yourself a test version of your email to yourself.
3. Make sure your font size is readable on mobile devices
Many people now read emails on mobile devices, so it's important to make sure your font size is readable on a small screen. The content of your email should be large enough to be read without pinching to zoom or switching to landscape but, at the same time, not so large that your recipient needs to scroll a lot to read all the content.
You can use 14 points to 16 points for the body copy and 22 points to 24 points for the heading. Make sure to send a test email to different mobile devices, such as your mobile phone or tablets, to see how your message will look for your recipient.
How to set email font size
No matter which email provider you use, you can typically select a font size for your message in either of the following two ways:
1. Choose the font size you want from the formatting options
Before you create a new email message, choose the font size from the formatting options toolbar available in the email program. The formatting options usually appear in a menu at the bottom or top portion of the email message box. If you cannot see them, click the formatting options icon, which is a button with an underlined "A," next to the "Send" button. Then, click on the font size icon and select from the list that pops up.
2. Highlight your email message and click on your selections for font size
After you create a new email message, place your cursor next to the text you want to format. Drag your cursor across the text to select or highlight it. Once your text is highlighted, click the formatting option and select the font size you want to apply to the highlighted text.
Email font tips
With so many font styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on the font that leaves the best impression on your email recipient. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the best font for your email:
Choose a font that reflects your professional brand
Font is one of the very important aspects of your professional image and the impression you give your recipient. Choose a font style that accurately reflects your aesthetic and professionalism. For instance, if your tone is serious and formal, then you can use a standard font instead of a novelty font.
Use only two types of font, and make sure they complement each other
Select only a font or two to give your email a sense of simplicity and clarity, as well as to make your email easy to read. If you decide to use only one font, make sure your heading is at least twice the size of the body text.
Also, choose a simple, professional font style. Effective emails include fonts that are highly readable, clean and professional. Avoid any fonts that include special characters or stylistic flourishes. You should also avoid using "light" or "thin" font styles, as these can sometimes be difficult to read on a computer or mobile phone screen.
While stylistic or novelty fonts may give your email more personality and will certainly stand out from ordinary font styles, they may make your recipient strain their eyes, or the characters may not be correctly interpreted by applicant tracking systems, which is software used by many companies to scan cover letters and resumes and rank them based on relevant keywords.
However, there some cases when stylistic fonts can boost the visual appeal of your email. For instance, if you're applying for a job in the creative field like advertising or graphic design, including some style can help demonstrate your design skills. Try changing the font size and style of your heading, while still using a simple, professional font for the body text. Keep in mind that you can add creative touches to your email without doing it in a way that is excessive.
Choose a strong font for your headings
Headings establish structure, breaking up sections of text in your email. They make your messages easier to scan and quicker to comprehend. Choose a strong font for your heading to catch your reader's attention.
A strong heading font serves as a "hook," getting your reader to continue reading through the body until they reach your call to action. It doesn't necessarily have to be a completely different font style. It can be similar to the rest of the email but italicized or bolded to stand out.
Choose the right font for your email's body text
The majority of what your recipient will read in your email is the body text, so it's best to use a font that's readable yet neutral. The font style that you use for the body of your email influences how your recipient interprets your message.
For instance, Comic Sans would give your body text a casual tone and is best for emails that contain humorous messages. On the contrary, if you're sending a business-related email, pitch or email newsletter, a font style that's crisp and clean, like Arial, would be more suitable.
Preview your email across multiple devices when using a custom font
If you use web-safe fonts, which refer to fonts that can adapt to any browser on any device, you can be sure that your email looks the same across multiple devices. However, if you include custom fonts, preview your email across all types of devices to make sure that the specific font you use is supported by all major email providers.
There are some common font styles that are easily readable and are widely supported by a variety of the most popular digital devices. These include:
Times New Roman
Commissioned by the British newspaper "The Times" in 1931, Times New Roman has a heavy serif design and contrasting line weights, which helps guide the reader's gaze from one character to the next. Also, it looks professional and has an editorial feel to it, making it ideal for emails.
Originally designed for Microsoft in 1993, this serif font has been used for newspapers and novels for many years, giving it an authoritative history and appearance. It has generous spacing and heavy strokes, which make it very easy to read and help with keeping the reader's eyes flowing on to the next word.
Named after its designer's daughter, Verdana is one of the most easily readable web-safe sans-serif fonts. Its letters are similarly and evenly shaped to create clarity and consistency. Specifically, lowercase letters are larger, making it easy to read for all ages.
Designed especially for computer and mobile phone screens, Tahoma is a highly versatile font style. One of the benefits of using this font is that it maintains readability regardless of font size, which means you can use it for both small blocks of text and headings.
Comic Sans MS
This font is suitable for people with dyslexia, as each letter is clearly distinguished from others. While largely considered outdated and not appealing to look at, this font style is still useful if you're writing for fun or want to have a playful tone.
This font style is known for being versatile, modest and contemporary. It's used across all types of documents both printed and online such as advertising, reports, magazines and newspapers. It's one of the widely used and most standard computer fonts.
Designed by Microsoft, Calibri has become a standard for cover letters and resumes alike. It's clean, simple and as the default font many email providers, hiring managers or recruiters won't have an issue reading or opening your cover letter online. You can use this font style to give your email a simple, friendly appearance. For instance, if you're applying for a position in the hospitality industry, Calibri is a great font choice for your cover letter.
With its delicate strokes and classic serif design, Garamond is one of the best font styles for an email. Garamond is a font with a long history, coming from 16th-century designs. People usually describe Garamond as timeless. This font is a favorite among designers and ad managers. It meets all the requirements of a good email font: classy, attractive, easy to read and not something everyone uses.
Boasting simple curves and thick lines, Trebuchet MS is an excellent choice if you need to fill space or make your email extra easy to read. Use this font style if you're creating an entry-level email cover letter, as its thick lines help you fill the message box.
Explore more articles
- How To Restrict Editing in Microsoft Word (With Tips)
- 9 Ways To Demonstrate Your Professionalism in Nursing
- 54 Powerful Mission Statement Examples
- 13 Main Types of Speeches (With Examples and Tips)
- How To Answer “What Is Your Management Style?”
- How To Write School Applications Letter
- 16 Ways To Become More Approachable in the Workplace
- How To Get Your CAPM Certification in 5 Steps
- How To Write an Admissions Acceptance Letter (With Example)
- How To Write an Effective Theme Statement (Plus Definition)
- How To Evaluate a Business Idea for Success in 6 Steps
- 8 Effective Distribution Marketing Channels