How Big Should Your Signage Be

Signs are a brilliant way to add curb appeal to a business property, attract customer attention and promote a new product.

With a stylish, well-designed sign you might even be able to steal customers away from a nearby competition. Of course, this will only happen if the sign is clearly visible and readable by members of the general public who might see it. That’s why you need to understand the connection readability has to the distance of a sign.

Distance And Readability

When we think about distance and readability for the sign, it’s important to realise that we’re not really thinking about how large the sign is. It’s more important to look at how large the lettering or graphic that you’re using is. Although ultimately, the size of your lettering will determine the size of your sign. After all, you don’t want a tiny piece of text, and a massive blank space for the rest of your sign do you?

Thus, you need to think about three factors here. These are:

  1. The length of the lettering used
  2. The optimum distance
  3. The max distance that the sign will be viewable

You could choose a sign with lettering that is approximately three inches in height. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly half the length of the average smartphone. The optimum use of a sign with lettering this size would be to attract people roughly 9 meters away. You have probably ascertained that this wouldn’t be that far.

Remember, we’re not looking at ten meters away from your business, though. We would be thinking about ten meters from where the sign is positioned. Thus it would be the diagonal distance from the sign to people on the ground that you would need to measure. So, the higher your sign is, the closer people would need to be to get the full effect.

Don’t forget that the distance we just mentioned is the optimum. The max would be closer to thirty meters which is far more beneficial. You can see this shown more clearly in the table below.

Letter Height (Inches) Distance For Best Impact (Meters) Max Distance Of Sign For Viewability (Meters)
3 9 30
4 12 45
6 18 60
8 24 106
9 27 122
10 30 137
12 36 160
15 45 192
18 54 228

It’s useful for to give these numbers a little context. So, in one instance you might be displaying a sign inside your shop to advertise your product, in this case you can have lettering that is 2 inches or lower.

If you are advertising to people outside your business, a sign should have lettering 3 inches +.

If you want to attractive customers that are roughly a football field length away, the lettering needs to be at least 8 inches.

It’s also worth thinking about speed if you’re advertising to cars passing by on the road outside your business. So, let’s say that the average speed since you’re near the main road is 80KPH. At that speed there will only be a view seconds of visibility for your sign. So lettering will need to be at least 22 inches high for maximum readability! On the other hand if the speed is 77MPH it would only need to 13 inches.

Other Considerations

Don’t forget that there are other ways to make your sign more visible. It’s common knowledge that we print black text on white paper because it is the simplest style to process. However, colorful signs can be more attractive and draw customers closer.

But do be aware that different colour variations can impact readability by roughly 10 percent. Some businesses also have backlit signs which are perfect to give your sign a little more impact.

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