Sign Legibility for Modified Messages: Final Report

Report No: 87-R33

Published in 1987

About the report:

This study was conducted to investigate ways of increasing the legibility of signs with high background brightness. Research was limited to silver, yellow, and orange encapsulated lens sheeting materials, and modifications were made within the standards for highway signs as specified in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The results of the study show that in Virginia the legibility of selected signs with high background brightness can be increased by modifying the letter design.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Frank D. Shepard

Last updated: December 30, 2023

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