How Far Is Too Far

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I am still amazed that ‘professional’ designers still haven’t figured out how far is too far. What I mean is that on a billboard (for example) how big you have to make the letters in order for them to have the impact that you desire.

How many billboards have you driven by that have way too much information and all you end up doing is catching some blurred image as you drive by, often even the company’s name isn’t even large enough to read from the closest possible distance that you can be while driving by. Then you factor speed and traffic volume into the location and you have the recipe for wasted advertising dollars.

letter-visibility-chart-fluid-audienceHere’s the guide that I use. It’s simple and has saved me on occasion. Although I usually have the opposite problem in that the things that I design or build are too large and have no problem having an impact. Grade 10 shop class I built a cedar chest that two people could have slept uncomfortably in. Well… I didn’t want it too small! It eventually found a home in someones cabin for all of their blankets and bedding after I lugged it around even into my married lift for about 15 years – some people just don’t know how far is too far.

A sign, billboard or advertisement is not something you ever want to go to small on. I can’t think of a time when too big would be a problem when it comes to ensuring a client has the visual impact they are looking for in outdoor advertising.

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