Letter legibility for signs and other large format applications

Philip M. Garvey, Abdulilah Z. Zineddin, Martin T. Pietrucha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have evaluated the legibility of various fonts displayed in small print. There has also been a great deal of research into the legibility and recognition of standard highway sign alphabets. There has, however been no attempt to empirically determine large format distance legibility for the growing number of fonts currently available to non-transportation sign manufacturers. The present study systematically evaluated the letter legibility of a set of fonts that are consistent with commercial (e.g., storefront), industrial, transit, and highway signage. The fonts were evaluated in a laboratory setting. Individual test charts were designed for each of the fonts based on the standard Snellen distance visual acuity chart. Recognition acuity thresholds for each of the fonts yielded the minimum visual angle of letter height necessary for their resolution. The relative legibility of each font is discussed, as is the effect of font choice on sign size, and theoretical issues related to critical detail for letter recognition acuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1447
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 2001
EventProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 45th Annual Meeting - Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2001Oct 12 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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