Signage is a science all its own. There are volumes of research on the subject. And it’s little wonder why: signage is everywhere. In our daily life there are roadsigns, exit signs, information, and identification everywhere you look. So when you’re designing your next Dreamwalls Glass Sign, in addition to the considerations from Monday and Wednesday’s posts, there is the study of how your information is actually absorbed and processed that needs to be addressed.
I’m not talking what the sign is made of. (I’m just going to go ahead and assume you’ve decided to use glass…) I’m talking typefaces. San serif type is generally easier to read than serif type. Many times, the serifs disappear from a distance and add to visual confusion of viewers. However, that’s not always true if the kerning of the letters is unnatural. Serif type is sometimes considered more “traditional” by your audience, and therefore more comforting for the information to be absorbed. A talented graphic designer with a good background in typography can help you navigate these issues.
Generally, 4″ letters are readable from 10-15 feet away. The further the viewer will be from the sign, or the faster they’re moving past it, the bigger the signs need to be. Then add two inches to the letter height for every additional 10 feet of distance they need to be read from. The higher (or lower) the graphics are from the normal eyeline of the viewer, the bigger the letters need to be as well.
Generally, you want a logo of big impact graphic to float a bit within the glass sign. If you hug the edges to closely, it loses impact. Think of the 60/20/20 rule. Take the overall length, make the logo 60% of that dimension, and then split the remaining 40% as 20/20 on each side of that. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a good start to finding right proportion and play of negative space.
The United States Sign Council Foundation has a ton of material and expertise on this topic. They have research and formulas that can truly dazzle you; like the example below,…
In addition to aesthetics, there are other consderations to know.
- Viewer sight lines – Adult standing viewers have a normal sightline of 4.5 – 5.5 feet. But you need to carefully consider your audience. Women will be a little lower, men a little higher. What about an aging population? Those in wheelchairs? And consider the enjoyment of those sitting nearby.
- Lighting – Consider consulting with a lighting designer to make sure the lights highlight the the sign without causing excess glare or shadows
- Maintenence – consider how easy the overall sign will be to clean regularly for housekeeping crews. While glass is extremely easy in this regard barring abrasive cleansers, make sure staff is aware of any additional care for overlays made of other materials like metal or wood.
- Glare considerations – if you have further concerns despite the lighting, there are anti-glare glass types availabe that reduce glare and make photography easier.
- Safety- if standoffs are used for mounting the glass sign, make sure the glass is tempered to provide an added level of safety.
So there are people who can help you navigate your glass signage and wayfinding needs. Dreamwalls is here to help, and we can point you in directions of others that can if we don’t know your answer. Just call us anytime 800-3347267, and we’ll get started on making your signage needs a reality.