A sign can be visible but not readable. You may have a great design/layout for a business card, flyer, etc. but that same design might not have the same effect on a larger format. Especially if the sign is in a high traffic area where people only have seconds to view your sign and comprehend what it is trying to convey before they rush past it. It’s a challenge to deliver exactly the right message in the right way when being viewed from a distance. It needs to be clear, concise and memorable. Good logic for far viewing distances: Less is more and keep it simple.
Here’s a short list of what a customer needs to know about your business.
- Who you are
- What you do for them
- How to contact or find you
Beyond that it’s just added information that may or may not be remembered. I recently saw a billboard that had incredible layout. However, I got so caught up in the image that I had to ask my passenger what the billboard was advertising for. Oddly enough he couldn’t quite remember either. Quick fix would’ve been to have the name of the company stand out more from the image. In that case it would’ve been intriguing to find the company online after seeing their ‘cool’ image and finding more out about them. Then you’ve moved from the initial ‘who we are’ to the hooked and needing to find out more.
Customers may recognize your logo instantly. Which is a very good thing. McDonalds doesn’t have to say McDonalds on all their merchandise/advertising. The golden arches are enough for anyone to know who that product is associated.
The basics to achieving the readable sign:
- Use a clear and simple message about who you are, what you can do for them and how to contact you
- Use strongly contrasting colors to grab their attention-Bold colors on a white background or vice-versa are the most effective.
- Use the right size letters and graphics to ensure readability-Here’s a guide to letter size as it relates to distance: 10″ letters are visible up to 40. 20″ letters are visible up to 75′. 40″ letters are visible up to 150′.
- Timing is everything. Numerous studies have been done to determine how much time customers in moving traffic have to read a sign. In general, each 1″ increase in letter size results in an additional 50′ of readability.
- Where is the sign being placed
- Who is the viewing audience (drivers, pedestrians, indoors, outdoors)