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Design Guides

General Guide

The legibility of a sign depends as much on space, as it does the font used for the lettering and the size of text. When considering space the following guide should be taken in to account; space between letters, between words and spacing between lines. Consistent line spacing is essential for a sign to be read clearly.

The layout of a sign is also important when considering reading quality, the simplest way to control layout is through text alignment. A good example of this is in directional signs when the text should always be arranged according to the direction of the arrow i.e. the text would be placed to the right if the arrow is directing you this way. Although where appropriate the text should be arranged to the left as this is easiest to read.

Words are easier to decipher if lower case letters are used, even when the reader is visually impaired it is logical to capitalize each word. This makes the text easier to identify as this creates a distinctive shape which the reader can relate words to and better remember.

When considering your signage one simple rule to remember is Do Not overcomplicate the sign. As a rule you should never add too much text or attempt to convey too many messages within any sign, just remember; keep it simple.

Size of Text Guide

Sizes for text, embossed characters and symbols is dependent upon sign location and desired reading distance. Character size is directly related to reading distance, for instance what can be read clearly from a distant perspective can lose legibility at close range and vice versa.

Externally where long distance reading is more likely a minimum character height of 150mm would be recommended. On internal signs such as reception or wayfinding signage the suggested character size is 15-25mm, whereas with symbols the minimum height should be 100mm as this sign type is trying to convey a message without text.

Embossed signs are used when the reader is blind or whose vision is not adequate enough to identify letterforms clearly. As this sign type is read by touch it is more important to be concise and clear when communicating the message. Embossed signs should be positioned within touching distance of any person for whom the sign is intended, these should always be embossed – never engraved and raised to a depth of around 1.5mm.

Fixing Height of Sign Guide

Sign systems should be kept consistent throughout a building. This does not just refer to sign type but also the height at which a sign is placed, the exception to this being signs with a control element such as door entry systems.

Most signs are ideally positioned between 1400 – 1700 mm from ground level for maximum legibility and where embossed easily accessible to the visually impaired.

Sign Maker Image mask Design Guide
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