You, as a visual merchandiser working in a retail store must have faced many situation where the sales manager will come and say, I want this sign to be placed and I want the message be Big, or even bigger! Now its time to know how big is needed for the store visitors to read understand the message in a Sign.
How big is that big enough?
Generally, the rule is to proportionally increase the size of the text with 2.5cm high in every Ten (10) meters target distance of your material from the reader. Meaning, if you are planning to put your poster above a gondola and you want its content to be readable from 15meters feet away, the smallest text should be at least 3.75 cm high
Did you get it? The size of a readable text is 2.5 cm is to 10meters (2.5cm : 10 mtrs.) or 1 inch with every 33 feet. Take note that it is the minimum height for a normal-sighted person.
The same calculation is what do teachers use when making visual aids to make sure that the students seated at the last row can still read what is being presented by the teacher in the front.
Supposed a new customer is looking for your store and he or she is driving at the speed of 40 mph (miles per hour). He or she must see and read the signage outside your store at least 5 mtrs away in able for the car to stop at the nearest point in your area, because base on the Vehicle Stopping Distance Calculator, the total stopping distance of a vehicle that is moving 40 mph is 5 mtrs or about 50 meters.
The minimum height of a text, using Times New Roman or Arial font styles, from that distance should be five (5) inches, but the bigger, the better. The best example of readable texts are those traffic signs, simple and legible.
In addition, avoid using cursive and other fancy font styles for long sentences and smaller text sizes because these cases lessen the readability of your materials. You can use them to add beauty to your design but make sure that they will not defeat the purpose of your material – to give the consumers the important information and direction about your product and your business.
Don’t forget, minimum of 2.5cm high with every 10 mtrs away, but the bigger, the better. Here one have to be more cautious of not creating clutter with too many large type faced signs.
It is very important to be remembered always by graphic designer to assure readability. It is also very important to test before making the signs to get an overview of the other communication around to know how does it effect the whole picture and ambiance.