:60 ticks marketing tip: High tech legibility test

60ticks The world of marketing is now very high tech.  We have computers and digital files and PDAs and a host of other technologies that have improved the way we do our job.  But sometimes the old fashioned method is still as good as it gets.

Outdoor is a tricky medium.  It looks great on the screen or layout, but how will it look 50 feet up in the air, as you whiz by at 65 mph?

Assuming you were mindful of the 7-word rule (try never to have more than 7 words on an outdoor board) here’s how you can quickly check the readability of your board.


Yup, squint.  Print out your design and tape it to the wall.  Step back 10+ feet and then squint.  Can you still read the board?  If so – odds are it will be legible from the road as well.

Now let’s see them create a high tech alternative for that!

4 comments on “:60 ticks marketing tip: High tech legibility test

  1. Is that not what the digital billboards purpose is? Like the one they are testing on 63rd/Grand Ave…

    And if you can’t read it, take the PSD – increase the font size – and push it back out to the billboard at little to no cost.

  2. Bill Gammell says:


    This is a great idea, one I had not heard of. Of course, if you are short sighted like me you can always just take off the specs and do a quick test.

  3. Andy,

    You bet — the digital boards reduce production costs and as you say, if you make a mistake, you just correct it on the fly.

    Unfortunately, 90% of all outdoor boards are still the traditional kind that require printing.

    Hence, the squint test!


  4. Bill,

    Yes…good point. If I took off my glasses, I wouldn’t see the paper!


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