Mid-Century Modern House Numbers for Curb Appeal

Mid-Century Modern seems so ever-lasting.  We know many so many people, including our readership, that love the style.  It extends beyond exterior designs and home decor selections.

Mid-Century Modern extends to house numbers and house plaques.

It is possible to maximize the visibility of your house numbers by using thick sans serif typefaces. (such as Helvetica).  The house numbers available at The MailboxWorks are designed for high visibility are used in many modern and contemporary homes.

Architectural styles come and go but mid-century modern architecture continues to mesmerize past and current generations.  Modern house numbers are stylish, refined and subdued.  There’s no bling here and the subtle style is an integral part of many design ideas.

A modern house is all about modern design.  To complement the overall look, mid-century modern house numbers use several popular fonts.  They include Neutra / Neutraface, Sans Serif Face and Microgramma. 

Benefits of Mid-Century Modern Style for Address Plates

  • When it comes to style, the mid-century period is hard to beat.
  • The mid-century period saw a number of different styles flourish.  We will discuss several.
  • Retro seems to be a persistent trend making it a great choice to consider for your home, even art deco house.
  • There are a lot of mid-century typefaces that are clear and easy to read even from a distance.
  • House numbers provide an easy and instant boost to your curb appeal.

Now let’s look at a few these eye-catching typefaces.

Richard Neutra

The Neutraface font, with inspiration from mid-century architect Richard Neutra, is so popular they’re literally branded as “Neutra House Numbers”.  Richard was an iconic artist.  His attention to detail extended, not surprisingly, to signage, house numbers and the house number plaque.

In fact, the Neutra specific lettering symbolized his progressive architecture.  Richard Neutra was a Jewish Austrian-American architect who spent the majority of his career in Southern California, and became one of the most important modernist architects.

Richard Neutra is recognized for integrating residential and commercial buildings into surrounding landscape. Not much different to some of the John Lautner homes.  Neutra also took great care to match his work to the whims and lifestyles of clients, and rarely imposed his own world view over their needs and desires.  

Richard Neutra is recognized for well-respected projects including the Kronish House (1955, Beverly Hills), Lovell Health House (1929, Los Angeles) and the Kaufmann House (1947, Palm Springs).

In the market for some mid-century modern house numbers based on Neutra’s specifications?  Great.  Originally, this was done through a collaboration with Richard Neutra’s son, Dion Neutra.  Unfortunately, Dion Neutra, a Los Angeles architect himself, died on November 23, 2019 at the age of 93.

In 2001, House Industries (a renowned design studio) partners with the estate of the late architect Richard Neutra, creating fonts from geometric letterforms Richard Neutra specified for residential homes and commercial buildings.  Neutraface, a new font family, would become part of the 21st century typographic landscape. 

You are able to buy precision-crafted  Neutra house numbers through Design Within Research.  We looked and we’re in love with the color options.  Crated in aluminium to precise details, they give off subtle shadows that are typical for modern homes; especially, in Palm springs.   If you’re in the mood for a custom address plaque, start with DWR.  Neutra House Numbers (1930s) offer a Neutra aesthetics for any residential or commercial space.

Technical Details: Neutra House Numbers

DESIGNFor visibility
 Mount approximately 0.75″ off the wall to cast subtle shadows (mounting hardware is hidden when installed properly)
PRECISIONDirect render from Neutraface Font Family Crafted from anodized or brass-plated aluminum
STYLEClean, crisp look Visible, legible design
DIMENSIONS6″ H  x 4.53″ W x 0.75″ D
TECHNICAL3-year warranty instructions for full-scale drilling template and easy installation

They are an outstanding option if you’re looking for an elegant Art Deco house appeal. The sleek lines and roundness of the numbers (“O’s”) make them recognizable from the outside.

 Enjoy this virtual walkthrough called Neutra VDL.  Feel the style, the era, the architecture!

