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Signage can make or break a small business’s path to success. It attracts attention, it welcomes customers and it signifies a brand. Nearly important as the content of a sign is the font used to display it. Is it noteworthy and visible? Does it clearly convey the proper message emotion? What are the best sign font options?
What Font is Used for Signs?
What font is used for signs? A variety of fonts are available for display advertising, but some are certainly more common than others. Whether you’re commissioning a professional design or creating a DIY business sign, the following font styles work well for most large-format signs:
- Proxima Nova
How to Choose the Best Font for your Small Business Printed Sign
How do you choose the best font for your small business printed sign? While some font styles will almost always serve signage better than others, small business owners still have thousands of options when designing their signs. Fortunately, the scope can be narrowed significantly by considering the following factors:
Understand Font Categories
While there are thousands of available fonts from which to choose, almost all of them fall into a few general categories, with some being better suited to signage and display advertising than others. Understanding the differences between serif, sans serif fonts, script and novelty font styles can help choose lettering for your own displays. Sans serif fonts are generally better for large signs since the characters remain crisp and clear when viewed from a distance.
Remember Brand Guidelines
When creating signs, posters and other display advertising, it’s vital to adhere to a brand’s style guidelines. After all, a brand is how a company is represented in customers’ minds, and designing a sign with a different style will defeat the marketing purposes of the display. If you can’t choose a font that matches the brand’s logo and style, try and select one in the same or a complimentary font family at a minimum.
Consider Sign Usage
How will the sign be used? Small business owners will choose a different font for close inspection than they will select to be seen from a distance. Also consider where the sign will be displayed as some communities and areas will have specific requirements for the types of fonts and the size of text that can be displayed in a certain location. Remember, the World Wide Web Consortium also suggests a contrast ratio for large-scale text if you plan to represent your signage on your website.
Focus on Capitalization Usage
Some font styles are stronger when used with traditional sentence or title capitalization, while others work better when displayed in all-caps. Therefore, it’s important to consider your desired capitalization usage when choosing the best font for a sign. Large outdoor signs with short messages are often best served by capitalized letters, while signs with more text or displayed in a smaller format are generally more readable when presented with title or sentence capitalization.
Best Sign Font Options
With thousands of available font styles available, how do you choose the best fonts for signs? When it comes time to choose lettering for your displays, where do you go for the perfect font options? You might turn to some of the best font sites, such as Adobe and Envato Elements, which feature a plethora of fonts perfect for any sign, including the following font examples:
1. Alchemist Serif Font
A great font from Envato Elements and other sources, Alchemist Serif features elements similar to the classic Times New Roman for a clear and distinctive design. The serif font is available in any size and a variety of spacing options.
2. Etna Sans Serif Font
Envato Elements is one source that also offers this visually pleasing font sure to grab attention on any sign. The Etna sans serif font is a custom typeface designed for maximum precision and aesthetics on large signs and displays.
3. Raidland – Brush Script Font
While script fonts don’t generally make the best fonts for signs, the Raidland brush script font from Envato Elements and other sources is an exception to that rule. The font’s clean style makes it useful for logos and posters, and it remains readable from a distance.
4. Request – Display Font
Envato Elements is one source that features the Request display font, which makes a bold statement to provide a clear message on large signs. The sans serif font uses abstract elements to stand out and capture attention in a variety of formats.
5. Tahoe Font
Another unique display font from Envato Elements and other sources, the Tahoe font features sans-serif lettering perfect for large text like logos, headlines and large signs. Available in a variety of spacing options, the font is best served for large presentations, as well as on the web.
6. Futura PT Font
Adobe features all sorts of fonts perfect for large format signs, including the popular Futura PT font. The geometric, sans-serif typeface has been in use for nearly a century, and it remains a common choice for signs because of its clarity and readability.
7. Classic Comic Sans Serif Font
While some sources will say comic fonts aren’t ideal for signs, we think Adobe’s Classic Comic sans serif font offers a strong alternative to more traditional sign fonts. With darker lettering than other modern comic fonts, the Classic Comic promises to stand out for viewers at a distance.
8. Visia Pro Font
Looking for a sign font that stands out against light backgrounds? Understanding the entire makeup of the display can certainly impact the font choice for signage designs. Envato Elements and other soruces feature the Visia Pro font, which provides crisp and clear lettering that will deliver the right message.
9. Bebas Neue Pro Font
Typefaces in the Bebas font family continue to be popular choices for signs thanks to their straightforward clarity. With the release of the Bebas Neue Pro fonts, Adobe now offers this in-demand font in lowercase letters, italics and in Cyrillic form.
10. Vanguard Font
The bold and memorable Vanguard font, available from Envato Elements and other sources, promises to make a strong statement on any large format sign. As a decorative, sans-serif font, Vanguard is a great font for displaying short, direct messages while adding a touch of classic modernism to a sign’s design.
11. San Marino Urban Font
Another of the many bold fonts offered by Envato Elements includes a version of the popular San Marino font, a member of the urban typeface family. As far as sign fonts go, it hits all the necessary points. The San Marino font is bold, clear and modern with high readability from any distance.
12. LTC Bodoni 175 Font
The Bodoni font type is popular for both large and small format signs thanks to its seamless strokes and partial serif, adding emphasis while retaining clarity. Adobe features the LTC Bodoni 175 font as a modern version of these common sign fonts.
13. Proxima Nova Font
A classical san-serif typeface, the Proxima Nova font is considered one of the best web fonts available, which means it’s a great choice for small business owners who want their website and signage to match. Adobe features a version of the Proxima Nova font in a variety of weights.
14. ATF Garamond Font
What makes Garamond one of the best sign fonts, even though it features a serif? The Garamond font is a popular choice to emphasize smaller sign features such as descriptions and labels. The ATF Garamond font, offered by sources including Adobe, works well for small details, but choose another font for titles and headlines.
15. Myriad Pro Font
Adobe’s own Myriad Pro font is a favorite among display fonts and one of the best fonts for signs. How popular is it? Myriad is the font choice of Apple for many of its displays, including multiple popular logos, and it works well for both headlines and smaller type.
What is the best font for signage?
Multiple fonts, including popular choices like Helvetica and Bodoni, are perfect for signs but the best font for signage is probably Futura. The geometrically shaped typeface is clear and easy to read in both large and small formats, making it one of the most popular choices for large displays with multiple sizes of text.
What are the best professional fonts for signs?
A variety of professional fonts are available for signs, and some entrepreneurs might even want to create their own. However, some professional fonts are better suited for signage than others. A few of the best professional fonts for signs include:
- San Marino
- Visia Pro
What are the best sans serif fonts for signs?
Sans serif is one of the best font categories for signage for a variety of reasons, including its general clarity and readability. Among sans serif fonts, a few are more perfectly suited for large displays than others. Some of the best sans serif fonts for signs include:
- Classic Comic sans
- Etna sans serif
- Proxima nova
- Futura PT
What is the best font for a large sign?
What is the best font for signs? Any number of sans serif fonts are suitable for large signs, but the most popular choices relate to Arial, Helvetica and Bebas options thanks to their clarity and readability in large print and from a distance. Professionals recommend printing the text large, bold and dark, while placing it against a lighter background.