Choosing the Correct Letter Height for signs

When you buy a sign, you want it to be seen. Choosing lettering too small results in your customers not seeing you. To make sure a sign is readable there are studies showing how large letters need to be to be seen.

 

letter height visibility chart

letter height visibility chart

 

Letter Height Max View Distance Best Distance
Inches Feet Feet
3 100 30
4 150 40
6 200 60
8 350 80
9 400 90
10 450 100
12 525 120
15 630 150
18 750 180
24 1000 240
30 1250 300
36 1500 360
42 1750 420
48 2000 480
54 2250 540
60 2500 600

While walking through a shopping mall all the shops are there for you to see, but finding the one you want can be a challenge. Now think about the distance to the shop. If you can see their sign better, you can find them quicker and find what you want to buy.

At a distance between 250 to 500 feet a sign with 6 inch letters is unreadable. Customers don’t see the sign and don’t walk to the shop. The same sign with 12 inch letters is visible and customers see exactly where they want to go. Sizing letters too small is a common problem. For example, most businesses post their hours on the door or just to the side of their door. However most customers reading these hours do so from the street, about 100 feet away. A 1 inch letter from 100 feet is unreadable. They now either get out of their car and walk up to your door to read the hours or, more likely, give up. Under sizing letters is the last thing you want to do. It defeats the point of the sign, frustrating customers and does not help business.