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Exhibit text, large format

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  • Exhibit text, large format

    I usually stay away from justified text but I've been asked to do it for large format exhibit intro text. I have I'm talking ~400 words, set at 34pt Futura. What's the general 'rule' for justified?

  • #2
    Hi Moniker and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      There is no ''general rule''

      The idea is not to have rivers running through it. Sometimes you have to suggest to the client that they might have to change a word here and there (as long as it isn't a quote.) Sometimes you have to adjust tracking a bit.

      Justified text for an exhibit intro?
      Seems an odd choice. Why not do something that suits the subject matter.
      Not to mention, that's a lot of words. No one is going to stand around to read 400 words... Not at 34pt...
      An exhibit intro is usually the teaser, not the opus. Something along the lines of 60 words or less at 125pts plus-or-minus.They should be thinking along the lines of drawing their audience in, not making them drop dead at the door.
      (I do a LOT of exhibits.)
      Last edited by PrintDriver; 03-27-2017, 07:42 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by moniker View Post
        ...large format exhibit intro text. I have I'm talking ~400 words, set at 34pt Futura.
        That's a recipe for failure no matter how or how well you do it. 40 words would be far too many for such a presentation.

        I'm not sure what kind of "general rule" you're looking for, but everything there is to know about setting good-looking justified type becomes moot at that size, in that font. Perhaps the same could be said of readability. Anyone who stands looking up at a wall reading that many words might immediately afterward start looking around for the free aspirin giveaway that should accompany such a chore. Who ever came up with this idea should be working a shovel at the zoo.

        As for methods, it will depend on what software you use. Wrangling the line-length/overall height trade-off alone should be a real hoot. If you do end up actually executing this instrument of exhibitor suicide, I'd recommend using InDesign, where the justification controls will afford you the ham-fisting it will require.
        I'd rather be killed than come to your party, but if you don't invite me, I'll kill myself.


        • #5
          There are formulas commonly used for justified text in newspapers and magazines (average 30 characters per 10 pica/1.5inch column in newspapers to 60 characters or more per 24 pica/3.5inch column in magazines ).

          For your large format display (assuming 800mm wide and text column 700mm wide) with 34pt Futura you will be getting around 130 characters per line. This is closer to the character count in some books so it may be difficult to read at a distance.

          This may be the effect you client is after but it may be advisable to show them a visual before you go to print.
          Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana


          • #6
            That is a lot of words to expect a person to stand and read, especially at an exhibit fair where people are talking and socializing, not reading literature. I can see this working as a low contrast background texture/image that has something else larger layed on top, but for reading alone? I'm no expert in exhibit design but I'd think this is going to be a bad idea.


            • #7
              Is this a sales exhibit for tradeshow?
              or an educational exhibit?

              In either case, 400 words is way too much. But the difference between the two venues might help in settling the matter with the client.
              if you don't ''sell it'' in under 30 seconds, you've lost the customer. If you're trying to educate an adult you have about the same 30 seconds. With a kid, you have even less time.

              The best place to hide words in an educational exhibit is in a flipbook. Otherwise, short, sweet and very much to the point on any exhibit panel, mural, video or interactive.

              Remember, today, the human attention span has been clocked at being shorter than a goldfish's, or about 8 seconds. You have to keep your audience engaged.
              Last edited by PrintDriver; 03-28-2017, 12:45 PM.






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