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Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Exteriors and Interiors > Signage > Colour Contrast on Signs

Colour Contrast on Signs

The contrast between a signboard and its surrounding surface (e.g., an indoor wall or vegetation behind a freestanding sign outdoors) should be at least 50 per cent based on the formula described in the section Colour and Brightness Contrast. Characters and pictograms on signs should contrast in colour by at least 70 per cent to their background.

A sign at eye level. The sign is colour contrasted to the surrounding wall. Tiresias font is used in a colour that contrasts with the sign’s black background.

For people with vision loss, white lettering on a dark background is generally easier to read than dark lettering on a white background.

There are several effective combinations for signs when choosing colours for a surrounding surface, sign background (signboard) and lettering:
Background surface Sign background Lettering colour
Light brick or light stone Dark (black preferred) White or yellow
Whitewashed wall Dark (black preferred) White or yellow
Red brick or dark stone White Black, dark green or dark blue
Green vegetation White Black, dark green or dark blue