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Adaptive Display's Digital Signage Blog

High-Color Contrast for Maximum Outdoor LED Sign Visibility

Posted by Chad Bogan on Mon, Dec 22, 2014

One of the most important factors to consider when attempting to create eye catching content for outdoor led signs is the contrast between the foreground and background.

Understanding the basics of colors will make your sign easy to read and comprehend. It is a combining factor that harmonizes your sign and makes your sign stand out.  From a great distance, people get to see high-contrast messages clearly, while messages with low-contrasting colors tend to blend together.

By contrasting a dark color, font or graphic on a light background, or a light color, font or graphic on a dark background, viewers will get to read the messages clearly. Using colored text on a bright background tends to be weak. It is best to use white text against dark colored backgrounds to achieve best results.

Avoid Low-Contrast Colors

Low contrast colors make messages hard to read.

If there is not enough contrast, the viewer will have to squint to read your message or simply avoid it.

  • Colors next to each other on the color wheel, like orange and yellow, don't contrast well because they're similar in hue and value.
  • Colors opposite each other on the color wheel (complementary colors), such as red and green, have good contrast, but their values are the most similar.

For example, a dark brown font on a black background. Or a pink color text on a red background. The led sign would be tough to read since the colors will tend to blend all together. The same goes true for a green text on red background. This tends to create a vibration effect that can really make you nauseous.

Choose High-Contrast Colors

With LEDs signs, it's important to use color combinations that pop!

Use contrast to your advantage to make your LED sign stand out. For example, yellow and black are different in the contrast of both hue and value.

Contrasting colors do not only make colors eye-catching and more vibrant, it forces eyes to gaze at it. This is the key to get the most marketing power out of your color choices - add some contrasting colors in the message that you’re trying to send.

Alternating colors, with good contrast in hue and value, create the best combinations:

  • Blue on Yellow
  • Yellow on Black
  • Black on any light-colors
  • White on Blue/Green (limit use of white to text only)

Here are some tips on how to use contrasting colors:

  • Red and blue. The combination of these colors guarantees the most visibility. Both colors are simple but show up very brightly. Add a white outline to make it more amazing.
  • Yellow and purple colors are best for lawn care and landscaping business.
  • Use contrasting color borders if you don't want to overwhelm your customers. It's subtle yet creates a tasteful twist for your LED sign.
  • If you want to use two colors that are too close in value, increase the contrast and add an outline of one of the colors.

In designing your LED sign, it is vital to pay special attention to the color of the letters.  It should be in contrast with the background color to guarantee its readability. Make sure your message really pops. It should always be easy to read and appropriate for your target audience and your business.

If you have concerns about your led content design and LED sign colors, let us know. Our experts at Adaptive are we're always willing to help. 800-555-7022

Tags: Content Creation for Outdoor LED Signage