Sign Design 101-Visibility Factor

When you need a sign, you need it for a reason. I believe that reason is to communicate a message. And whether it’s Apples 50 cents a pound or Warning! Danger! Keep Away! you want to get your message delivered plain and simple. There are many different methods for signage today. Vehicle graphics are huge and banners always work to send your message of Grand Opening or Sale! The effectiveness of your sign depends on just a few simple and basic factors. Going over them will help you be better informed when you’re working with a sign designer on your next project.

Factor #1-Is it readable? Sounds silly, but is it? The size of the sign based on the distance to the intended audience and how fast the audience may be moving is crucial. You want to make your message clear so that your audience can read it and respond. For basic code compliance, transportation companies are usually required by law to have lettering visible from 50 feet. That would mean the lettering would need to be 2” tall minimum. 4” tall lettering would be visible from 100 feet and so on, with a specific scale for larger letters and signage.

Factors that would affect required letter size are the color scheme of the lettering, font selection, abutment or standoff of the sign from a building and certainly traffic and weather conditions. There are many artistic and script fonts that are fun and have a place on a printed page, but not usually in business signage because its just not readily read. Choose carefully and have others proof for the readability factor. Too condensed? Stretch it apart. Too funky? Leave it out.

Keep in mind the visibility factor for your next sign project and you’ll be getting your message across plain and simple. And that’s good business!


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