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Bigger Is Almost Always Better

Ensure text on your signs is big enough to be easily read

Author: Timothy Howard   | Published: December 18, 2017
Three strikes and it's out. Text in gray box is: (1) Too Small (2) Too Scripty (3) Wrong color for contrast

Three strikes and it's out. Text in gray box is: (1) Too Small (2) Too Scripty (3) Wrong color for contrast

With proper size lettering, sings can be easily read from a distance.

With proper size lettering, sings can be easily read from a distance.

One of the biggest sign mistakes is using lettering that is far too small. There are three primary reasons people make this mistake.

  1. They evaluate the sign on a computer monitor. Between zooming in and being close to the screen actual size is not represented.
  2. They start with a proper size font, but as they add more information to the sign, font size is reduced to fit all the words. We’ll talk about reducing sign clutter later.
  3. They don’t review from a proper distance or angle. Frequently someone holds a sign up and takes a step or two back and has someone look at it. Unless that sign is read when people are within a step or two, the text will likely be too small.

Solution: Print a few of the words at actual size on your printer

With a standard inkjet or laser printer and letter size paper, you can properly size fonts for most signs.

If you think 4” letters will be big enough for your sign. Print out ‘Testing’ with 4” tall letters.  Tape the sheets of letters together and put them where the sign will be. Have various people can read the test word from the spot where shoppers will first see it. Based on their feedback, you will know if you need to increase the size of the letters.

Also, font size required for legibility varies based on font style. A light-weight ‘scripty’ font (which I wouldn’t recommend in most situations) must be much larger to be easily read as compared to a stronger, simple font.

Posted in Sign Tips