Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Font size for large signs

Posted 18 April, 2011 at 4:53pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Miscellaneous)

I had to make a couple of signs that were visible from the street the other day. I wasn't sure how big to make the letters, but I did know from past experience that people underestimate how big to make fonts for viewing from afar. Here's what I found as a guide. Hope it helps someone out.

Letter Height Estimated Distance
1/2-in 15 feet
1-in 35 feet
2-in 75 feet
3-in 100 feet
4-in 150 feet
6-in 200 feet
8-in 300 feet
1-ft 400 feet

I used 4-in height Helvetica (about 400 pt) for my signs and they were quite visible from 80 feet away.

3 comments to Font size for large signs

Ben, May 29th, 2011 at 1:50 am:

  • Paste experience sounds interesting, and perhaps a little sticky.

Michael Chu, May 29th, 2011 at 2:49 am:

  • Haha, good catch on my typo. I've fixed the post.

Chip Rupp, June 20th, 2011 at 8:20 am:

  • The rule for traffic signs is 30 foot of legibility for every inch of letter height.