What Makes a Great Sign Design?

03-19-2014

Welcome to Ojai Monument Sign by Dave's Signs

The Sign Design Process

One of the most common questions we get at the sign shop is what goes into designing a sign. Or, perhaps more importantly, what makes a great sign design?

As with most creative processes, there are a huge variety of elements that factor into answering this question. Some of these elements hold much more weight than others.

Some of the primary considerations are: where the sign will be placed, the current branding of the business, and any considerations a client may have in what they’d like the sign to look like. Before beginning the design process, it is absolutely crucial that the designer sees the site, especially when it’s a storefront. The placement of the sign dictates it’s design.

Some of the key elements considered are:

Materials
A restaurant on a dimly-lit street corner may best be served by a hand-crafted neon sign that lights up the night and attracts everyone who passes it, where the sign welcoming newcomers to Ojai incorporates the natural beauty of the valley into a stone wall with inset painted lettering.

Colors
Decisions about color are best told in a non-fiction parable. About a decade ago there was a shop selling outdoor lawn furniture, with a large red and blacksign on the front. They came to Dave’s signs wondering why their business wasn’t doing well. After a quick conversation, a simple fact was revealed: the colors red and black appeal to men, but its women who generally shop for lawn furniture. A new sign was designed incorporating teal and other light colors, and sales immediately increased dramatically.

Attention
A sign’s entire purpose for existing is to capture attention and deliver a simple message. For this reason it should be eye-catching and clear. Anyone viewing the sign should understand it’s purpose in a matter of a few seconds.

Appearance
The sign should compliment your branding, reminding everyone who sees it of other materials they’ve seen that refer to your business. This consistency creates a sense for clients that the brand is reliable and trustworthy, and can have a major impact on your business.

Comprehension
To reiterate, the message a sign is attempting to convey should be understood immediately. For this reason, the message should be as brief as possible and extremely easy to read. After all, the last thing you’d want is someone driving by and thinking, “That was a cool sign. I wonder what it was for?”

Compliance
Rules and regulations are a very important consideration when building a sign, particularly when it is displayed on your store front. A little bit of research can go a long way in ensuring that your sign will be incompliance with the local law. These considerations are factored in to every sign we make.

These are a few of the key considerations that go into designing a powerful sign, wherever it may be displayed. If you have questions, or you would like to talk to a professional about designing a sign for your business, contact us and we will happily help to create the sign that’s “just right” for you.

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