These Are the Best Fonts for Your Promotional Signage

When it comes to choosing the best fonts for your signage, everyone’s preferences are subjective – but there are a number of universally-accepted design principles to remember when picking the most effective promotional signage fonts.

For example, some fonts look like they were designed for large promo signs, while others work better in the tinier constraints of a small sign. Other fonts may look great on your computer or design program, but pale in comparison when replicated in physical form.

So without further ado, scroll on as we answer the question as old as time: What are the best fonts for promotional signs?

The Best Fonts for Promotional Signs

The print and sign experts at Optic Signs in Kelowna have come to a consensus on the five best fonts for promotional signage, in no particular order:

  • Futura
  • Helvetica
  • Bebas
  • Avenir
  • Proxima Nova

That’s not to say if a font that you’re drawn to that isn’t on this list means your promotional signage will be a disaster. For all you know, the next font on our list may’ve been yours.

You’ll notice a common theme among our five choices – these are font classics. They’re used quite commonly, and there’s a reason for that: They work. Other timeless fonts, like Times New Roman and Arial, are strong contenders to this list, too.

…And the Worst Fonts for Promotional Signs

Since there are hundreds of fonts at your disposal, and you may not want to stick to the five we’ve mentioned, we should point out three fonts that have no business being printed on any form of promotional signage:

  • Comic Sans
  • Papyrus
  • Any script font
  • Any grunge font

Are you in the sixth grade and working on a project? No? Then stay away from Comic Sans.

The calligraphic nature of the Papyrus font makes it difficult to use, so don’t bother. There’s a reason it was dubbed the ‘world’s second-most-hated font’ (no, really).

Finally, forget any fonts that are script or grungy; we don’t mind the creativity and style, but this just comes down to legibility, which these types of fonts are weak in.

Font Tips for Large-Format Promo Signs

For large-format signage, including banners, posters, canvas prints, outdoor rigid signs, etc., consider these best practices when it comes to fonts:

  • When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a font from the Sans serif family, such as Arial, Helvetica, or Bebas
  • For best readability, think big, bold, and dark font
  • Prioritize readability before anything else, especially from far distances
  • As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind that a typical sign has about 10 feet of viewing distance for every inch of letter height; so if your font is 4 inches in height, it should be readable by people roughly 40 feet away
  • Even with the extra real estate large-format signs offer, don’t overcrowd your design – simplicity is still king here

Font Tips for Small-Format Promo Signs

  • Again, if you’re stuck between which fonts to go with, turn to either serif or sans serif typeface
  • Avoid using ALL CAPS, script or grunge fonts with small format – it’s unprofessional, unreadable, and you’ll give your designer an ulcer
  • Legibility > all other sign factors
  • For especially small text and paragraphs, stick to serif fonts for best readability

The Best Font Colors for Signage

  • Remember your ABC’s – always be contrasting! So if you’re choosing a dark font, you’ll want a light background, and vice-versa; if you stick to the ABC’s, you can never go wrong
  • Be mindful when using red – it can create a sense of urgency (which can be good for limited time offers and promos) or emergency (not so good), so use it where appropriate
  • Try not to use too many similarly-valued colours near one another; for example, red and yellow are similar in value, and can therefore be more difficult to decipher when they clash together
  • Consider accessibility for your font colours, too – if a person is colour blind, for example, you’ll want to make sure they can see and read everything clearly

If you need help picking fonts for your signage – or just need assistance designing your signage altogether – connect with one of our sign print experts today for a consultation!