Making Sense of Letter Height and Length

How font height is measured

Fonts are measured by the total space they take up from the highest letter to the lowest letter.

See the image below, which shows Scriptina, a scripty font that is very tall from top to bottom:

measuring the height of a font
how to determine font height for vinyl wall quotes

Why do some fonts look so much bigger than others that are the same size?

The size of the lowercase x is used as a way to compare sizes across different fonts. This measurement, called x-height, is illustrated below. Notice the heights of the “h” vary:

illustration of x height
illustration of x height for vinyl lettering

According to, “A font with a large x-height looks much bigger than a font with a small x-height at the same size.”

So what does that mean for you and me? Scripty fonts look small and block fonts look big at the same size.

See the illustration below, which was made on our very own site. These two phrases have the same letters and are the same heights.

fonts can look very different at the same size
fonts can look very different at the same size

Notice how much longer the block font is besides the letters being wider and the illusion of the phrase being bigger.

If you have any trouble designing your lettering on our site, please contact us. We’re happy to answer questions or help out in any way.

We can also adjust the length of a font if it’s getting too long or short for your desired height.