Archive for the ‘Lettering:Size’ Category

What is the best size letter for my sign?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

As sign professionals, we often “intuitively” decide letter sizes based on our own experiences and the space available for the message. We choose fonts that will be easily read and increase spacing between letters, heighten them or shorten them, outline them to make them bolder, modify letters that don’t quite “fit” the way we like.

Sometimes, our artistic eye needs to take a backseat to the purpose of the message. If it looks really great, but no one can read it, how effective is the message? Even further, if it can’t be read and understood, why pay for it?

Often our design enlarged on the screen, will not perform adequately in its application.

A design to be viewed further than arms length needs to have it’s “pulse checked” with a letter visibility chart.

Gemini Incorporated, a formed letter supplier to the trade, distributes a chart listing the letter size, the best viewing distance and the maximum viewing distance to assist designers and clients in determining the best size for the signage.

As shown below, this is an invaluable tool:

As you can infer, the best distance for viewing is 10’ per inch of letter height.

This is for static or non-moving viewing. See the entry on viewing letterforms and logos in traffic patterns.