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sign guidelines

design effective signage for your business

Signs are an essential part of any business, as they help to attract customers, communicate your brand identity, and provide information. However, not all signs are created equal. In order to design effective signs, you will need to consider some important factors, such as sign guidelines, reading distance, and legibility.

sign guidelines

Sign guidelines are the rules and regulations that govern the size, placement, and appearance of signs in a given area. They may vary depending on the location, permissions required, and type of business. Some areas amy have strict limits on the height, area, and illumination of signs, while others may allow more flexibility. Sign guidelines can be enforced by local authorities, or building owners, so it is important for you to check with them before designing your signs.

reading distance

Reading distance is the distance from which a sign can be seen and read by your potential customers. This depends on several factors, such as the size and font of the letters, the contrast and colour of the sign. Lighting and visibility conditions, and the speed and direction of the traffic should be considered.

To ensure that your sign can be read from a sufficient distance, you need to follow some basic principles:

You must use a legibility index of at least 9 metres, for every 2.5cm of letter height. This means that for every inch of letter height, your sign can be read from 9 metres away. For instance, if your sign has letters that are 25 cm tall, they should be read from 90 metres away.

Adjust the legibility index according to the visual complexity of the environment. If your sign is in a busy area, you may need to increase the letter size or contrast to make it stand out. A general rule is to multiply the legibility index by 0.83 for moderate complexity and by 0.67 for high complexity.

Use fonts that are simple, clear, and consistent. Avoid fonts that are too fancy, ornate, or irregular, as they may reduce the readability of your sign. Avoid using too many different fonts, as they may create confusion and distraction.

legibility guidelines

Legibility of signs is an important aspect of wayfinding design. In the UK, there are various guidelines and regulations that govern the use and design of traffic signs and other types of signage.

Legibility is the quality of being clear and easy to read. It is is closely related to reading distance, but it also depends on other factors and this includes the shape and spacing of the letters, the background and foreground colours, and the use of graphics and symbols.

To enhance the legibility of your sign, you need to follow some best practices:

Use colours that have a high contrast and visibility. For example, black letters on a white background or white letters on a dark background are more legible than light letters on a light background or dark letters on a dark background.

Choose graphics and symbols that are relevant, simple, and recognizable.

Use spacing and alignment that are balanced and proportional. Avoid crowding or overlapping the letters, as they may make your sign look messy and hard to read. Avoid using too much or too little space between the words and lines. This may affect the flow and coherence of your message.

why use norsign?

Using our design team to develop the design of your signs will have many benefits for your business. Our sign consultants can:

Provide professional expertise and experience in sign design, fabrication, and installation methods.

Create bespoke signs that are tailored to your specific needs and preferences, and that reflect your brand identity and message.

Save you time and effort by handling all aspects of the sign making process. From initial site survey to ongoing maintenance and aftercare.

Ensure high-quality and durable signs are made from the best materials and techniques, in compliance with local laws and regulations.

Help you measure the effectiveness of your signs and make improvements as needed.

As a signage consultancy we can help you achieve impactful signage by bridging the gap between your signage needs and the technicalities of the signage options available to you.

Contact us by email or telephone 01698 713399.


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