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Consider Visibility When Designing a New Business Sign

Posted on October 31, 2013 | Posted by Brooke Randell

Designing a new business sign isn't all about bright colors and splashy designs. If you expect your sign to be seen, you'll need to consider a few practicalities, too. The size of your sign, its lettering, and the sign's placement are top among these. How will people know to stop at your business if they can't even read what it is that you do as they drive by?! Your future customers need to be able to read and understand your signage from the road.

Optimal Placement

Your first consideration is the placement of your sign compared to how much distance passing drivers will need to read the sign and have time to stop before passing you by. Where the speed limit is 35 mph and there are no lane changes needed to reach your business, your sign should be readable from 185 feet away. If a driver will need to change lanes, the distance is 550 feet. Remember, too, that signs parallel to the road should be bigger than those placed at a right angle.

outdoor sign, retail sign, business signThe placement of this outdoor sign for a dance academy is optimally placed and quickly defines the services it provides.

Right-Sized Print

Typography is always an important part of designing a new business sign, not just for style, but for readability as well. Ideally, your sign's letters should be an inch tall for every 25 feet of distance from the road. That means 7 1/2-inch letters on a sign meant to be read from 185 feet away.

typography, print, font, sign

These signs were designed to be read from a busy road so all of the letters are large and easy to read.

Visible Height

The farther your business sign is from the road, the taller it will need to be. In an area with a 35-mph speed limit, you'll do fine with a display of 12 feet high. If your sign's out along a freeway, though, aim for 50 feet high. To keep your sign from being blocked by parked vehicles, leave at least seven feet at the bottom free.

outdoor sign, business sign, street sign

The height of this bank sign allows it to be seen from the road above the awnings over the ATMs.

For more tips on designing a new business sign or if you need an expert to get the job done for you, contact us at 12-Point SignWorks, LLC.

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