When I first started making trail signs for the USFS, I was amazed to learn their rustic nature belies the fact there’s been a lot of knowledge gone into Federal design standards for these puppies.
Our first signs, for the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, were requested by a volunteer group, and we were all pretty “green” on some of the details. Well, all of them.
In contrast, here’s a sign I always liked a lot and is a great example of a really good trail sign, except for one detail – this particular sign is a reject because of a manufacturing error. EM-7100 specifies 2″ side margins, and I’d cut the sign off center by an inch. :/ With the finished sign’s 1″ margins, this one got remade.