Why Readable Lettering for Your Mobile Billboard Is Best

DECEMBER 3, 2020| SpeedPro of Denver



Here’s Five Tips for Choosing Vehicle Lettering

Tip 1: Use Clean, Legible Fonts
On your next few drives, make a focused effort to read all the copy you see on cars and trucks of all sizes. With so many interesting fonts to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away and pick a “different” busy font you feel will help your business will stand out. What you’ll likely learn, though, is that sometimes simpler fonts are a better way to go. Try capturing photos of some good and bad examples of how lettering is used. You’ll see a mix of logos with phone numbers, images to convey what your business is about and most of all, numbers and letters that inform your prospects how to reach you.

Tip 2: Use Contrasting Colors
If your vehicle is black, choose bright colors that pop and don’t think using white would be boring; it’s easy to read against black. For white vehicles, pick saturated colors. Pastels, if outlined and an ample size, can work if your logo and brand call for a softer palette. Another way to choose colors is to use the tried and true color wheel. If your vehicle is neither dark not light but more of a vibrant color like red, blue, yellow or green, you may want to choose a color on the opposite side of the color wheel, known as a complementary color. For example, orange lettering against a blue background is sure to pop (especially here in Denver:-). If you’re planning lettering for windows, white or other light colors are a good choice for tinted windows.

Tip 3: Follow the 10-by-1 Text Size Guide
Here are the suggested guidelines the sign industry and designers use: letters that are 1 inch tall are readable up to 10 feet away. For each inch you add to the lettering’s height, you gain another 10 feet of readability. If you’re putting lettering on a box truck that’s 20 feet high, your lettering should be sized proportionately. If your moving billboard is a Sedan with a phone number and URL on the back window, follow the 10-to-1 and size for readability without overwhelming the reader. Design to avoid the QUIET PLEASE visual where the font size and use of all caps text don’t fit the message.

Tip 4: Keep Messages Simple
Less is often more when it comes to effective advertising; picture a typical magazine ad with a large image and sparse text. You want to follow the same idea for your vehicle advertising. Sometimes your logo and a phone number are all you need. During your visual scouting, look at billboards too. Experts often recommend those messages be limited to seven words. Depending on your vehicle, you may have a little more to work with than that but make every word and number count. A short URL that is the same is your company name that leads to a contact form can take the place of the company name and phone number, to give one example. The word “free” still holds a lot of power in advertising so if you typically promote “Call for a Free Estimate” on your vehicle shorten the message to “Free Estimates.”

Tip 5: Place Lettering Strategically
Take advantage of living in a metropolitan area where we’re often stopped in traffic by placing your key message on your back window or on the tailgate of your work vehicle. Repeating your message on doors (or across doors depending on the vehicle and message length) helps retention and provides more opportunities for nearby prospects to quickly snap a photo to capture all the information they need to reach you. Have your designer and installer connect to make sure placement is in-line with other driver’s field of vision and sized exactly right for the doors and windows. For vehicle graphics, you can also consider a full window cling that allows you to see out but is covered with a message or image so your prospects don’t see inside your messy work truck!

SpeedPro Denver Designs, Prints and Installs

We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses – small and large – to brand everything from a small business’ only vehicle to fleets of hundreds. Contact us at 303-426-4199, and check out our extensive portfolio.

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Greg Ellison