What is it about?

Typography significantly influences the legibility and usability of patient information. This study investigated the implementation and changes of different typographic subjects in package leaflets used in the European Union.

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Why is it important?

The 138 package leaflets revisited in 2015 showed significant increases in word count (average 2551 words), font size (1.43 mm x-height, 2.0 mm cap-height), line spacing (3.13 mm), use of text attributes (for example, lists in 94.2% and bold print in 83.2% package leaflet’s body text), use of light-condensed or condensed font (34.1%), and use of portrait format (81.9%). To achieve any further increase of EU package leaflet font size and other typographic improvements, a significant decrease in text volume is essential. To this end, replacing the current 840-word QRD template with a 200-word version would allow optimization of typography in all EU package leaflets, without deleting information essential for patients or incurring any unfavorable format increase.


Based on the results, the following is recommended for package leaflets in the European Union: 1. Significantly reduce the volume of text; particularly, through implementation of a 200-word QRD template for package leaflets. 2. With a shorter template in place; introduce obligatory 9 pt minimum font size and 120% space lining. 3. Delete inappropriate readability guideline recommendations, such as landscape format, left-justified print.

Dr Jörg Fuchs

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Typographic Changes in Package Leaflets of the European Union Based on the Example of German Versions Between 2005 and 2015, Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science, March 2017, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/2168479017699654.
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