Font Usage

Font Usage

Your Font Usage on a sign is just as important as the color format, wording, and design. 

When designing a sign a lot of attention must be paid to the fonts used for the sign. What may look like a very sophisticated or stylish font on paper could lead to illegibility on an actual sign especially from a distance. Below you will find information that will assist you in choosing the perfect font for your sign that not only legible but also a reflection of your brand.

What are the Font Families?

Each font falls into one of the following categories:


San Serif

Serif fonts have “feet” at the end of each stroke while San Serif fonts do not. Script fonts are meant to emulate cursive handwriting.
What do Fonts Mean?

Although fonts have different appearances, it should be noted that each set carries a set of meanings and associations with it, which can be used to reinforce the message of the sign.  For example, in general, sans-serif typefaces look modern. Serif typefaces look more old-fashioned or traditional.

All fonts give a certain “feel” to the message as well. The font COMIC SANS, for instance, gives an "amateur but friendly" impression. Next time you notice an interesting typeface, look at it and try to think of ways to describe the impression it gives: is it high-quality or cheap? Casual or stylish? Amateur or professional? Rich or poor? Conservative or anti-establishment? We would all naturally choose a different font for the Funeral Home than we would for the Circus because fonts communicate emotion. 


Fonts should be used consistently and in moderation. In most instances, you should use a maximum of two typefaces on a sign (one for body text and one for headings). Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but using many fonts can make your sign look like a gaudy mish-mash of styles.


signs by tomorrow photo 1

While font choices are always a matter of opinion, the most important factor to consider is legibility. In every case, if the sign isn’t readable to the intended audience, a problem exists that must be solved. Font choices, as well as design and color choices have to be secondary to the purpose of the sign – which is to communicate a message.  Also, when it comes to font size and distance, size does matter.  Consider the font size needed for optimal viewing of your outdoor signage and graphics. The chart to the right provides the appropriate font size for the viewing distance.

Contact your local Signs By Tomorrow retailer for a FREE quote on the right font usage for your next project!