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Graphic Design 101: Sign Study Highlight Best Fonts For Business Signs

Graphic Design 101: Sign Study Highlights Best Fonts for Business Signs

Today’s post reviews graphic design research by the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding on which fonts work best for large-format business sign design in St. Louis, MO.

Read on to learn how to improve the legibility of your business signs or call (314) 726-5500 to speak directly with a graphic design specialist in St. Louis, MO.

Graphic Design For Business Signs: Which Fonts Work Best?

A 2016 report by the Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding assessed the legibility of several popular fonts in hopes of further developing current best practices for graphic design.

The study design was simple. First, the research team gathered 64 subjects, ranging from 19 to 87 years of age, and showed them 64 different graphic designs. Each display was carefully calibrated to simulate real-world viewing conditions, starting small before growing larger over the span of a few seconds, as though the viewer were a pedestrian gradually walking up to a sign, before carrying on their way. Subjects were asked to read the sign when it first appeared, at its very smallest, in order to determine threshold legibility. In total 33 font variants were tested.

Here’s what the research revealed:

  • Font selection is a big part of graphic design – Font type made a “very big difference in the distance at which a display can be read,” even when the font size remained the same (Garvey et al., 2016, p. 1).
  • Uppercase fonts demand attention – Graphic designs with uppercase fonts consistently outperformed those with lowercase letters, regardless of the font type (p. 1).
  • High-impact fonts – The following 5 font types ranked highest in sign legibility tests: Gill Sans Uppercase, Avenir Medium Uppercase, Copperplate Gothic Uppercase, Helvetica Uppercase, and Kabel Ultra Uppercase (p. 6).
  • Low-impact fonts – Steer clear of the following fonts for any signs intended to grab eyes and convey messages from afar: Old English Uppercase, Mistral Uppercase, Old English Lowercase, Brush Script Lowercase, and Mistral Lowercase.

Free Quote On Graphic Design For Business Signs In St. Louis, MO

Horizon Sign Company proudly serves businesses throughout St. Louis, MO, and all the surrounding communities, including:

  • Kirkwood
  • Maplewood
  • Rock Hill
  • Webster Groves
  • Clayton
  • Richmond Heights, and beyond

Not a St. Louis local? Not a problem. We also provide remote graphic design services for businesses operating out-of-state, and many signs can be shipped nationwide.

Whatever you order, our sign specialists provide end-to-end support, assisting with everything from graphic design and manufacturing to installation and long-term sign maintenance. We use modern equipment, high-quality materials, and cutting-edge graphic design software, and our process is always up to date with current best practices, so you get great results like these.

To book a free graphic design consultation and get a quote on your custom order, call (314) 726-5500 or fill out the contact form on our website.

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