Is Your Message Big Enough? Easy to Read Banners, Car Wraps, and Signs in 3 Steps

Select clear readable text, allow negative unused space, and choose an appropriate letter height.

You want to put your message on a Banner, Car Wrap, Sign, or T-Shirt—  but, you need to be sure it can be read by your intended audience. If this describes you, there are three things you should do:

  1. Choose a font that is easy to read.  The people who read car wraps, banners, signs and billboards are frequently moving— sometimes at 70 miles per hour— past your message.  Starting with an easy to read typeface will give you the best chance to succeed.  A great designer can work wonders with these “boring” fonts, and an experienced designer will almost always prefer to use clear letter styles.  (By the way, if you’d like to use a font that is legendary for its readability, use Helvetica.)
  2. Leave some empty or “unused” space. Negative space is very important when making a sign or advertisement easy to read.  Communicate concisely and try to resist the urge to add “one more thing” as an afterthought.  And if you decide to utilize a background image that fills the entire design space, compensate with good contrast.
  3. Calculate the appropriate letter size. A study conducted in 1998 by the United States Sign Council and the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute examined optimal letter sizing for readability at various distances.  The following Visibility Chart is derived from that research.  It will help make sure that passers-by can read your message.

Letter Visibility Chart

Viewing Distance (Feet)Suggested Minimum Letter Height (Inches)
100'4"
250'10"
360' (City block)16"
500'22"
750'33"
1,000'43"
1320' (1/4 Mile)57"

If you need high-impact advertisements— car wraps, banners, or even roadside flags— our designers can help craft a design that looks great and “works” to capture the most eyes.  Just give us a call at the number at the top of the screen.