A Comprehensive Guide to Determining the Ideal Size for Your Business Signage

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Business signs are an effective marketing tool because they draw attention to your business in fun, creative, and eye-catching ways. For this reason, it’s highly important that your business sign is visible. As the name suggests, sign visibility speaks to how well your business sign can be seen by potential customers. Therefore, a lack of or poor visibility defeats the entire purpose of your business sign. There are a few factors that affect the visibility of your business sign, such as its location, size, font legibility, and color contrast to name a few.

After you’ve decided to get a business sign and you understand the process of getting one up and running, the next step is to consider its size, how its size affects its visibility, and what (if any) limitations might exist around this. This article walks you through what needs to be considered when deciding on the size of your business sign.

Maximum Size Permitted by Property Management or City

You’re most likely aware that there are bylaws and regulations that govern the type and size of signs which are permitted to be displayed. An example could be regulation around the use of flashing or blinking lights on your business sign. Often, regulation around the size of a business sign exists to prevent obstructing the line of sight for drivers or pedestrians. In addition to bylaws and regulations set out by a city or country, some landlords and property management companies have their own requirements for sign size. It is crucial to find out the maximum size permitted by your landlord/property management team or sign design board. Becoming aware of what limitations exist can assist you with deciding on the size of your business sign. Lastly, before finalizing your plans, ensure that your sign meets all restrictions and regulations to prevent any possible issues or unexpected fines down the line.

Figure Out the Type of Traffic

You want as many eyes as possible on your business sign. It’s therefore important to understand the type of traffic activity that takes place around the location of your business sign. There are two types of traffic activity to note - foot traffic and motor-vehicle traffic.

Foot Traffic

This refers to the pedestrian activity that takes place around the location of your business sign. Make note of where most people tend to walk past – are they directly in front of your sign? Are they across the street? Are they on the opposite corner? Questions like this allow you to strategically consider the size of your business sign to optimize its visibility. Pedestrians are more likely to slow down and read information on a business sign. Therefore, the business sign does not need to be too large to grab the attention of a pedestrian. In this case, it would be better to play into the aesthetic and design aspect rather than the size of the business sign.

Motor-Vehicle Traffic

This refers to areas where there is a higher rate of motorists than pedestrians. Questions to consider include - Is this a main street or a busy intersection? From what distance will the sign still be legible? How high should the sign be mounted? In this case, a larger sign with minimal design is a better option for you.

Note: Sometimes, there might be more than one area of high traffic, such as a corner lot. So, you’ll have to consider possibly getting more than one sign.

Readability & Legibility

Now that you’ve figured out the predominant type of traffic happening around your business sign, it’s important to think about how legible it is. Readability and legibility have to do with the size of the lettering on your business sign, as well as the placement of your sign. Consider the distance from eye level for your potential customers and the height of your business sign. Lower hanging or standing signs are better suited for pedestrians because they easily hit them at eye level. On the other hand, a business sign that is mounted higher has better visibility for someone who is driving or viewing from a building window or balcony.

Rework the Design

Now that you have the necessary information you need to consider when thinking about the size of your business sign. It’s important to take into account all of the little yet crucial details that still contribute to the visibility of your sign.

Font and Font Weight

Pick a typeface that is easy to read, avoid using illegible fonts like cursives or serif/san serif. The font weight has to do with how bold or light the text will appear on the background.

Color and Contrast

A high contrast design contributes to the readability of your business sign. Avoid using a yellow or white font on a white background, any colors that are similar in tone will be difficult to read.

Illuminated vs. Non-illuminated

Consider the brightness of your sign. A sign that’s too brightly lit will be distracting and too difficult to read. Low or no illumination, on the other hand, will be equally as difficult to read – especially at night.

Ultimately, the job of your business sign is to be eye-catching and easily visible. Its primary function is to close the gap between your business and its customers by captivating their attention, drawing them in, and getting them interested in what your business has to offer. When considering how big your sign has to be, think about any restriction imposed by your landlord or the city. Consider the type of traffic in your sign location and how to make your business sign more visible to either option. Think about how legible your business sign is to both pedestrians and motorists, and lastly how you can rework your sign design to fit the criteria.