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Midland Park, NJ – Sign Maker Offers Tips on Making Signs Easier to Read

Why are signs difficult to read?

Professor James Kellaris, Professor of Signage and Visual Marketing at the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business, developed some instructive survey statistics on what makes signs difficult to read. With all due respect to David Letterman, here is the good professor’s top ten:

TEN: “Other” … OK, this is rather undramatic, but only 1.6% are in this category, but it demonstrates how truly granular the survey results are;

NINE: The sign has distracting visuals, visuals that prohibit a full comprehension of the message. We have all seen this, what many call an excess in creativity. Rule of thumb: Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should!;

EIGHT: The sign looks very similar to other nearby signs. This is what we call the “ho hum” or “me too” effect; the tree gets lost in a forest of other trees;

SEVEN: The letters are spaced too close together (sign makers call this “kerning”);

SIX: The letters use a fancy font (how many times have you looked at a sign and struggled to understand what it said?!);

FIVE: Often, digital signs that change the message change it too fast, much like a too-fast crawler on the bottom of a cable news program;

FOUR: The color of the lettering is too close to the color of the background, minimizing the contrast;

THREE: The sign is insufficiently lit at night. This may seem obvious, but not providing sufficient lighting wastes the money and effort going into a sign;

TWO: The location of the sign makes it difficult to see (a great example of this is a street sign behind a telephone pole or tree);

Example of Bad Signage

And, the NUMBER ONE reason people report sings are difficult to read (drum roll, please):

The letters are too darn small!!

For more information or assistance with developing impactful signage for your business, call ImageTEK Signs & Graphics at (201) 351-8755.

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