Eichler House Numbers

Who was Joseph Eichler, again? He is recognized as the developer of distinctive residential subdivisions of mid-century modern style tract housing. He was an advocate of making modern architecture more accessible to the general public.  His projects were mainly in the greater Los Angeles and the greater San Francisco Bay area.

Did you know? In northern and southern California, the Eichler community is home to 11,000 addresses.

Eichler numbers and address for mid-century modern homes are typically stylish and subdued.  Traditional Eichler house numbers are typified by the Sans Serif typeface that can look great as a backlit address. House numbers for Eichlers and other mid-century modern homes are traditionally clean lines and non-ornate fonts.

The great thing is that you can recreate the Eichler style for your own home, enhancing curb appeal overnight.  Replicas of the original Eichler house numbers can be purchased directly from a California company called Eichler Numbers.  The company owners are proud Eichler homeowners too.

The owners at Eichler Numbers saw a need for replacement numbers for these homes.  Sales expanded beyond nationwide U.S. sales to include Canada and Australia.  Eichler design has achieved universal appeal because mid-century modern continues to be heavily promoted.  The company is one of the few that produces plaster signage, which was very popular at one time.

Eames Century Modern

Eames Century Modern is another trending typeface for Eichler & Mid-Century modern homes.   The serif typeface was designed by Erik van Blokland, a Dutch typeface designer, educator and computer program.  Erik is head of Type Media at the Master of Design program for the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.

Eames Century Modern was influenced by Charles Ormand Eames and (Bernice Alexander) Ray Eames (Kaiser), a couple which helped defined mid-century modern in furniture and architecture design.  As industrial designers, they made significant contributions to architecture & interior design but also contributed to fine art, film and graphic design.  One of their most recognized designers are the Eames Lounge Chair and Eames Dining Chair.

In 2010, the serif typeface was released by House Industries.  There is a stencil version of Century Modern and eight weights with matching italics. 

Compared to Neutra, which are slender, unobtrusive and sans serif,  Eames Century Modern are fat and cheerful, making a great curb feature.

Where to Buy Mid-Century Modern House Numbers

Modern House NumbersCustom House Numbers, Inc.
Design with ReachHouse Letter Signs

Custom House Numbers, Inc. (USA, Canada) and House Letter Signs Ltd. (Canada) offer some unique, custom options for discerning customers.  If you’re really picky about how your signage should look, you may wish to consider them for specific needs.

We like Design with Reach (DWR) as your best source for the Neutra typeface and your modern house number.  The variety of finishes guarantee attractive design and curb appeal everyday.  

Contemporary curb appeal can be the result of many creative options from a brushed finish, to wood finish, black finish, stainless steel, bright gold finish or distressed bronze coloration. Some homeowners like to have a black address, or backlit address or an attractive address that is built on endless customization options.

Custom House Numbers, Inc. and Modern House Numbers appear to offer a range of choices.  Modern House Numbers seem to provide some dreamy choices such as Palm Springs, SoCal, Austin, Soho, BackBay, South Beach and Santa Barbara.  Their signage is fit for homes or any eichler home and is precision-made from solid 3/8″ recycled aluminum stock.  Recycled. We like that.  You will also receive a full-scale drilling template for horizontal or vertical options. 

Questions about Mid-Century Modern House Numbers

What size should house numbers be?

Most signage and mid-century modern house numbers are available in several heights: 4 inches, 6 inches, 8 inches, 12 inches and 15 inches.  Larger sizes could look really good with brushed finish, wood finish, or as backlit house numbers.

