Bumper Sticker Typography

FeeltheKern's picture

I have a whole bunch of bumper stickers to design, and I immediately thought of one thing that pisses me off: you're driving, and you want to read the bumper sticker on the car in front of you, but you can't because it's too small. You pull up behind them, you're as close as you could possibly be in traffic, but you still can't read it. So I want to avoid that with these stickers.

Any tips or thoughts about bumper sticker typography beyond the obvious "Make it big and clear"? It's an interesting thing to think about, because it's such a distracting environment for dealing with reading, and a lot of bumper stickers are a full sentence veering towards a full paragraph.

Si_Daniels's picture

>I have a whole bunch of bumper stickers to design

Like this one... "My other job is graphic design" :-)

I suppose the obvious choice would be to use fonts proven to work well in this context, Clearview, Highway Gothic (Interstate), and maybe Frutiger.

oldnick's picture

a lot of bumper stickers are a full sentence veering towards a full paragraph

Then, they're lousy bumper stickers. Brevity is the soul of wit...

johnnydib's picture

Make it short, put a back drop and then "make it big and clear"
I don't think any specific typefaces are required, it's mostly the size and contrast.

cerulean's picture

When you have a whole sentence, find a focal point of a word or two and make it stand out bigger, so that if a driver only has the time or proximity to read that part, they've been given an executive summary of the uncomplicated thought the sticker is supposed to express and can guess at the rest without further scrutiny.

If it is really easy to get, go ahead and borrow so much space from the less important words that they are too small to possibly read while driving, because it is basically saving everyone time. ".. ........ MANX CAT .. ... .... ........... .... .... HONOR STUDENT"

phrostbyte64's picture

Remember white space, it is critical to things being viewed at a distance. Avoid complex outlines and drop shadows.

Rob Azarcon's picture

When we read, we "read" the shape of the word as much as the individual letters. Upper and lower case may be more legible, particularly when you have to read in only a few seconds.

Contrast is critical for legibility as well.

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