Sign Letter Visibility Chart

How big do my letters need to be on my sign?

Thee are several factors in determining sign letter style and size for your sign monument or building signage. These factors include:

  • Font Selection (AKA Typeface Style)
  • Viewing Distance
  • Color Combination

Font Selection: There are generally two types of fonts. Serif fonts and Sans Serif Fonts. Serif fonts have thinner character width but added ‘tails’ to the corners. Sans Serif fonts are more of a block style, and not as fancy.

Serif Font Versus Sans Serif Font

Serif Font Versus Sans Serif Font

While Serif fonts look better up close, they may disappear at a distance if too small. We are NOT suggesting to use only Sans Serif fonts – you don’t want to look like a military base for your main business or community entrance sign! We are simply trying to explain that correct font selection is determined by viewing distance, speed of traffic, etc. It’s important! See this illustration from a distance on your monitor:

Sans font versus Sans Serif font from distance.

Stand back from your monitor – Sans font versus Sans Serif font from distance.

In short, the font type that you choose greatly impacts the visibility of your text. Very thin fonts and script fonts can potentially decrease visibility. When choosing fonts, you want a bold style font that is easy to read with sufficient spacing between letters. You can test this by typing in a few words in a computer program at different font styles, colors, and sizes, and printing them out and posting them on a wall. Stand back and view them at different distances to see how all these aspects come into play in choosing the proper lettering for your sign.

Viewing Distance: The height of your characters (letter size) is an important factor in designing your sign. This chart illustrates the impact of letter height versus how far away the lettering is viewed:

Sign Letter Height Visibility Chart

Sign Letter Height Visibility Chart

Color Combination: Another important factor is to use contrasting colors when designing your sign. Text color with a contrasting background can increase the impact and visibility of your sign by making your text stand out more. On the other hand, using a background color that is similar to your text color can make your text almost impossible to see at any distance. We are vastly experienced in utilizing color combinations in our designs – our goal being to skillfully demand attention with ‘class.’

While we can match ANY color from paint manufacturer batch code (or color name), we stock the ultimate color pallet in commercial sign enamels. These commercial grade enamels are specifically for signage, and have color scheme combinations that we know work best together.


Sign Color Chart

Our expert designers will design a signage solution that maximizes color usage for visual impact, taking into consideration your company logo design, font selection, and viewing distance. Contact our Design Team for consultation.