4 inchessmall, subtle, understated
viewable from 50 feet Perfect for interiors, close viewing, or properties near the roadway
6 inchesSuitable for most house address needs
Common on fences, walls, garages or curb side monuments
Legible in all fonts, 100 feet or less
8 inchesDesigned to make a statement
Legible from 150 feet or less Perfect on garden walls, monument signs, on garages and for properties at the end of roadway
12 inchesLegible from 200 feet or less
Big, bold, and beautiful
Typographic statement-making kind of size but may be used more in commercial addressing or monumental signs
15 inchesLegible from 300 feet or less
Popular with commercial property owners, and brave homeowners, designers, and developers  

How do I arrange my house numbers

Generally, a horizontal installation is the most popular for most homes, including any mid-century modern Eichler home.   This format is popular with front gate entryways common to craftsman style homes.  Usually, these luxury homes and properties have curb appeal doors and gates that make your style really standout.

Vertical installations are common on the frame of a garage or an Eichler Home facade, for example.  We’ve seen examples of extremely large house numbers, on a white-painted brick, with bulb options, which make an attractive option for a backlit house address.  Depending on your tastes, these large house numbers can benefit from a black finish or bronze powder coat.  You can discuss styling options with these companies.  Eichler, the late architect, would be proud of you. 

Why do houses have numbers

If they did not, it would be sheer madness!!!  Many people question the need for the United States Postal Service but even if you exclude them, how would Amazon deliver your prime purchase? 

In 1512 Paris, Pont Notre-Dame used a house numbering scheme.  Parts of Paris’ suburbs began to be numbered in the 1720’s.  In a more dark footnote, homes in the Jewish quarter for Prague (under the Austrian Empire) were numbered to help authorities during the Jewish conscription.

House numbering really took off in places like Prussia in the mid-18th century.   By the 1750-1760 period, large scale street numbering could be found in places like Madrid, London, Paris, Vienna and many other European cities.    

In March 1768, King Louis XV of France declared all homes outside Paris to affix house numbers to help track troops in civilian homes.  

How do I make my house numbers visible at night

You can speak to the supplier companies about custom options to help with a functional backlit house number.

  • You could consider the use of solar-powered white LEDs which are exposed in several areas on aluminum plates.   The other easy way is to use LED lighting kits which is adhesive suitable LED light string with adhesive coasting, remote control, receiver and battery power supply.  Caulk construction adhesive like Loctite Polyseamseal can be used as an adhesive and a sealant but it bonds to everything including metal and concrete, usually hard to bond with.
  • You can also purchase an outdoor outlet post driven into the ground with a stake and point your light at your house numbers. This is probably your easiest option.
  • You can also use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet connected to your house.  This would require a bit more work including the help of an electrician if you’re not good at it.  But could easily support backlit house numbers with light bar.

How do you display house numbers

Mid-Century modern house numbers can be screwed into brick, rock or concrete.  You need to create drill holes and fill them with with adhesive or silicone so that you can screw a house number into a rock.  The holes should have just enough to allow you to press the house number’s mounting screws in without too much overflow.

Some products may include exterior construction adhesive to mount the numbers to the brick or concrete.

How do I evenly space my house number

This can be a tricky exercise but your best best is the use of tape measure to space house numbers evenly.  If you’re app savvy, you could get away with Apple’s Measure iOS app for iPhone (free) or the in-app upgrade (for purchase) version of Tape Measure for iPhone.  

Remember that the larger the numbers, the bigger the space between them to look right.

How to Size Your House Numbers

House number visibility is dependent on a few things, such as: 

  1. The size will be determined by the distance between the addresses and the street.
  2. It’s a good idea to contrast your house address numbers with the wall’s color and finish.
  3. It is possible to improve the visibility of your house numbers by choosing the right style of fonts.

Pick the correct size for clear visibility from the street if you have the distance from the center of the street to the address number.  The height of the number is calculated from the top to the bottom.

Distance from Midpoint of Street to Number LocationRecommended Minimum for House Numbers Height This Size is Unreadable at Distances Greater Than
Zero – 69 feet3 inches or larger100 feet
70-110 feet4 inches or larger150 feet
111-132 feet5 inches or larger175 feet
133-160 feet6 inches or larger200 feet
161-300 feet8 inches or larger350 feet
301-385 feet10 inches450 feet
Source: Mailboxworks.com