Picking Font Size For Digital Signage Layouts - Blog








Picking Font Size For Digital Signage Layouts

By Alex on 12/06


Picking Font Size For Digital Signage Layouts

Typography is often ignored when creating content for digital display. As trivial as it may be, the font you settle for can influence how the audience will perceive your brand, apart from improving readability from various angles and distances.

When choosing a font, legibility is key. It is the norm to use large block letters for displays, however, this makes no sense because larger letters require a longer attention span and viewing at a closer distance.

It’s better to realize early, that legibility is the same as visibility. Legibility means that the audience can read the text on display but visibility is being able to see different letters and signs easily.

One of the main factors that influences visibility is the viewing distance. Will the audience need a close-up view of the screen or are all the details describable from afar? Your text size will normally relate to the viewing distance.

Recommended font and screen sizes for signage displays

In digital signage typography, the choice of font is imperative. In many instances, the font that you pick should create a certain perception of the brand in the mind of the audience and can go the long way in improving legibility.

Some aspect of your digital signage will definitely contain text. Images are more engaging and interactive but text usually allows us to convey more complex concepts as precise as possible.

Here are the three most recommended fonts and how they are relevant to digital signage:

Serif

This is a font thought of as traditional, classic or serious. Serif fonts have small lines (also called “feet”) at the end of each letter. Examples of popular serif fonts are Times New Roman, Garamond, and Baskerville.

Sans Serif

The sans serif font is similar to the serif font except for one thing – they don’t have those small lines at the end of each letter. Because of this, they appear more modern and cleaner. Some sans serif fonts include Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana

Script (sometimes also known as decorative)

Script font has fluidlike strokes that resemble handwritten text. The cursive fonts that have a flowing style to them are a perfect example of script fonts. Script fonts have a personal touch and also have a lot of variations; some look like elegant calligraphy and others like casual handwriting.

Sans vs Sans-Serif vs Script

There is a reason why serif is one of the most popular fonts in print. Many share the thought that the serif font makes paragraphs easier to read and navigate.

However, there are many considerations when using web or pixel-based screens. The sans serif dominates digital displays. The small and delicate details of the serifs don’t display well on big screens and sometimes end up looking out of shape, and content creators will prefer using the sans serif for digital signage and other displays. Sans serif fonts are easily legible even when viewed from a long distance.

This is the same reason why script fonts are also not recommended for large displays. However, they come in handy in headlines where you need to add a personal flair; for instance, in wedding invitations. When choosing a font for digital signage, you need to create some hierarchy. By changing the font and size, you can communicate to the audience where they can start reading and find important information faster.

Screen size & Font size

When choosing a font size, remember to make it legible. A larger size of text doesn’t always improve legibility, and is not always used on digital displays because it needs a longer span of concentration. There is no need to use text if no one can read it, so be sure that the text size is optimized for the audience and their distance.

                                       
Distance From Screen10 ft15 ft20 ft25 ft35 ft50 ft75 ft
Font Size20 pt34 pt50 pt66 pt100 pt133 pt200 pt

Screen size & distance

How large is your screen going to be? How far away will the audience be from it? The size of your screen should directly relate to how far away you expect the audience to be. For instance, if the audience is 16 feet away, a 55” screen should be the minimum size.

                                   
Screen SizeDistance From Screen
32”43”48”55”65”
6 ft10 ft12 ft16 ft18 ft

Main things to remember when choosing fonts for digital signage

  • Make it readable. Script fonts are used in minimal texts and headlines. Serif is reserved for long lines and paragraphs – which you shouldn’t use. Sans serif is the best font to use.
  • Use no more than 2 fonts. The more fonts you use the more cluttered and disorganized the text will seem.
  • Establish a hierarchy. Highlight important messages in larger fonts. Other less important information should be in smaller size. This will be the anchor point that tells the audience where to look.

What it all means

The size and type of font is a critical part in digital signage legibility. There are many options but if you keep it simple and readable, you will have the best display for your brand.