How Big Should Your Sign Be?

How Big Should Your Sign Be?

Selecting the right size for the lettering of your sign is important.  Have you ever driven past a sign, only to miss what it says as it rushes by you?  This is the result of poorly chosen letter-size.  When planning and designing your sign, try to keep in mind the optimum viewing distance for your sign’s audience.  If your audience is stationary or moving slowly, such as people waiting for an elevator, then small, fancy typeface is acceptable.  On the other hand if they’re moving quickly, such as on a bike or in an automobile, then intricate small typeface might lose your message.  We use this handy chart to help us decide what size typeface should be when we’re helping customers design their signs.

 

Distance and Visibility Chart

 

Letter HeightBest ImpactMaximum Readable Distance
3"30'100'
4"40'150'
6"60'200'
8"80'350'
9"90'400'
10"100'450'
12"120'525'
15"150'630'
Letter HeightBest ImpactMaximum Readable Distance
18"180'750'
24"240'1000'
30"300'1250'
36"360'1500'
42"420'1750'
48"480'2000'
54"540'2250'
60"600'2500'

Calculations based on an externally (or naturally) lit sign with all upper case Helvetica letters utilizing optimal negative space.  Factors that may affect required letter size are: color scheme, font selection, traffic and weather conditions, or sign standoff.  Please refer to the complete study for additional information.  For further details contact the USSC at 1-215-785-1922.

Yeah!