Matching Signage to Your Customers' Visual Acuity

Matching Signage to Your Customers

You want to save money on signage. Well, how good are your clients’ eyes? (Yes. Seriously.)

We hear it all the time: bigger is better. It’s what they tell us at fast food restaurants when they encourage us to by the extra valued meal plans. It’s only later on, after repeated purchases of said extra values, do we run the risk of our doctors telling us, “and as a special bonus, we’ll call it dessert, you get put on cholesterol meds for the rest of your life!” The quick moral here is that sometimes we come to a point where super-sizing up what we want doesn’t give us the intended benefit we were sold to believe it would bring to us.

A great example of that can be found in signage

Here’s a question: do you know what the average visual acuity of your target market is? It sounds like an inane question since bigger is better, but not so much when cost is factored in. If it is a case of signage for Hospital & Healthcare signage or Entertainment signs, the cost can become essential. The truth is that not every business has the blow-out-the-budget needed to erect, maintain, and update the world’s biggest signage, nor do they need it. If the target market generally has great vision, r the location has minimal requirements for maximum visibility, then the size of the sign can be reduced. Of course, there are other considerations when shrinking the size of a sign such as competition and the potential saturation of signs in your location. That said, for those on shoestring budgets, even the littlest reduction in the first sign or its sequential upgrade could be the difference between leaving the lights on or permanently closing the doors.

How to check your client’s visual acuity?

It depends on the information you have on your clients. Traditionally, the first step would be to ask them. Yes, it sounds like an impersonal, cold, and oft-putting question. To get around it, asking clients if they can see the sign. Then, match their answers with their age - if you have it on file. This will provide a rough estimate. Another trick is to go online and check the latest demographic information. The American Optometric Association does an incredible job publishing and updating visual acuity stats for different age and gender groups. If you have a ballpark clue on your clients and/or customers’ demographics, the AOA website can help fill in the rest of the gaps.

See where we’re coming from now

Do you have additional long-view ideas to help maximize signage impacts and budgets for businesses?