Sign Visibility Standards

  • Sign Visibility Profile Letter style should be a simple readable font legible under all conditions (Dusk, night, rain, fog, etc.)
  • Complex or ornate styles lose visibility rapidly as light conditions lessen.
  • Colors: Sharp contrast between background and letters are optimal. Color recognition diminishes as light lessens. Contrast remains effective. Soft or pastel colors become almost invisible in poor light.
  • Simple background shapes are most effective for readability (square, rectangle, circle & oval).
  • Generous margin & letter spacing add to effectiveness.
  • Decorative applications have no effect on visibility as long as they don’t interfere with the message.
  • 2 1/2 second rule: A sign must be comprehensible within a viewing time of 2-3 seconds.
  • Elaborate copy and fonts become ineffective when they cause more viewing times because of complexity.
  • Signs should become readable at a distance of 100 feet in a slow moving vehicle a minimum of 2 1/2″ to 3″ letter is required.
  • Conditions of poor visibility occur more than clear conditions. (Twilight, night, cloudy days, rain, fog, late fall, early winter).
  • Headlight reflective signage is suggested for maximum effectiveness.