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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Can You Read That?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The purpose of a sign is to guide, announce or inform a prospective customer or an entire audience. If your audience can’t read the sign, they can’t get your message. Your signage professional can advise you about specific sign sizes and lettering, but here are some guidelines.

North Chapman Building signA recent study showed that significant factors in signage are legibility, readability, environmental (illumination) and personal factors, such as the viewer’s attention level.

Font: The bigger the font, the better the readability. Likewise, increased character height improves legibility and readability, as does use of both upper and lower-case letters in a sentence format. This is especially true with visually impaired readers. Choose a simple font that does not have fancy curls or resemble script handwriting – these are often attractive close-up, but when hung at a distance and enlarged, they can be difficult to read.

Color: Use green or gray letters for the best results with people who have normal or low vision. The background should be non-glare and contrasting for best readability.

Spacing: Allow enough white space around letters. A general guideline is two inches of height per line, for standard 5/8-inch high letters. If letters are higher than 5/8 inch, allow two times the height of the characters. Don’t crowd the lines or the lettering, because it will impede readability. No matter how large the letters may be, if they are too close together, they will still resemble a jumbled alphabet.

Logo: Keep it simple, both in design and color. Allow enough white space around it to make it clear that this is an identifying mark and to guarantee no text infringes on the image. Make sure it’s identifiable and readable as your logo.

Remember: If you can’t read it or understand it, chances are, no one else can either!

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