Today, we want to tell you how to make sure your messages are easy to read.

Choose legible fonts
Script looks pretty on bath towels and wedding invitations – not so much on LED displays! Base your font choices on readability from 500 feet away.

Our software offers a lot of font choices, but you want the right typeface. Avoid typefaces with thin strokes, small spaces inside the letterforms and ornate lettering. (See “Bad Font Examples” in the graphic.)

Simple design; thick stroke; easy to read
Good Font Examples: simple design; thick stroke; easy to read

Use large and bold fonts that are available in your Windows font folder for use in Content Studio:
• Arial Bold
• Impact
• Tahoma

See our examples of Good Font Examples.

Upper and lower case
Text in all caps is hard to read, so use both upper and lower case characters. Only use caps for call to actions such as “STOP NOW,” “TODAY ONLY,” and “SALE”

Bad font examples: too ornate; thin stroke, unreadable letter forms
Bad Font Examples: too ornate; thin stroke, unreadable letter forms

Serif or sanserif?
Choose sanserif fonts—it takes less cognitive effort to recognize and decipher words in a sanserif font.

Font choice for a smaller display?
For smaller displays, stick to the Venus 1500 fonts. These fonts look sharper when entered as a smaller font size than the True Type fonts.

To discover more, see “Use Simple Concise Text” in Create Dynamic Digital Messages. .

5 thoughts

  1. It’s funny that daktronics would blog about “fonts that work” when your own signboard font is so hard to read.

    Specifically, your signboard’s lowercase-l, the number 1, and capital I are the same character, a single vertical line.

    On a highway changeable message sign, then I-1l1 is three single column LEDs with a dash mixed in. Does it say I-111? l-1L1? l-lll? l-i1l?

    At highway speeds, drivers must quickly read and understand the messages.

    the 2 columns you save by using the same visual character for lowercase “I” and “1” and “l”
    is at the great expense of legibility.

    Additionally, when the highway signs concerns numerals (such a toll fare), $1.10 does not line up well with $4.35.

    1. Thank you for your comment. The Fixed Width font may be your best bet. It can be found toward the bottom of the fonts dropdown under the Venus Fonts heading. Go ahead and highlight your text if you typed directly into the layout, or click on your textbox so you can see the green border, then select and apply the fixed width font accordingly. This will fix the issues with your numbers lining up and will also give the #1, the letter L, and the letter I distinct characteristics so drivers can differentiate them from one another. If you need any assistance, please contact Daktronics Transportation at 1-800-833-3157.

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