Pavement sign with - I Have Enough Handbags written on chalkboard

How Big Should I Make the Lettering on My Pavement Signs?

When you’re designing your new pavement signs, you have a great opportunity to put together the perfect design for both form and function. They’re a great way to beef up your marketing efforts, so we’ve put together a handy guide to help you get to know them better.

Some of the most common questions that people have in this situation are about the size and placement of text: How big is too big, and how small is too small? There’s no one correct answer here. Various factors need to be considered before you can choose the correct lettering size.

Used to promote products, discounts, deals and brands, A-boards are outdoor signs used by many different types of business. Also known as sign boards, pavement signs are one of the most effective ways to go when it comes to attracting new business and drawing in potential customers. But a well-designed pavement sign doesn’t just do this with no input from you!

Types of Pavement Signs

Sign Types

The creation and design of a sign will come with different requirements depending on the type of sign. The position of the sign needs to be very specific, for example, if it is a Health & Safety sign, and there will be guidelines to follow regarding text size and font colour combinations. You can learn a little more about this by reading our post on Education & Training in the Sign and Print Industry.

Attracting more customers to your business begins with increasing your visibility. You won’t generally be restricted in terms of font or colours if the sign is for a business, such as a sign outside of an office block or coffee shop. It’s still worth checking before you invest in a pavement sign you might not be able to use, however, as some locations can be limited by the local council, landlords (for rented premises) and local planning laws.

Old A-Board Sign with hardly visible lettering

What Distance Will People See the Sign From?

This will ultimately decide the lettering size and is probably the biggest factor you need to consider. Based on the distance from which we expect people to read a sign, we can use the following table to work out the best lettering size (assuming the readers have 20:20 vision or are wearing the correct glasses).

For example, if you want your sign to be readable from 30m away, you should try to make the lettering on it at least 100mm high.

Viewing Distance and Letter Visibility Chart

Letter Height

Readable Distance

Readable Distance
For Good Impact

Readable Distance
For Best Impact
10mm 4m 2m 1m
25mm 8m 4m 2m
50mm 15m 6m 3m
75mm 22m 10m 5m
100mm 30m 12m 6m
150mm 46m 18m 9m
200mm 60m 24m 12m
225mm 68m 28m 14m
250mm 76m 30m 15m
300mm 90m 36m 18m
375mm 110m 40m 20m
450mm 140m 50m 25m
600mm 180m 70m 35m
750mm 230m 90m 45m
900mm 270m 110m 55m
1000mm 320m 125m 60m
1200mm 360m 140m 70m
1350mm 400m 160m 80m
1500mm 450m 180m 90m

click here to use our size converter tool If you need the above measurements in a different unit of measure (i.e. Inches, Feet, Yards, etc)

Gone Fishing Sign Board

What Are A-Board Signs?

A-board signs signpost your premises to people walking past and are designed to attract new customers by boosting footfall. Used properly, these signs can make a major difference to your daily business. They’re available in two main designs:

  • Durable aluminium frames supporting professionally-printed sign boards
  • Whiteboards and chalkboards that can be customised every day

Remember: Hanging up the bunting and putting an “open” sign on the door won’t be enough to encourage the masses to come into your business. When it comes to pavement signs, A-Boards are one of the most popular designs available. They give you a vital opportunity to entice customers with what you have to offer.

Red17 A-Boards Signs - products pic

Read more: What Do I Need to Know about A-Board Signs

How Big Can Your Sign Be?

The area you have to display the sign and the content it needs to display will also determine the size of your lettering. It’s vital that you do not make the sign bigger than the area you have – an oversized sign on a crowded pavement can cause real issues for pedestrians, and the complaints will do you no favours – and you need to take this into account alongside the distance from which your sign will be read and what the important content is.

If it comes down to juggling space between your company name and tagline, the company name should always be prioritised. People need to know who your sign is advertising, and it’s not the end of the world if they end up having to step a little closer to read the tagline.

European High Street Picture with Cafe Displaying A-Board Sign

Read more: Is Planning Permission Necessary for a Pavement Sign?

LED Poster Case Displays

A successful pavement sign will feature three key components: clear branding, bright colours and a clear message. Of course, promotion visibility comes down to more than the size of your lettering. It’s important that your prospective customers can actually see your advertising efforts, and lighting will be necessary if you want to do this at all hours of the day and night. An illuminated poster case could be used to keep your advertisement visible in all light conditions, even cold winter months which can be quite dark and lead to reduced visibility.

Shelter with LED Poster Case Advertisement

Read more: Signage Options for External Promotion

Reflection and Illumination

While it’s less of an issue in the summer, it’s worth thinking about the illumination of your sign, and whether or not you will need it illuminated during the winter months. Would an illuminated sign turn people’s heads more than an unlit one as they pass your business? Reflective vinyl and sign illuminations are two tricks that are always worth considering, especially if you don’t have the space to have your lettering as large as you’d like.

Lettering on Café Barriers

The banner that spans across the two poles of your café barriers could be used to advertise a number of different things, and brings the added benefit that it’s generally larger and offers more display space than a standard pavement sign. Even if a member of the public doesn’t go into your café, you can still catch their attention for later on. This is what makes printed café banners the perfect tool for outdoor advertisement.

The special offers that you have on during the week could be displayed here, or you could start with something simple like the café brand. Any sponsors or partners that you’re working with could also be promoted here. You can entice the public into your premises using the additional advertising space provided with your café barriers.

Large Example of red17s Cafe Barrier Product

Read more: How to Let Your Banner Stand Do the Talking

Make a Business

Particularly if they’re set back from the main street, a properly-design pavement sign can have a major impact on their presence on the local high street and even increase the amount of traffic a store receives. You need to make sure your sign is working as hard as possible, so that you’re making the most of this impact. The correct lettering plays a big role here, but optimised placement is also important and it’s worth testing a few different placements before settling on one.

Graphic saying - A Good Sign

Read more: When Is a Sign Not a Good Sign?

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Pavement Signs Collection from Red17