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How To Enhance Your Sign's Visibility

8/11/2021

How To Enhance Your Sign's Visibility

You may have a great-looking sign, but it won't matter how attractive your signage is if your customers can't see it. Ensuring that potential customers can view and understand your message is vital to the long-term success of your business and your brand.

Below is a chart that advises on the appropriate letter height for readability at certain distances. This can be used for both indoor and outdoor signs.

Letter Height
(Inches)

Distance For
Best Impact (feet)

Maximum Readable Distance (feet)

3"

30'

100'

4"

40'

150'

6"

60'

200'

8"

80'

350'

9"

90'

400'

10"

100'

450'

12"

120'

525'

15"

150'

630'

18"

180'

750'

24"

240'

1000'

30"

300'

1250'

36"

360'

1500'

42"

420'

1750'

48"

480'

2000'

54"

540'

2250'

60"

600'

2500'

Proper sign color and contrast can boost your visibility.

A high-color contrast factor will improve legibility. Here are the best combinations, ranked in order of legibility from a distance.

Sign Color And Contrast

High-Contrast Colors Improve Readability.

Sign Color Combinations

If your branding happens to have a combination of colors that don't contrast well, don't worry! Weak color contrasts can be strengthened with an outline or drop shadow. For outdoor signs especially, this can also help maintain contrast in spite of fading, weathering and other adverse effects.

Signs Now.com photo 3

4 Sign Visibility Tips

Exterior Now Open Banner SignWhether you're creating a bannerpost and panel sign or monument sign, the size of your outdoor sign will depend on a number of factors, including:

1. Where should your sign be located?

Where is the sign positioned and who is likely to see it? If it's for drivers on the freeway 20 feet below, you may need some large 3D letters or a pylon sign for proper visibility. If you're communicating to pedestrians just a few feet away, then a simple a-frame or window graphic will suffice.

2. How big should your sign be?

Pedestrians can usually read signs easily at walking speed. However, if there's vehicular traffic moving 50 miles per hour, your sign will need to be big enough for them to notice and read clearly - and fast. For these situations, a large vinyl banner is an ideal temporary choice, while a monument sign or post and panel sign can act as something more permanent.

3.  How to make your sign stand out from it's surroundings.

If your sign is one of many competing signs - such as in a shopping center or at a busy trade show - you'll probably strive for something bigger and better than your competitors. If, on the other hand, you're posting a lone yard sign on an otherwise empty green, you can scale back on size assuming, the sign is legible.

4. What type of sign do you need?

If you already have a specific sign type in mind for your outdoor sign, here are some size variations for common sign types:

  • Outdoor banners typically range from 6′ – 12′ wide.
  • 3D Signs and channel letter sizes vary just as much as the buildings on which they're placed. Larger buildings such as hospitals, condominiums and corporate headquarters will likely need letters at least 12" high. Smaller businesses may get by with 6" high letters.
  • Monument signs and post and panel signs can range from 6' - 20' wide. Usually the lower end of the spectrum will suffice for visibility unless you're communicating to drivers several hundred feet away.
  • Yard signs are typically 24”x18” which allows for visibility from nearby drivers and pedestrians around 50' or less away. However, for bigger messaging, sizes such as 36″x18″ can be used.

To learn more, check out our Outdoor Signs infographic.

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