You might feel like designing a custom sign is a big job. But we'll walk you through it (and give you complimentary graphic design service). Let's start at the top.
Why do you need a custom sign? One reason: to get your message across. Giving people information, whether it's the name of a business, directions or an advertisement, is the ultimate objective for your sign. This means that you want people to look at your sign. And people only want to look at something interesting and visually appealing.
So it stands to reason that your sign will be most effective if it's stimulating to look at. But how do you make that happen? By following these six secrets to designing a visually stimulating sign that we've developed:
Each component is looked at in terms of contrast . You'll see what I mean!
And as you learn about what each of these elements has to offer, you will be able to envision and design an effective and stimulating custom sign.
If all the words on your sign are the same size, how will people know which part of the message is most important? And how visibly appealing would it be? Not very. Even the headline and subheads in this article are of different sizes than the copy itself. If they were all in 12pt. Font, you would not know what part of the article was what. And you would not be interested in reading it.
The first secret to designing a visually stimulating sign to is to have words in contrasting sizes . But be careful not to use too many different sizes, which can make your sign look cluttered and confusing. Even just two font sizes will give your custom sign immediate interest. On a sign for "Amy's Flower Shop," you might make "Amy's" a smaller font and put it in the top left hand corner.
Obviously the font you choose for your custom sign is important. It should convey the proper feeling to your audience. A law firm needs a professional, high-end looking font, while a flower shop can use a quirkier font.
The second secret to designing a visually stimulating sign is to use contrasting fonts . Different typefaces make for a more interesting sign. They give people more to look at – more reasons for the eye to move across the sign. As with size, do not use too many different fonts on one sign (two is usually best) to avoid a jumbled appearance.
Emphasis can be as simple as putting some words on your sign in italics, in bold or by underlining them. You can also add emphasis by putting a border or adding a shadow around certain words.
The third secret to designing a visually stimulating sign is to use emphasis to contrast words . You can italicize certain words on your sign so they appear linked. For example, take "Amy's Flower Shop." The most important part of the message here is "Flower." People need to know that this shop sells flowers. You may place "Amy" above the F in "Flower" and "Shop" below the R. Then you would make those two words smaller than "Flower" and italicize them so they are cohesive.
You know that choosing a color theme for your custom signage is important. You want to convey a certain feeling. Blue is a calming color, which might be nice on a business sign for a spa. Red connotes excitement or passion and would probably work on a sign for a firehouse. But you may already have a color theme for your business. No problem!
The fourth secret to designing a visually stimulating sign is to use contrasting colors . You might consider making "Amy's" and "Shop" red and "Flower" pink. It might look okay. But to create real visual interest, you want to use two colors that contrast more than pink and red do. How about a grass green and a dark pink ? See the difference? These colors contrast in feeling too. The green is mellow while the pink is bright and exciting. Now the most important part of the message stands out more, but the eye is still drawn to other parts of the sign.
Value reflects to the amount of pigment in a color. What if the color theme for your business is navy blue and light blue? You probably want to emphasize those colors because they're already associated with your brand.
The fifth secret to designing a visually stimulating sign is to use contrasting color values . This can work as well as contrasting colors. Maybe your business colors are navy blue and light blue. While the effect of value combinations is different, it still makes your sign visually appealing. And it certainly looks cohesive and put together.
This does not refer to the shape of the overall sign. Rather, it reflects to the shape of the text on your sign. Maybe you want "Flower" to be slightly curved. You would not want to make the other two words curved as well.
The sixth and final secret to designing visually stimulating outdoor signage is to use contrasting shapes . If all the words on your sign are shaped the same, which ones stand out? None of them do. Try putting a curve on your main text and keeping your other words horizontal. Experiment with different shapes, but stick to just one.
With contrasting size, fonts, emphasis, colors and shape of the text, your signs will have visual interest. Your target audience will be attracted to your sign, which is the first step to making your outdoor sign effective!