Visibility of Letter Height

It’s important to pay attention to the size of your letters. Letter size is one of the most crucial things to consider when making a sign. It’s an often ignored aspect of constructing custom signage. Your message’s letter size (also known as letter height) determines how far away it can be read. Too small or too large lettering will degrade the quality of your sign, so knowing what letter height works best for a certain viewing distance is critical. We’ve collected a list of important lettering characteristics to consider while creating your sign, including font size, colour, type, sign placement, and lighting circumstances.

Font Size – To figure out what letter size to use for your sign, you’ll need to figure out how far away you want your sign to be seen. In general, you should increase the letter height by 1 inch for every 10 feet of viewing distance away from your sign. For example, if you want the writing to be visible from 150 feet away, the text should be at least 15 inches tall. We’ve included a chart with letter height and distance increments based on this rule of thumb so you can quickly determine what letter size you’ll need for your sign.

 Examples of common font sizes include:

As previously said, these are merely suggestions / examples of typical letter heights for various sign styles. To establish the proper sizing for your sign’s letters, we recommend utilising the letter height table above or the 1″ to 10′ rule of thumb.

The graphs below indicate typical letter heights for various sign kinds and applications (not viewable distance).

Letter Height Example for Large Format Signs

Use colours that contrast with the background colour of your sign for the best visibility of text. Below is a chart that shows the most popular colour combinations for the best visibility. The basic guideline is that a light coloured backdrop should be used with a dark letter, and vice versa. For visibility considerations, a dark background with dark text is not optimal. This is especially true for storefront signage like vinyl lettering and window decals, which can be applied to tinted windows. (Here, we go over the distinctions between all of our window signage alternatives.)

Contrasting Colors Chart

 

Font Type 

The letter height visibility chart (see above) and recommended letter heights are based on Serif or Sans Serif fonts (and variations of these font types). When using a smaller font size, decorative and script typefaces are more difficult to read. If you’re going to use decorative or script fonts on a sign, ensure sure the letter height is altered to make them more visible. Even when the font size is increased, ornamental typefaces are simply more difficult to read than block fonts.

Sign Position

The position of the sign in respect to sidewalks or streets will impair letter visibility. Take into account the angle of the sign as well as the angle of the spectator while putting it (whether in a car or walking on a sidewalk).

Signs that are perpendicular to a pedestrian’s or driver’s line of sight are easier to see than those that are parallel to a road or walkway. Even if placed parallel to the line of sight, larger letter sizes will still be more apparent. Larger fonts should be used on signs below or above eye level to improve visibility.

 

 

Lighting circumstances

Signs should be changed if they are positioned in direct sunlight or in well-lit rooms. When light shines directly on them, bright colours (yellows, oranges) and pastel hues will be tougher to notice. In well-lit or bright settings, choose darker colours to make letters more visible. Dark lighting or dark surfaces (such as tinted windows) will also necessitate lighter coloured lettering to aid visibility.

For Maximum Visibility

These ideas are simple to grasp and do not necessitate any prior graphic design experience. When in doubt, go with larger letters, legible fonts, and font colours that contrast with the backdrop colour of your sign and/or application surface. Place your sign in a prominent area that provides for optimum visibility while also ensuring that direct sunlight does not degrade the sign’s quality. If you have any questions about sign design or letter height, we have an all-star team of designers who can help you out for free, as well as an award-winning customer support team.

 

Sign Position

The position of the sign in respect to sidewalks or streets will impair letter visibility. Take into account the angle of the sign as well as the angle of the spectator while putting it (whether in a car or walking on a sidewalk).

Signs that are perpendicular to a pedestrian’s or driver’s line of sight are easier to see than those that are parallel to a road or walkway. Even if placed parallel to the line of sight, larger letter sizes will still be more apparent. Larger fonts should be used on signs below or above eye level to improve visibility.

 

Lighting circumstances

Signs should be changed if they are positioned in direct sunlight or in well-lit rooms. When light shines directly on them, bright colours (yellows, oranges) and pastel hues will be tougher to notice. In well-lit or bright settings, choose darker colours to make letters more visible. Dark lighting or dark surfaces (such as tinted windows) will also necessitate lighter coloured lettering to aid visibility.

For Maximum Visibility

These ideas are simple to grasp and do not necessitate any prior graphic design experience. When in doubt, go with larger letters, legible fonts, and font colours that contrast with the backdrop colour of your sign and/or application surface. Place your sign in a prominent area that provides for optimum visibility while also ensuring that direct sunlight does not degrade the sign’s quality. If you have any questions about sign design or letter height, we have an all-star team of designers who can help you out for free, as well as an award-winning customer support team.