We love printing big graphics for customers here at Artisan Colour. We also want to make sure that the graphics we produce are effective. If the letters used for the text are too small, created with a font that is not readable, or a color that is hard to differentiate from the background, then the sign is not going to have the desired impact. This article by Signs & Digital Graphics Magazine offers some helpful tips and things to watch out for when designing your sign so that it is able to be seen and easily read from long distances. The formula for how large your graphic letters should be to be read at a certain distance is particularly helpful.

Designing Award-Winning Signs: View from the Road – by Matt Charboneau

Designing monument signs is a balancing act of blending parameters, colors, objectives and graphics into a monolithic mass of aluminum and electricity whose only function is to be noticed, to inform and to bring in revenues for the one who paid for it.

In discussing the effectiveness of a sign, we must address three factors that dominate the design process: visibility, legibility and readability.

Optimum legibility: Letter style, size, color, spacing

If your sign is 35′ tall and you need it to be legible and readable at 300 feet, what formula do you use to calculate letter height? Calculating this is fairly complex and involves the use of a left handed abacus, however an easy shortcut is to simply add a zero to the letter height (in inches) and convert the number to feet.
Example: Start with your letter height of 6″, then add a zero to it and change the measurement from inches to feet. That means a 6″ tall letter would have an optimum legible distance of 60′. Letter 4″tall are best read at 40′ and 12″ tall letters are best viewed at 120′, and so on.