You’re able to read this now because of a number of factors. First, the words are dark over white on the web page, providing a stark contrast that enhances the readability of every word. Second, the font is small enough to give plenty of information in a small space. Third, the font is clear enough that every single letter is distinguishable from the next.
Put this exact font on your business’s sign, however, and you’d have a disaster.
A unique, high-quality, high-contrast font is of the utmost importance when it comes to signage. Not only do you want your font to be attractive and professional, but you want it to be readable over large distances so that your sign can have maximum impact.
The problem? There are so many fonts to choose from that most people don’t have any idea what makes the best font for their signs. Luckily, we’ve been in business long enough to know a thing or two about fonts:
Serif fonts are the fancy, no-nonsense fonts that emphasize professionalism and readability—the kinds of fonts you’d use in a company newsletter or a business pamphlet. These are typically best suited for relaying lots of information in a small space, which makes them great for fine print, menus, contest rules at points of sale, and similar uses. Stick to Serif fonts when your sign has a lot of information to convey.
Sans Serif Fonts
These fonts are still professional, but offer a little more boldness and visibility—they’re the kind of fonts you want for your sign’s headlines. If you have are advertising a special deal at your store, for example, you’ll likely want to grab their attention with a Sans Serif font.
Script fonts are the “fancy” fonts used specifically for logos, wedding invitations, and the like. They have a high degree of professionalism and elegance—but they sacrifice readability. If your goal is to get as many people to see your sign as possible, avoid these fonts.
These are attention-grabbing fonts that work great to draw a customer’s eye…provided that their eye is already close enough to read the font in the first place. They’ll tend to lose their legibility over longer distances.
Three Elements of Effective Fonts
It’s not enough to pick the right font style—you’ll also want to make sure your text stands out:
- Contrast: The contrast between a font and its background is vital to legibility. Black over white is easy to read. White letters surrounded in black outlines can be read against any color.
- Size: It’s not enough to pick a font style—you have to pick a size that meets your visibility requirements. Test different signs out from varying distances if need be.
- Clarity: While the “Display” fonts make great attention-getters because of their creativity, they do sacrifice some clarity and require extra attention. For most signs, make an emphasis on simplicity and stick with Sans Serif fonts.
These are the kinds of questions that many signage customers left unasked when they work with a sign company. Fortunately, they’re exactly the kinds of details that Sign It Quick pays attention to. Contact us to work with a company that understands every minute detail of what makes signage effective for your business.