One of the most important elements in virtually any design is the font choice. Regardless if you’re building a website or creating company signage, the type of font you use will impact its overall look and feel. Since company signs are viewed from further away, the font style, case, and content should be as cohesive as possible.
This article will cover the important factors in choosing the right font for your company signage so you can communicate better with your audience and convey your message more clearly.
With thousands of different font styles available, it can be difficult to narrow down your options. Thankfully, you can break it down into four main categories to determine the right font style for your company sign. These are:
Sans-serif is a font style that’s mostly used in signs that contain a few words. They look clean and easy to read because the letters don’t have projections coming from their upper and lower portions. When an exterior sign is designed to be read at a long distance, a sans-serif font is a great choice.
Sans-serif works well with LED-illuminated letters as the block style allows for the LEDs to be installed easily. Some examples of commonly used sans-serif fonts are Arial, Myriad, and Helvetica.
Serif refers to the small lines or strokes that appear on the top and bottom portions of the letters. This font style is widely used for bodies of text because the eye is able to distinguish the characters more quickly compared to sans-serif. Think of printed words, magazines, and newspapers where there are large bodies of copy to be read.
These may not be ideal for LED-illuminated letters since the characters are too narrow for the lights to fit. However, this can be alleviated by using a bold version of the font or changing to a block style. Some popular examples of serif-style fonts include Times New Roman, Goudy, and Garamond.
- Script and cursive
Script and cursive fonts resemble those of a person’s handwriting and look more classy compared to the two aforementioned font styles. Such fonts usually appear on formal prints such as event materials or invitations. Script and cursive fonts don’t work well with signage because fabricating them is quite tricky and they can be very difficult to read at a distance. You can get away with using script and cursive fonts that have a less fluid stroke to make them easier to read.
Alex Brush, Pacifico, and Great Vibes are some examples of script and cursive-style fonts.
Specialty fonts are highly experimental in nature. The font style can be anything from adorning and decorative to downright bold and outlandish. Speciality fonts are best reserved for event signages like Christmas, New Year, and Halloween since the design can be tailored according to the theme of the event.
Very rarely will you see specialty fonts that are LED-illuminated because they aren’t meant to be used for permanent signage. If you want to bring attention to a particular event or occasion, then using a sign with a specialty font will surely draw in plenty of interest.
Exterior signs typically use bold fonts as they lead to more contrast with the background, thus making them easier to read. However, using too much font weight can make the letters look compressed. When designing company signage, you want the font weight to give prominence to the letters but not too much that it makes reading difficult.
Ideally, you should have a rendering of your company sign that’s placed in your proposed location so you can determine if the font weight you’re using is too bold or too thin.
Font case simply refers to how the letters are capitalised. Signs that use a combination of upper and lower case letters are the easiest to read. For example, directional signs use upper and lowercase letters because they can be recognised quickly by incoming drivers.
For characters that require immediate attention, you want to capitalise the letters for things such as ‘WARNING’ or ‘EMERGENCY’. This makes the words stand out and command the attention of the reader.
When choosing which font to use for your company signage, you want to consider the amount of content that’s going to appear in the sign. Say you’re showing a business name with a tagline in the sign, it can be helpful to use a mixture of two font styles.
For example, you can ask your sign company to have a bolder block style for the business name and compliment that with a serif style tagline to help enhance the sign and make it more visually interesting. Try out different font styles, weights, and font cases to see which combinations work best for the type of content that appears on your sign.
At the end of the day, your company signage should be interesting and easy to read. By following this simple guide, you can narrow down your font choices and pick the right one that works best for your brand and your message.