How Font Size Is Measured: A Comprehensive Guide

Font size is a critical element in ensuring the readability and accessibility of text. To achieve the right font size, it is essential to understand the various measurement units used, including points, pixels, and ems.

By grasping the nuances of font size measurements, you can effectively select the appropriate font size for your content, regardless of the device or platform. Here we will explore how font size is measured, including French points.

Metric points, the American system, and Old English points. So whether you’re a graphic designer, a web developer, or just someone interested in typography, this guide will provide valuable insights into the fascinating world of font size measurement.

How Font Size Is Measured

Different Standards On How Font Size Is Measured

Different Standards On How Font Size Is Measured

Here we discuss Different standards on how font size is measured. When it comes to font size measurement, several different standards and units of measurement are in use. These standards ensure consistency and help designers select the appropriate font size. Let’s explore some of the most common measurement methods.

You can measure font size in points, a traditional unit of measurement where 1 point equals 1/72 of an inch. Pixels are another popular digital measurement, referring to the number of pixels used to display the text. Em is a relative measurement based on the current font size, making it flexible for scaling purposes.

Percentages are relative measurements that scale the font size based on a percentage of the parent element’s font size. Inches and millimetres, although less commonly used in digital design. You can use it for font size when you require specific physical dimensions. Another relative measurement is rem, based on the root element’s font size.

French Points As A Measurement Unit

French Points As A Measurement Unit

French points are a common measurement unit within the printing industry to determine font size. This measurement system is based on the height of the metal body housing each individual letter or character.

One French point corresponds to 1/72 of an inch or approximately 0.0139 inches. It’s worth noting that French points typically find application in traditional printing methods like letterpress and offset printing.

Other measurement units utilized for font size include pixels, millimeters, and picas, varying based on the medium and technology employed.

Metric Points For Font Size Measurement

Metric Points For Font Size Measurement

Measurement units like metric points are crucial in determining the font size used in the printing industry. Derived from the traditional measurement system, one metric point equals 1/72 of an inch. This precise measurement ensures accuracy and consistency in font sizes. Pixels are the go-to unit for digital displays to measure font size.

With CSS, designers can choose from various units like pixels, points, or percentages when specifying font sizes. This versatility ensures web designers can create visually appealing and legible content across different platforms.

Font Size Measurement In The American System

Typographers and printers typically measure font size in points using the American system. One point equals 1/72 of an inch, representing the height of the tallest character, like the capital letter “I.”

Fonts come in different sizes, ranging from 6 points to 72 points or even larger. However, we should note that various factors can affect the perceived size of a font, such as the typeface used and the device or medium displaying it.

Font Size Measurement In Old English Points

Font Size Measurement In Old English Points

Old English points serve as a traditional unit of measurement for font size, offering a unique perspective. Derived from the height of metal typefaces in printing presses, they hold significance in typography and graphic design.

Equivalent to approximately 0.013837 inches or 0.35136 millimeters, Old English points provide insights into font sizing beyond digital platforms’ pixel or em standard. By retaining relevance in specific contexts and traditional printing processes, they contribute to the richness of font-related discussions.


Understanding how font size is measured is crucial for designers, writers, and anyone involved in the world of typography. Different measurement standards exist, including French points, metric points, the American system, Old English points, desktop publishing points, and Apple points. Each standard has its unique way of measuring font size.

By familiarizing yourself with these measurement units, you can ensure consistency and accuracy in your design projects.  Whether you’re designing a website, creating a presentation, or formatting a document, having control over font size allows you to effectively communicate your message and enhance the readability of your content.  So next time you work with fonts, remember the measurement techniques discussed in this blog to enhance your typographic designs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Size Is 12pt Font?

Ans: 12pt font is a standard font size that measures 12 points in height. People commonly use it for printed materials due to its readability. Regarding measurement, 12pt font is approximately 1/6th of an inch or 4.23mm tall.

2.What Unit Is Font Size Measured In?

Ans: Designers commonly measure font size in points (pt) for print design but use pixels (px) and ems (em) for digital design. Points are a standard unit equal to 1/72nd of an inch. The choice of measurement unit depends on the medium and specific design needs.

3.What Size Is 24-Point Font?

Ans: The size of a 24-point font is around 1/3 of an inch or 0.35 inches in print media. In digital media, it’s approximately 32 pixels. However, the size may vary depending on the typeface and design elements.

4.How Do I Measure Font Size In Pixels?

Ans: Typically, one measures font size in points rather than pixels. However, you can convert points to pixels using the formula: pixels = points * (96/72). This assumes a standard screen resolution of 96 pixels per inch and a standard printing resolution of 72 dots per inch.

5.How Is The Font Size Measured?

Ans: People commonly measure font size in points (pt), where one point equals 1/72 of an inch. You can measure font size in pixels (px) or em units in digital design. The larger the point size, the larger the text will appear on the page.

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