Signage 101 - Letter Height Visibility | Don't Buy Before Reading

Signage 101 - Letter Height Visibility

There really is no point in purchasing a custom sign from us if your audience can’t read it! The first rule of thumb when it comes to signage is making sure people can read your sign, therefore successfully getting your message across. The investment put into a sign is worthless if it isn’t eligible or if it doesn’t look good. The point is, letter height matters! It is very often overlooked when creating custom signs when it is one of the most important factors. The letter size will also determine how well your message will be received by your target audience. There are also some things for common sense - like if your customers can't see the entire sign (depicted below): To achieve the ultimate success with your signage, there are some important factors you need to know. You need to ensure people can actually read your sign. There a few steps to take in order to achieve this. Here are some things you consider when designing your sign:

Font Size

First, you will want to determine how far you intend for individuals to be able to view your sign. If your sign is a window advertisement you will generally want it to visible from the street or parking lot. If it is a promotional sign inside the store you will want your customers to see it clearly when they enter your store or from the store window if they are walking by. A good rule of thumb is for every 10 feet of viewing distance, you need to increase your letter height by 1 full inch. To put it into perspective, if you want it to be viewed from 150 feet away, then you will need text that is 15 inches in height. You can find lettering charts online or go to to see available options

sign partially hidden by ivy


Font Color

Although color has nothing to do with font height, it sure does have an effect on the eligibility of your sign. You can’t have yellow letters on a yellow banner or any color that is the same or similar to the banner color for that matter. The banners with the greatest visibility will use colors that contrast with the background. Another helpful rule of thumb is to use a light-colored background with dark colored letters, or vice versa. You should at all costs avoid a dark background with dark letters or a light background with light letters, they are harder for the eyes to see and they don’t stand out (even if you think it looks good). You don’t want your eyes to hurt trying to read bright colors in bright colors. Make it easy to see at first sight.

lunchenette dinner sign

Font Type

The first rule when it comes to font type; avoid getting to fancy with fonts. Sometimes the fancy fonts are actually harder to read. The most recommended type of font is Serif or Sans Serif because they are simple and extremely easy to read. However, if you do use decorative or fancier font types, just ensure the letter height and spacing are adjusted to help increase visibility. There is no strict rule that says you can’t use decorative fonts, get creative if you desire, just ensure you adjust letter height, colors, and the font placement to help make it more visible.

store front sign

For Best Results

If visibility is more important to you then making fancy signs, then here are some tips to achieve optimum visibility. Try and use larger letters, simple fonts, and bold colors. Always use colors that will contrast with your sign background. Then place your sign in an easily-visible location that customers will see right away. You want your sign to be the first thing they see when they walk in!

  1. Alice Carroll
    Alice Carroll

    You made a good point that font color is crucial, especially when working with a background that features different colors. My mother plans to hire a sign printing service soon to put up signs on her front yard. There have been instances when dogs of her neighbors trample on her flowers, so having a sign to keep their dogs away when they are walking them will hopefully help with that.

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