How does a business select the font used to display its name on buildings and sign boards? This is a complex process, which usually involves a designer. Each business wants to create a unique image and this extends to the font used for its name. Big brands, for instance, have fonts specially created for them and protected by copyright.
For small and medium sized businesses, according to experts from The Visual Edge Signs & Design, these are some helpful tips to select a great font for outdoor signs:
- Serif vs. San Serif
Serif fonts have small horizontal lines at the ending of letters. This little line (called footer) is helpful to differentiate, for instance lower case “l” from upper case “I”. San serif is a great font for the web, as it has a sleek and modern look. However, for large volumetric letter, a serif font may be more adequate
- Script vs. Cursive
Both script and cursive fonts mimic handwriting. The difference is that the letters of a script font are disconnected one from the other, while cursive font letters are joined together in words. You must test the legibility of each of these types of fonts if you want your business name to appear handwritten.
One of the critical aspects of selecting a font for any kind of typography design, not just outdoor signs, is kerning. This represents the space between letters in a word. Each font has a different default kerning. If the space is too small, two adjacent letters may read as one (for instance “c” and “l” appear to be a “d”), causing confusion or even embarrassment.