Best Practices for Crane Signage Readability

Arteest Signs Ltd.Crane signs

Best practices for crane signage readability

Crane signage provides a highly visible advertising platform for the construction industry enabling messages and branding to be seen from great distances.  However, for crane advertising to be effective, there are a few factors to consider regarding letter height and font choice:

  • Letter Height. As a general guide, a 30″ letter can be read from 300 feet, but this may need to be adjusted depending on the type of font used.
  • Font Type. While there are many fonts to choose from they all fall into one of two categories; serif or sans serif.  A serif is the tiny, decorative tip at the top and bottom of a letter.  Times New Roman is an example of a serif font.  Sans serif simply means without serif.  This article is written in Mayberry Light, a sans serif font.  While some serif fonts do help readability in such things as books and emails, for crane signage, a sans serif font is considered best practice and it’s what Arteest recommends.
  • Decorative and Script Fonts. These are fancier and more difficult to read, especially from a distance.  If you include them in your crane signage your letter heights should be adjusted considerably, however, they will still not be as legible as regular block fonts.
  • Colour Contrast. Dark colours on a white background or vice versa achieve maximum impact. Avoid  pastels and very light colours as these look washed out and fade easily with sun exposure. Overall, colours should be bold and contrasting to grab attention immediately.
  • White/Blank Space. Text or graphics with inadequate white or blank space around them can be hard to read.  Ensure your sign makes good use of space, so your message stands out.

Crane signage has to hit home quickly and easily as many will be viewing it from a passing car.  This chart sets out fonts and their recommended corresponding letter heights for best visibility:

Letter Height Visibility Chart

Crane letter visibility chart


At Arteest, we specialize in crane signage and are here to help. We make the process quick and simple from artwork to printing, to delivery and installation.  We can also help you select the type of crane signage that would work best for you — mesh banners or channel letters.  More information about these options can be found here.  Email us your questions at and we look forward to working with you!