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What Font Size Should I Use for My Banner?

Published on November 17, 2023

The most popular guideline for determining the proper sign and banner font size is to make them at least one inch (72 pt.) tall for every 10 feet of viewing distance. As for specific font sizes, according to the James Madison University School of Media Arts & Design, 1 point (pt) is roughly equivalent to 1/72th of an inch.

Banner font sizes should be as big as you need them to be. As a matter of fact, you might want to decide on your banner size only after you’ve figured out the banner font size. If you want your banner’s core message to be readable, you need to make sure its font size is larger than the font sizes of any less crucial information you have on the banner.

Letter HeightFont Size EquivalentBest LegibilityRecommended Maximum Distance
1” 72 pt. 1’ 50’
1.5” 105 pt. 15’ 62.5’
2” 144 pt. 20’ 75’
3” 216 pt. 30’ 100’
4” 288 pt. 40’ 150’
5” 360 pt. 50’ 175’
6” 432 pt. 60’ 200’
8” 576 pt. 80’ 350’
9” 648 pt. 90’ 400’
10” 720 pt. 100’ 450’
12” 864 pt. 120' 525’
15” 1080 pt. 150' 630’
18” 1296 pt. 180' 750’
24” 1728 pt. 240' 1,000’
30” 2160 pt. 300' 1,250’
36” 2592 pt. 360' 1,500’
48” 3456 pt. 480' 2,000’
60” 4320 pt. 600' 2,500'

Font Size Calculator

Font Size Equivalent: 72 pt.

Best Legibility: 1’

Recommended Maximum Distance: 50’

Font Size to Inch Conversion Chart

For the best readability for your signs, banners and other large format advertising materials, refer to the chart below.

Reading DistanceMinimum Comfortable Font SizeComments
1.2 feet 8 points Typical reading distance for books and magazines. At this distance, 10, 11, or 12 points are the most popular
2.4 feet 16 points This is the closest comfortable distance for reading a large poster.
5.0 feet 32 points When your banner isn’t easily accessible, such as when the area is roped off or hung at a high vantage point,  you need to make the font size even bigger.
25.0 feet 160 points For almost any setting, you want a title that can be read from at least this far away.

How big should the letters be on a sign?

Generally speaking, the most crucial messages on your signs and banners have to be the largest, and therefore the easiest to read. The further away the expected viewing distance is, the bigger the letters -- and your sign -- should be.

Note that letter size isn’t everything. The following factors will also affect your banner’s overall readability:

  • Font style - Non-serifed fonts tend to be easier to read from a distance compared to serifed fonts. Styles with thinner letters may be harder to read, though letters that are too thick will also be hard to read as well. You can check professional signage in your area for an idea of which font styles work best. You can also print out a few test signs with your home or office printer to see if the font style works.
  • Kerning - This refers to the spacing between letters. Letters that are too close together or too far apart can be hard to read. While this is automatically done on your computer, it’s often best to have a graphic designer help you determine the optimal distances to avoid creating a generic looking sign.
  • White/negative space - Signs should not be too cluttered, otherwise the main message gets obscured, regardless of how big your banner’s letters are. An accepted rule of thumb in the graphic design community is to have content (including images) occupy just 40% of the sign, with negative space occupying the remaining 60%. This will help your banner’s message stand out better, especially in public spaces where other signs and objects might be competing for attention.
  • Colors - White, red, and similarly bright colors are more likely to catch attention compared to darker and neutral colors. The colors you use on your banner’s copy and background should also have sufficient contrast so the text is easier to understand.

What is a good font size for a menu board?

Banners and signs are popular products to use for cafe and restaurant menu boards as well as price and notification boards for other small businesses such as laundromats. You can assume that these will be read indoors, or at least at close distance, at probably much less than 100 feet. You can have your main text between 72 pt. (approximately 1” tall) and 216 pt. (approximately 3” tall). You can use any header font size, so long as it’s larger than your main text and looks proportional.

What is a good font size for political campaign yard signs?

These large format materials are also a good way to share slogans or any other message in public. This makes yard signs and banners popular with advertising agencies and suitable for for political campaigns and for any type of advocacy. 216 pt. (3” tall) is a good starting point for main text for yard signs and banners that are meant to be legible from about 30 to 100 feet. You can increase the size to 432 pt. (6” tall) or more if you want more visibility for drivers or just want your sign’s message seen from further away. You can refer to our recommended font size chart above.

What is a good font size for display boards?

Unlike banners and yard signs, display boards typically have some detailed text. For the main headers, you will want to follow the same general guidelines as you would for menu boards. Chances are your display board will be less than 100 feet away from readers. In these cases, you can have your header text between 72 pt. (1” tall) and 216 pt. (3” tall), increasing the size if more visibility is desired.

You can go much smaller on the main text. If your readers are able to get to within arm’s length (about 1 foot away), 10 pt. or 12 pt. (about the size of the main text in a magazine), may suffice. The further away your readers are, the larger the text will have to be. From a yard or so away, you may want to increase the text size to 16 pt. to 32 pt. If the display area is roped off, or otherwise inaccessible to your readers, you may follow the size and recommended viewing distance guidelines in the chart above.

Common font size to inches conversions

What size font is 1.5 inches tall?

Your font size should be 108 pt. to print a letter that’s approximately 1.5” tall.

What font size is 2 inches tall?

Your font size should be 144 pt. to print a letter that’s approximately 2” tall.

What font size is 5 inches tall?

Your font size should be 360 pt. to print a letter that’s approximately 5” tall.

Note: You can blow up letters with small sizes, but this may cause insightly pixelation that could ruin your sign’s readability.

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