We've found that the best fonts that work for digital signage are simple ones, and sans serif ones top that list. This doesn't mean you can't go using your favorite Script Styles or Decorative Style fonts, it just means you need to choose wisely. If your brand allows, reserve those fonts for large titles and subtitles and keep your body copy limited to a simple font that will allow people to read large chunks of information easily.
Two to three different types of fonts on your screen at the same time is more than enough. Mixing and matching too many fonts can make your screen feel unorganized, unprofessional and hard to read. Stick to a collection of a few simple fonts and you should be good to go.
Most screens are viewed from afar. Font size needs to be large enough for people to view and read from a distance. Presenting the content in a way that visually conveys where to look, and in what sequence, helps guide the eye. Titles, subtitles and body copy all have their place on the screen.
- Titles: Don't be afraid to use a large font size. Large titles can help grab attention and reel viewers in.
- Subtitles: Help break up the titles from subtitles and body copy by giving your subtitle a color or styling it with bold. It should also be a different font size from your main title.
- Body Copy: Copy that's too small = useless digital signage. Be sure you aren't trying to cram too much on the screen by decreasing your font size. Keep information short and to the point, and keep that font size up.
Color can bring attention to something you want people to read. Highlighting a word in a sentence can help reinforce the importance of that word. Too much color on the other hand can be distracting and the wrong color can be downright impossible to read. Choose wisely and be sure to select a color that's already in your signage or part of your brand.
Auto size vs set font size:
With most digital signage software you have the ability to create a block of text and set that font size to something specific. Sometimes a block of text can be set to auto-size, which means the block will scale your font size as you add or remove content. There are 2 factors to consider with auto-size, both of which affect your font size: the size of the text block and the amount of copy. The larger the block, the larger the copy ... the less content you have, the larger it will appear and the more content you have the smaller it will appear. Now, you can see how auto-sizing could present an issue; and it’s not just an issue with small font, sizing inconsistency can have your screen looking messy and hard to read. You have to find a balance. So when is it a good idea to use one over the other? Let’s take a look at some examples:
- When you have a list of items (like a menu board for example) you will want your food items and prices to all have consistent sizes. This means you will want all your text blocks to have a set font size. You will have to watch the amount of copy that goes into each block to prevent it from overflowing (or being cut off by) the constraints of the block size.
- If you have a simple message with a title and body copy, you could set both to ‘auto’. Be mindful of how much content you put into the blocks. Auto will continuously scale down your copy making it impossible to read if you have too much.