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The Importance of Lettering for Signs

The number of fonts on the market today has never been greater. It can seem like your options are limitless, and the widespread use of word processing software means that users are exposed to more than ever before.

Figuring out how to choose the correct font for signs for your business or ad campaign can be overwhelming, which is why many people look to the design experts for help. Creating a new sign or window treatment is a work of graphic design that is best left up to a professionally-trained artist—but we’re happy to give some insight into our process.

Read on for additional thoughts about why this seemingly unimportant detail can have a big impact:

  • Serif vs. sans serif: Serifs are those little tails or flourishes that appear on letters in fonts like Times New Roman. Fonts are first divided into serif or sans serif since this represents the most fundamental difference between types. When choosing the correct font for signs, it’s important to understand the differences in readability and impact between the two types—information that your graphics professional will readily know. Generally speaking, sans serif fonts are more readable when viewed at the scale of a large sign.
  • Size of the characters: Deciding how to choose the correct lettering size for your signs is fundamental. You might have the most beautiful sign in the world, but it’s essentially useless if nobody can read it. As a result, knowing what size characters can be read at what distance is a skill that most graphic designers learn early in their careers. The general rule of thumb is that characters can be read at a distance of 120 times their height. For example, a 4-inch character is readable at a maximum of 40 feet
  • Number of characters: Writing concise copy is a skill just like any other. Every business owner is eager to share the entire story of their work, and we totally understand. That said, keeping things brief and easily digestible is paramount. This becomes especially true if you’re relying on quick glances from foot traffic—a pedestrian needs to receive immediate impact from your sign, as they’re likely not pausing their day to read 500 characters. Choose your words carefully for maximum impact.
  • Spacing matters: When it comes to choosing the correct font for signs, it all boils down to making it as easy to read as possible. You want to remove every single hurdle for the viewer, and spacing can be a key part of this equation. Don’t be shy about asking your graphic designer to add a little more space between characters; it can go a long way towards having a more readable sign.

If you’re thinking about updating your temporary or permanent signage for your business and are uncertain about what font choices to make, then it’s time to make the call to the professionals.

Our team at Sign It Up has over 15 years of experience helping customers create high-impact signage, so get in touch with us today and let our people get to work for you.

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