We’re in the sign business, so it stands to reason that we receive a lot of questions about signage. We answer questions about lobby signs, wayfinding, and ADA signage weekly. However, we’re asked about exterior signage almost daily. Here are the top 6 questions we’re asked concerning exterior signage.
What’s the Correct Size for an Exterior sign?
The size of the sign depends on a few factors the first being what is allowed. An exterior sign needs to big enough to be seen from high traffic areas, pedestrian or vehicular. There’s no one size fits all standard answer to this question. Your best bet is to contact an experienced sign provider and request a site assessment.
“One rule of thumb is every inch of letter may be seen from 20 feet. So, 5-inch letters can be seen from 100 feet away, 20-inch letters from 400 feet, and 50-inch letters from 1000 feet. Also, the higher the sign, the farther it’s away from the target audience, and the larger the letters will need to be.” — How Big Should my Outdoor Sign Be?
Are There Restrictions?
The answer is probably. Almost every municipality has regulations. However, they can vary drastically. Once again, your best solution is to contact an experienced sign provider have them guide you through the permit process.
“An often-overlooked aspect of having a sign made is the permitting process, which can cause BIG issues — either while the sign is being built or, worse, after the sign has been installed. If the sign has already been installed but is being refurbished (ex: refacing the letters on an exterior wall sign), a permit may not be required. However, if the structure of the sign is being changed, a permit will most likely be needed. If it’s a new sign, you’ll also need a permit.” — Do You Have a Permit for that Sign?
Does My Sign Need to Be Lit?
Unlighted signs only work during daylight hours. Lit signs work 24/7. Even identification and wayfinding signs should be lighted if you want folks to find you after dark. And if you understand the importance of signage to advertising and marketing your brand then yes, your sign should be lit. Think of it this way, why would you ever want to turn your advertising off? Good question, isn’t it?
How Much Copy Should I put on My Sign?
The amount of copy will vary by the size and purpose of your sign. However, less is almost always better. For most exterior signs five words or less is a good rule. In other words, your name, logo, and five or less additional words. People who see your sign are bombarded with visual messages all day long. They don’t have and will not take the time to read long involved messages. Share the most important message you have whether it’s product, service, a tagline, or call to action and keep it simple.
“According to USSC Foundation people operating or riding in vehicles need between 8 and 11 seconds to detect and decipher a sign. Determining the optimum size for characters is done by using a legibility index, which is a combination of font style, size, color, contrast, and lighting. Another factor is the amount of information. Too much information displayed will be difficult to digest in only a few seconds. With that in mind, it’s best to stick with the top of funnel information.
- Contact information – Phone and website
- Call to action – Special or limited offers
- Company name and logo
- Unique sales position- such as same day service, 24-hour hotline, or price matching.” — Do People Have Time to Read Your Sign?
What Font is the Best for Signage?
“Great question, there isn’t one universal font for all signage. A sign should be part of a unified brand. It needs to be part of the marketing campaign not separated from it. Therefore, the font must fit the brand. Many signs will use more than one font. How the fonts complement each other is critical. The visibility of sign fonts is important—if you can’t read it, you don’t need it. Here are a few font’s that are clean and legible…and some that aren’t.” — What’s the Best Font for a Sign?
How Critical is Color for a Sign?
“The answer begins with understanding your customer, product, and company culture. Is your company’s unique position a call to action such as emergency service or revolving special offers? If so the excitement of red may fit your image. Is your business model conservative—banking, finance, or insurance, if so the trust created with blue may fit your needs. How about creative endeavors such as design, marketing, and advertising, wouldn’t the image of creativity and imagination presented by purple send the right message?” — What’s the Best Color for a Sign?
“Choosing the best and most contrasting colors for your sign can make the difference between getting your signage noticed and being just one more sign. Taking into consideration such points as branding, surroundings, and LR (light reflectance) can make all the difference in color contrast.” — How Important is Color Contrast for a Sign?
TKO Signs has over 25 years’ experience in designing and installing exterior signs. If you have any questions about exterior signs, feel free to contact us at 888-544-8051 or 317-271-1398.