Maximizing Readability

An LED Billboard automatically raises the visibility of your business. It gets your message out, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. And if it is programmed for animation or text effects, people are more likely to remember your message.

One of the challenges that comes with an LED sign is communicating your message effectively. Location and size of your sign are key factors in drawing eyes, but you can have the best of both and still fail in messaging. Effective messages are readable messages because readable messages are the ones that are remembered. Here are few things to keep in mind when crafting your text.

Use All Caps

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You may hesitate to use caps because you think you will be perceived as shouting. Well, if you were texting, emailing, or making a Facebook post, all caps would be a bad idea. But when it comes to signage, all caps are a must.

Capital letters command attention. They are used in titles and headlines around the world, and they should also be used in your sign. They are also much easier to read than lowercase letters. Depending on the font you choose, many lowercase letters can be confused for others, such as the “i” and “l”. Remember, you want a message that can be read in an instant, but lingers in the memory.

Limit Abbreviations

Too many abbreviations or acronyms can quickly turn your message into alphabet soup. Consider the necessity of each one that you plan to use, as well as their alternative meanings. Furthermore, an abbreviation may often be misinterpreted by the reader, or even yourself. Whenever possible, leave the abbreviations to texting and social media, and let the military and government have their acronyms. Don’t force your potential customers to decode your sign. They just might decide to go somewhere else.

Proper Pacing

You may have plenty to say with your sign, but no one is going to know it if you don’t leave it up long enough for people to read it. After you draft your message, read it out loud. Take note of how long it takes. Then have at least two others do the same, average the time, and then add a second. If you have your message up for any less than this, you risk the possibility of the message flashing by before anyone can reading. After all, you know what the message says; they don’t.

Avoid Reverse Copy

In recent years, reverse copy has become a popular way to display text online. An example of reverse copy is using white text on a black background (the opposite, or reverse, of regular black on white). Another example would be lighting up all LEDs on a sign except the ones that would display the text. While this may be fashionable, it really isn’t an effective way to convey your message. The viewer is more focused on the colors of your background than the words you want read.

Say No to Script

The right font can make your sign stand out from the rest, but the wrong one can make it an incoherent mess. Take time to consider the readability of your chosen font from a number of distances. Also, make sure that your font sets the right tone. Comic book style letters are great for selling party supplies, but your message won’t be taken seriously if you’re selling insurance.

One of the biggest font mistakes is a script style. These may seem elegant or classy, but when it comes to signage, they are extremely difficult to read. The letters appear to run together, and they can be mistaken for others. It’s often impossible to tell a capital “F” and “T” apart, and many people won’t recognize a capital “Q.” There are many other readable fonts that can display your message in the tone you want.

  • “With the Readerboard, Friday sales are up 23%, Saturday sales are up 30% and Sunday sales are up 50%. I am loving it! Thanks!”  
    May Masoli Whitestone Foods/Long John Silver's
  • After the first Installation of Lightking Product.  "Customer really likes them".  "They look good".  "I'm Impressed"
    President Former Watchfire Dealer

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