Viewing distance is one of the most important factors needed to determine the correct size of most electronic signs.
Outdoor Display Text Viewing Distance and Time
As a general rule: 1 inch of text is viewable up to 50 feet away1 or 25mm of text is viewable up to 15m away. The following diagram illustrates at what distance and character size that a stationary audience will recognize and understand the content of an electronic sign.
However, if the target audience is moving, then another factor, time, is required. An average of at least three to four seconds is required for a moving audience to adequately recognize and comprehend six to eight grouping of content on an electronic sign2. The following chart lists the maximum time an audience will have to view an electronic sign with specific characters size. For example, an audience will have three seconds or less to view electronic signs with four inches of text. If the electronic signs have too much content, than the reader will not have sufficient time to comprehend the entire content.
As a summary:
• 2 inch text works well in most foot traffic areas, such as for indoor applications.
• 4 to 6 inch text is ideal for 45mph or under traffic, such as outdoor church and school applications.
• 8 inch text or larger works is suited for most outdoor applications where traffic is 60mph or slower.
Government Regulations On Sign Use
In many states and cities, there are regulations governing the use of an Outdoor Display message center. In certain urban centers, moving messages or video clips may not be permissable. When planning any new sign installation, it is important to consult with your local county office for assistance in interpreting your local municipal sign codes and regulations.
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