No more brochure printing, calendar printing or flyer printing, but this time sign printing must be the obvious choice for your upcoming event. Sign printing must be displayed on the billboards around town and can be done for printed smaller yard signs as well. Other things to keep in mind when designing signage are location, color, typography, contrast and material the sign will be printed on. Thinking about each of these factors in advance can make for a better sign design experience.
1. Keep in mind size & scale
Don’t think about the size of the project other than to create a canvas. It is really important to think in terms of scale. Signs have to be read and understood from a distance, often by people who only have a few seconds to look in that direction. So everything must be big and simple for maximum impact.
In most of the cases, a sign will be among the largest things you ever design. Think of it like this. A standard business card is 3.5 inches x 2 inches; a standard yard sign is 24 inches x 18 inches; a standard bulletin billboard (like those along highways) is 14 feet high x 48 feet wide.
2. Consider Location
Just as important as knowing how big a sign, it is also important to know where will it be located. While you may not always have a specific answer or physical address, think about it in terms of primary placement. Will the design be featured on the ground, such as a yard sign; in the sky, such as a billboard; on a moving vehicle, such as a wrap or magnet; will it be indoors? Will the sign printing have a border or will it be thick or thing?
3. Go big with colors & graphics
Color can be one of the most imperative design decisions that you will make when working on a sign project. You must approach it with two things in mind. In terms of images & graphics, pick a single element and go big with it. Your design must be attractive enough to draw someone’s attention in a second.
4. Keep simple typography & message
When it comes to type in sign printing, keep it very simple. Aside from the company logo, pick a single typeface. Opt for a sans serif with uniform and medium to wide stroke widths. Typography considerations comprise of bold or italics usage. Bold lettering help the readers adopt readability from a long distance. Just make sure letters are properly kerned so that there is no confusion from a distance. Italics are quite troublesome & can be difficult on the eye; avoid them on signs.
5. Contrast Matters
Contrast is important for sign printing when you only have a couple of seconds to catch someone’s attention. Every focal point needs to be clearly distinguishable.
While there is no perfect set of color combinations for contrast as well as signage, there are a few that stand out as being easy to read from a distance.
• Green and white
• Red and white
• Red and yellow
• Black and white
• Black and yellow
• Blue and white
• Blue and yellow
A simple, thick white or black box encasing the sign image can really help set it apart from almost any other condition. In essence, you have to create the contrast between the environments or sign display enclosure as well as the message itself.
Sign design requires simplicity, contrast and attention to size and scale for the most impact. Designing something on the scale can also be a lot of fun. It’s a design project that you might find yourself driving by each day or that you can share with friends and family.