Podcast | Sign Legibility in Outdoor Sign Design

Podcast Andrew Bertucci


What you will learn

Executive Director of the USSC, Andrew Bertucci, talks passionately about bringing science to sign legibility in both wayfinding and commercial signs through new advances in human factors and roadside analysis research. In addition to a brief history on sign legibility and regulation, Andrew covers topics from determining sign size over distance and speed of travel, to detailed exposition of the use of the USSC Legibility Index to determine appropriate letter size over distance and covers how and why the viewer reaction time is crucial to sign legibility. If you want your signs to be as legible as possible, you need to understand the factors that determine legibility. This course will equip you with that knowledge!

A must for any designer or fabricator of outdoor commercial signs, wayfinding signs, regulatory signs, or gateways, this course includes a discussion about the extensive results of the research collaboration between the United States Sign Council and Penn State University.


  • Sign visibility and traffic safety
  • Sign legibility and the impact of color and illumination
  • Sign visibility and the impact of the driving task on detection and legibility
  • The effects of traffic volume, traffic speed, and mounting height on the visibility of roadside signs
  • Detailed exposition of the use of the USSC Legibility Index (based on the above referenced studies) to determine appropriate letter size over distance, the understanding of Viewer Reaction Time and Distance
  • How to determine sign panel size over distance and speed of travel
  • The latest data regarding minimum sign height and detection at various traffic volumes


Questions Answered

  • Has any of this sign legibility information been used to re-write sign codes in any communities that you’re aware of in the US?


Course Materials

  • This course contains 1 podcast, including a Q&A sessions and accompanying PDF presentation



  • Approximately 80 minutes



  • Andrew Bertucci,  United States Sign Council (RIP)


First Presented October 22, 2002

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