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Font and How It Affects Your Signs' Message

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When it comes to business signage, it's not just what you say - it's how you say it. And how your message is delivered has everything to do with the type of font you use. From visibility to typeface, there are a variety of factors that should be considered when choosing the ideal signage for a commercial sign; here are some of them. 


The size of the font size on a commercial sign should directly correlate with the span of the sign's intended visibility. In terms of size, the greater the distance of viewing, the larger the font needs to be. 

For a sign with an intended reach of about 150 feet, the lettering needs to be at least 15 inches in height, and for a sign with 300 feet reach, you need to double the height of the letters. Failure to adhere to the right sizing guide means that potential customers will be able to see the sign, but won't be able to read it. 


Backlit signs have a unique edge and can help a sign stand out from other signage in the area, but the color is an important factor with this type of sign. If you're going for a sign with a standard backlight, you don't have anything to worry about. However, if you're planning to use colored bulbs for the backlight, make sure the color of the bulbs is complementary to the font color.

For example, a sign with red font and a red backlight could blur the lines between the background of the sign and its font, which will only make the sign harder to read. For colored bulbs, choose a color that is contrasting to the color of the font or at least apply a trim around the lettering that is in a contrasting color. 

Business Image

What type of message do you want to convey about your company to the people that see your sign? For instance, an advertising company would likely want to invoke a sense of creativity and innovativeness in the people that view their sign. A law firm, on the other hand, would want to invoke a more serious tone.

Font with curved and loose lines would play into the image of creativity. For the law firm, font selections with straight edges and clear lines would likely invoke a more serious and professional tone.

A person reading your sign should be able to get some sense about the type of business you are simply by the style of your font. 


Although the words font and typeface are often used interchangeably, they are not one in the same. Font refers to the overall style of the text, such as Times New Roman, whereas typeface refers to the way it's displayed, such as in serif or script. The typeface influences the overall feel and message of the words.

For example, two signs in the same font but with a different typeface can have two distinct appearances. 

Generally, the less space you have on the sign, the less you want to experiment with different typefaces like decorative or script, as these style variances tend to take up more space than standard text and are often harder to read.

A useful business sign isn't a sign that simply lets customers know you exist; a useful sign excites customers and gives them a glimpse of what you offer. Use each of these tips to design a commercial sign that aligns with this goal. For more font tips, or to design a custom sign for your business, contact us at Grant Signs DP Industries LLC.