What type of fonts should be used in pharmaceutical labeling?

When designing pharmaceutical labeling, every aspect can have a huge impact on the success and usability of a product. If using the wrong font, it can appear unprofessional and may be difficult to read for users, increasing the risk of accidental misuse. To ensure this is not the case, the font type, size, color and spacing of the text should all be carefully considered from both an aesthetic and a practical sense. 

A key factor in font choices is legibility. A patient should be able to read the labeling with ease and be able to distinguish the difference between each character without having to squint or move to a light source. It is important to ensure the background color of the label provides enough contrast with the text color, avoiding patterns, images, or textures that could be difficult. High-contrast black text on a white background is the most popular route which has strong readability and avoids unnecessary eye strain.

To ensure a font is readable, the FDA has released guidelines on the best fonts to use to suit patients that may struggle to read. Using a sans-serif font instead of a serif-type font is recommended, opting for classic fonts such as Verdana and Arial which are simplistic yet bold enough. The font size should be no smaller than 10 points unless it is information such as the manufacturer details, address, license number, or year of approval, which are permitted to be in a size 8.

As well as the font itself, the design of the label should complement the packaging so a good flow is achieved. When the reader is looking for some key information, they should not have to search or strain their eyes, with the label ideally providing a natural flow that makes it easy to follow.


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