Fine print

The term fine print refers to information printed in a smaller font than the main text which it comes with. Otherwise known as small print or even mouseprint, it is usually used in advertisements for products, special offers and promotions, as well as for other commercial uses. The use of fine print can attempt to deceive the buying public, because the main text of the advertisement is structured in such a way as to lure the customer into thinking that he is being offered a better deal than he actually is.

Despite the fact that the use of fine print can be somewhat deceptive, especially to consumers who may not be careful enough to double-check for the details of a promotion or advertisement, the use of this tactic is not illegal. It is a way of going around regulations that require that complete information be given about a product or service. Since the manner in which the information is to be presented is not specified, then many businesses get away with presenting the less attractive details in a more obscure manner.

On the other hand, in the context of contracts, the term fine print similarly refers to details which may not be so obvious from the outset. For example, at first it may appear as though a certain concession can be given to one party given the fulfillment of a specific condition. However, there may be other details attached to this condition, such as the manner or time frame it should be fulfilled, which may not be stated overtly, but simply implied. It is necessary to understand the fine print of agreements and contracts to make informed and responsible decisions in relation to these.