Testing Font Readability – Video Typography Essentials


When using text for video, it's very common to use type that is too small. Because video seems to have two distinct paths these days—traditional and Web—we've developed two quick tests that check for readability:

  • Traditional. When we build graphics for the television screen, we'll often stand up and step back a few feet from the monitor to view our work. This is because TV viewers rarely sit three feet from the screen.
  • Web. Video on the Web has a different set of problems. The two biggest issues you'll face are playback size and data rate. Most Web video is played back with a width of 320 or 640 pixels. This means that up to 83 percent of your information is being discarded (1920 vs. 360 pixels). Additionally, most Web video is compressed to a significantly smaller data rate. We recommend staying in your desk chair but reducing the playback window to 50 percent (or even 25 percent) magnification. You can also change the resolution of the Program Monitor to quarter or half quality.
  • Be sure to check out the new book An Editor's Guide to Adobe Premiere Pro