Signs for Business: Your Font Could Make all the Difference

by Mary Mills on November 21, 2013

When designing signs for business it is important to remember that the font you choose can make a real difference to the effect of your signage. It is equally, if not more important, than the design you so painstakingly work on, the color you choose to match in perfectly with your branding or logo, the wording you choose to persuade customers to use your product or service, and the placing of your signs for business. Of course, all of these things are immensely important, but the point is, so is the font you choose.Wall letters 5 - Dimensional letters

Many people simply disregard the font as though it is of little importance. They may choose a font because it looks pretty or fits in with their logo – but the best designed, the best worded, the best placed, and the best manufactured signs for business can fall down at the final hurdle if your font has been ill chosen.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Some fonts look very stylish and sophisticated – swirly letters and numbers designed to look creative and elegant – but can anyone read what it actually says? After all, signs for business have one very important function, and that is to tell your customers about your products or services. If your customers cannot actually read what the sign is telling them, then it’s a complete waste of time, money, and space – however elegant it may appear. Just as some people have handwriting which is for all intents and purposes illegible, so it is with fonts. Some are so busy being stylish that it’s difficult to remember that they are supposed to be getting a very specific message across to your customers.

So what exactly are fonts?

Fonts generally fall into three specific families.

• Serif fonts are the ones with “feet” – rather like this – each of the straight uprights have a little extra bit on the bottom and on the top.

• Sans Serif fonts are simply those without the “feet” – rather like this – do you notice the difference?

• Script fonts are the ones which are designed to look more like natural handwriting and less like the old type-written letters – more like this – what do you mean you can’t read it? I think you’re beginning to get the message!

More about Fonts for Signs for Business

Although all fonts fall into the above three categories, there are also some rather distinct and subtle differences between many of the fonts which can make a big difference when choosing the best font for signs for business. Each type of font has its own message which can be used to positively reinforce any message you are trying to get across on your business sign. To put it in simple terms:

• Serif fonts tend to look traditional; some people may even say old fashioned.

• Sans serif fonts have a much more modern, contemporary look when used on signs for business.

Choosing the right fonts for your signs for business however, goes much further than even that.Fonts have their own characteristic feel, which they add to any message. Some fonts appear quite amateurish and some appear to be more professional; some fonts can give the impression of good quality and some others say “cheap” loud and clear; some put across a message of being rich whereas others denote poor. All of these things need to be taken into account when you choose the right font or fonts for your signs for business. You certainly wouldn’t choose the same type of font on the business sign of a funeral parlor as you would to advertise that the circus is coming to town, would you?Pacific Floor channel letters

Choosing and Using Fonts for Business

Although some fonts “mix and match” well on signs for business it’s important to not overdo it. A maximum of two different types of font are advisable in most cases, otherwise the whole business sign can begin to look messy – you’ve got to pick a style and stick with it. In many cases the best idea is to stick with one font in different sizes or to choose a good, stand out font for the heading of the business sign and another one for the text.

When choosing the fonts for your business sign it’s important to go right back to where we started – the legibility of the font. If nobody can read the message on your sign, then you’re certainly not getting the message across. When you are designing your signs for business by all means pay
attention to the design, the colors, the images, and the wording you choose, but do remember that the whole purpose of putting the sign up is for your audience to be able to read what it says.

The size of the font you choose is another important consideration when designing your business signs – yes, size really does matter in this case. You’ve got to think carefully about the size of your business sign, where it will be displayed, and the distance it will be from its audience.

Here are a few guidelines to make sure that you not only choose the best type of font to get your message across but that the letters are large enough to read and make an impression upon your audience.

• 3-Inch letters can be read up to 100’ away but will only really make an impact up to 30’

• 6-Inch letters can be read up to 200’ away but will only really make an impact up to 60’

• 10-Inch letters can be read from as far away as 500’ but can only make an impact up to 100’

• 24-Inch letters can be read from up to 1200’ away but make an impact from up to 240’

• 48-Inch letters can be read from up to 2400’ but will only make an impact up to 480’

All of these things need to be taken into consideration when you are designing your signs for business.

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This post was written by...

– who has written 188 posts on Signarama Blog.

is the Marketing Director at United Franchise Group and Signarama in West Palm Beach, Fl. She has an extensive background in marketing, communications and Public Relations as well as television news & video production.

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