Top 10 Reasons Your Signs Are Hard To Read

You spent hours going back and forth with your graphic designer choosing the perfect colors, your favorite font and making sure everything seems just right. Then you spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your signage for your business. Everything seems perfect.

Then you start getting calls from people who still can’t find your location, or you don’t get as many calls from you signs as you hoped.  Then you start questioning if you made the right choices or not.  What went wrong?

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Thanks to J.J. Kellaris at the National Signage Research & Education Conference, we have the top 10 reasons signs become difficult to read.

  1. The letters are too small. (83.3%)*
  2. Placement of the sign makes it hard to see. (71.4%)
  3. Sign is not well lit at night. (63.6%)
  4. Color of the letters does not stand out from the background. (60.3%)
  5. Digital signs change too fast. (52.6%)
  6. The letters use a fancy font. (47.8%)
  7. The letters are spaced too close together. (35.6%)
  8. The sign looks very similar to other signs nearby. (34.4%)
  9. There are distracting visuals on the sign. (13.7%)
  10. Other (1.6%)

* Percentages represent the proportion of consumers citing each item in response to the prompt “when a sign is difficult to read, it is usually because…”
Source: Kellaris, J.J. (2013). “Additional Insights from the BrandSpark / Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study: A Three-year Longitudinal Update.” National Signage Research and Education Conference, Cincinnati, OH.