Use approved standard word messages from the Forest Service and other agencies when applicable. Other word messages should be as brief as possible while conveying the intended meaning. Use symbols when possible. The Forest Service recommends the following guidelines:
- Try to limit road guide signs to 3 lines of text; do not exceed 4.
- Use only significant destination names and ones that appear on maps.
- The nearest destination straight ahead should be on the top line; below it, the next important destination to the left, and then to the right in that order. The name of the nearer destination always appears above one farther away.
- Distance figures follow the destination name.
- Show distances to the nearest mile.
- If the distance is less than 1 mile, use the nearest fraction: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4.
- In general, arrows should be horizontal or vertical unless a sloping arrow conveys a clearer indication of the direction to follow.
- Arrows pointing straight ahead (vertical) and to the left should be placed on the extreme left of the destination.
- Arrows pointing to the right should placed on the extreme right of the destination and distance figures, if used.