Outdoor signage message and visibility tips

For those who have driven Interstate 65 Southbound on the way to Indianapolis and can remember, there used to be a sign on the East side near Zionsville, IN that was so brilliant, so mesmerizing that it almost caused the very thing it cautioned against yet profited from. It was that ingenious. The sign was from Wrecks Inc.

”We Meet by Accident (Drive Carefully)”

The sign said it all and implied the rest. And, at night, OH! It lit up the sky.

Sadly, Wrecks Inc. is no more. This piece of Americana has faded away. But they were the perfect example of what you can do when you have virtually limitless space to make make your signage.

Most of the rest of us don’t have such space to play with when it comes to our signage. For those of us who have to make due with a little less space than the endless horizon, here’s a few tips on getting the right message for your signage.

1 - Decide how far away will your outdoor signage will be seen

As much as we all would like to say, “as far as the eye can see,” the truth is not every location is so lucky. Some get to the end of the parking lot. Some get to where the road T’s. That’s okay. This information is needed.

2 - Decide how much space your signage will display

Once you’ve determined the distance by which your sign will be able to be seen, the next thing to determine is the maximum amount of space you will have to display the message on your sign. Some will have more space than they can afford; the rest of us will have restrictions. Some will be due to the mall the location is in, local zoning restrictions...

3 - Quick Tips on letter visibility

The distance from which the sign will be seen coupled with the space by which the signage can be displayed gives context to the space available to place the message.

Speed matters

How fast a customer will be moving when they see the sign matters. If the speed limit by your sign is 35 mph but most drivers go 50 mph, then assume drivers will see the sign at 50 miles per hour. This means the letters will be bigger. This means the message has to be shorter.

Here is a link to a chart that determines the best viewing size for signs: characters size, distance away, speed traveling. Take a look.

4 - Keep it short and memorable

The best thing to learn from the Wrecks Inc sign is that with all the space they had to play with, they kept the message short and sweet: logo and memorable tagline.

Sadly, we’ve seen strip mall signage with more lettering. Their message gets lost in the shuffle. Without tripping off into a topic about outdoor signage call to actions, remember that customers only have a few seconds to play with. Don’t try to give your company’s history in that time.

How did you do?

We hope this gave you an idea how space you have to play with for your signage. With these tips, your customers won’t meet you on accident. They’ll know find you for a reason.

For more information on sorting out the best outdoor signage for your business, contact us today.

photo credit:  blog.jimgrey.net