How Large Should an American Industrial Safety Banner Be?

safety is as safety does safety bannerHow large should an American industrial safety banner be is a question that many safety managers ask. Why? Because using a safety banner of the wrong size will greatly diminish the safety banner’s impact on facility safety. So safety managers want to get the size right.

BUT FIRST, the safety banner’s Visual Acuity (defined below) is THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT of the banner. Size is number two, but still critically important. Visual Acuity (defined below) for a safety banner in an industrial facility is how quickly and easily can it be read, and understood, in two to four seconds. That is right - 2 to 4 seconds! for an industrial facility or warehouse. If the banner’s visual acuity is low, it will have little to zero safety impact and you have wasted your money.

All the banners designed here at Safety Banners USA are designed for Maximum Visual Acuity in an industrial facility. We have over 25 years experience in designing high visual acuity banners. We know how to do it.

But, SIZE DOES MATTER. If it the banner is to small in a cavernous area, it will barely noticed. If the banner is to large in a small area it will be intrusive and the workers will be irritated by it. Getting the correct size safety banner for a specific facility is not complicated, but does take some forethought.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following applies ONLY if the banner has high visual acuity. Safety Takes all of us safety banner

The proper banner size is easy to calculate. The formula is a simple ratio. You use the worker’s average viewing distance divided by the HEIGHT of the banner. You must use the banner height as most banners are not square.

The ratio is -  the worker’s average viewing distance divided by the banner’s height.

Example: A viewing distance of 120’ divided by a banner height of 3’, is 120’ ÷ 3’ = 40. Or, 240’ ÷  6' = 40 and so on.

The number to remember is 40, which is the maximum result.

If your ratio is UNDER 40, then your viewing distance is proper. Smaller is better, with a 20 to 30 ratio result being perfect. You should not go below 10, because then the safety banner is probably to close.

To recap, (the worker’s average viewing distance to the banner) ÷ (the banner’s height) should equal between 10 and 40.

(the worker’s average viewing distance to the banner)
_______________________________________________  =   (between 10 and 40)
                       (the banner’s height)

One Word of Caution. If your safety banner is not visually acute you will want to half the ratio down to 5 to 20 or even less. Or not use it at all.

Think of your safety banner like it is a bill board on a busy multi-lane highway. If it is to small to read quickly and easily it will go unnoticed. If it is to small it will go unnoticed. For reference, the standard highway bill board is 14 feet tall and 48 feet wide. The bill board companies understand what I have explained to you and try to place them properly along the roadway. However, the designs are sometimes created by a person with little knowledge of visual acuity in a fast moving environment like a highway or factory, and they have no impact on you.

Safety is the best figt safety bannerSo, do your homework. Decide approximately where you want to place your banner and estimate the average viewing distance from where your average worker will view it. Then use the distance to banner height ratio to determine the proper size, or vice versa, the proper distance to hang your banner.

Visual Acuity Defined for an Industrial Safety Banner

Frankly, most safety banners today just have words and some color on a banner and they charge you big bucks for something a 5th grader could design. They have ZERO Visual Acuity and most of them have ZERO impact on facility safety.

The five points of  Visual Acuity when applied to an industrial safety banner in order of importance.

1.) Does the banner as a whole QUICKLY get your attention? (If #1 not accomplished, #2 thru #5 are irrelevant)

2.) Does it have Fast Readability - 2 to 4 seconds max?

3.) Are the primary words large with a bold font and get your attention first?

4.) Are all the words easily read quickly?

Work Safely safety banner5.) Do the graphic elements enhance the banner’s message and attention grabbing capability?

Safety Banners Work - WHEN THEY ARE DESIGNED RIGHT and presented properly.

It is NOT guess work. It is a science.

Good luck and stay safe. May the world be good to you, and you to the world.

Your friends at Safety Banners USA
In Germantown, Tennessee USA
Safety Banners USA

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