One of my personal sign design philosophies — that I tend to be quite stubborn and opinionated about — is that a good sign design uses all caps sparingly.
Using all caps throughout a design can enhance readability. Readability is important for longer pieces of text, such as articles, books, or websites.
A readable body of text is one where it is easy for readers to move smoothly through the content, absorbing the information without undue effort. It takes into account factors such as font choice, spacing, line length, and paragraph structure.
Legibility focuses on how easily individual characters within a typeface can be distinguished from one another. A typeface is considered legible if its characters are clear and distinct, making it easy for a reader to recognize and identify each letter or character. Legibility is crucial for ensuring that text is readable at a glance, even in small sizes or challenging conditions.
When it comes to sign design, legibility is more important than readability. You’ve got a small amount of space and a streamlined message - you absolutely need it to be legible. Using a lot of caps in a sign design can hurt legibility. Overusing all caps can make the text appear aggressive or difficult to read, so it's wise to use it selectively for important information and headlines. Mixing upper and lowercase letters can add visual interest and improve legibility, creating a more balanced and appealing design.
My call to action for everyone today, is in the world of signs, let’s stop yelling at each other, let’s be interesting and share compelling messages that people can easily understand. Use both upper and lowercase letters on your next sign!
Are you interested in more passionate opinions about great sign design? Or perhaps you simply want to grow your business and believe visual communication solutions are a smart marketing investment ? Couldn’t agree with you more!
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