Ditch Bad Design: Sign & Banner Visibility Explained

Whether it is an advertisement for a marketing campaign or signage on your business, a well designed custom sign can make the difference between connecting with new clients or having your message go unnoticed.

When you hire a designer to create a custom sign for your business, make sure they take into account some best practices that include:

Using a legible font

There is no absolute best font for every sign. The key is to make sure the font is clearly legible from the distance it is intended to be read from. Some serif fonts with lots of flourishes become hard to read at a distance, but that is not to say you should never use them. If your logo contains a unique font that you want to include you should by all means include it as long as it is able to be clearly read from the distance it will be read from. It is a good idea to try and use one or two fonts so that your message stays clean and uncluttered.

Some fonts that are used frequently are Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond.


Using a color scheme that offers good contrast

A good design will take into consideration the contrast between the elements of the design and how it can lend itself to better legibility.

For example, laying text over a graphic can make the text hard to read if the color space of the text and graphic overlap. Another example I recently saw was a red banner that had the company’s red logo on it. With the colors being so similar the logo just disappeared into the background, whereas if it was on a white banner the contrast would have popped.

Red and black are the two most used colors for signage because black offers the most contrast and red draws attention.


Using the appropriate size letters for optimal visibility

Knowing where the sign will go and the average distance it will be viewed from is an absolute necessity in order to create a sign that is effective.

Generally speaking for every inch of text you get about 10 feet of visibility. If you have letters that are 3 inches tall, they should be visible from about 30 feet. This can be one of the most overlooked aspects of the design which can have the most impact on making your message go unseen. If you want your sign to be seen from the road, it might require large letters which in turn would require you to refine your message so that it is concise enough to fit on the sign and remain visible.

The table below shows suggested letter sizes.

Letter Height Maximum Impact is at: Maximum Readable Distance is at:
3″ 30′ 100′
6″ 60′ 200′
10″ 100′ 450′
12″ 120′ 525′
18″ 180′ 750′
24″ 240′ 1,000′
36″ 360′ 1,500′
48″ 480′ 2,000′
54″ 540′ 2,250′

If you discuss these issues with your designer you will circumvent any issues that might have occurred because of miscommunication about the intended viewing distance of the sign. This will also assure that your sign will display it’s intended message at the optimal viewing distance, creating new customers in the process.


Angela Catalan gravatar icon Angela Catalan

Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing many months of
hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

sonnerie gratuite gravatar icon sonnerie gratuite

Hello! I just wish to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you have got right here on this post.
I am returning to your site for more soon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *