MOA Design Method


The MOA Design Method provides fundamental quality criteria for any visual information, for a more efficient and more inclusive information provision. If applied, it makes information reliable to be discriminable (“legible”) from greater viewing distances than usual. Every detail of any graphical element is visually discerned (separated) over a precisely calculated viewing distance.

Consequently, information enhanced by the MOA Design Method:

  • is more efficient in safety critical situations, where there is a high stress level and very little time to deal with information, such as in road traffic, or emergency events
  • is reliable, since viewing distance and/or viewing time are calculated to match information to the requirements of viewers
  • is more inclusive and barrier-free, as it responds to the needs of visually impaired people.

The MOA design method is based on cirteria discovered during the international research projects SOMS/In-Safety and Safeway2school. It has been is further developed and formulated continuously, as new insights are gathered.

Current applications

Tern typeface, developed according to the MOA Design Method’s principles, is mandatory for use on all road signs in Austria since 2013 (see bill), and Slovakia (2014). In 2009, TernVMS had become the standard typeface for all full-matrix-displays (“DRIPS” – Dynamic Route Information Panels) on motorways in The Netherlands.

64 of the Tern Symbols set have been decreed for mandatory use by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology on 16th March 2020, see here. Click ‘Verbildlichkeitserklärung’ to view the decree (PDF, German).