Whether you are buying a sign for your farmer's market stall, designing a large roadside advertisement or searching for the perfect sign for your storefront, there are a few principles you should keep in mind. The right sign should notify prospective clients of your presence, draw them in and explain something about your company. How do you achieve all of that at once? By employing the following five principles:
1. Convenient Height
Your sign needs to be where people can see it, and if it is at the wrong height, none of the other elements matter. If you're trying to be noticed by people walking past your business, your sign should be at eye-level. The average Australian stands between 161 and 175 centimeters – keep those figures in mind when trying to determine the most visible height for your sign.
If you are trying to draw the gaze of people who are driving by or if you are in a space where people will be seeing your sign from a distance, it needs to be higher. Ideally, you should stand, walk or drive by your business to get a sense of how your sign's height affects its visibility.
2. Consumable Message
You should not need a paragraph to sell your concept on a sign, and if you include one, it will be missed by most passersby. Rather, you need a quickly consumable message that will be noticed and comprehended by people in the few seconds they spend passing your sign. If you need to include contact information, use something easy to remember such as a short but descriptive web address or a phone number that uses a word instead of a string of numbers.
3. Contrasting Display
When people talk about signs, they often talk about the value of using contrasting colours in the signs themselves. For that reason, many designers pair colours such as blue and orange from opposite sides of the colour wheel. However, rather than just thinking about how the sign's colours interact with each other, consider how the sign as a whole interacts with its background.
Successful signs contrast with their backgrounds. When hanging a sign against a deep red brick wall, green creates the starkest contrast, but yellow and blue, also located on the opposite side of the colour wheel as red, also make a stunning impact.
When considering contrast, you even need to consider the sky. If you are creating a roadside sign in an area that is predominantly sunny, you need colours that will pop out rather than get lost against the blue sky. You can also use the shape, size and orientation of your sign to set it apart from its background.
4. Carefully Chosen Colours
In addition to identifying the colours that contrast your sign's setting, think about the impact the colours have on your message. Traditionally, colours such as blue and black create a sense of credibility and power while colours such as green create a nurturing, calm and ecological vibe. Look at the logos and signs of popular companies, and think about the emotions evoked by the colours of their labels before you choose the colours for your own sign.
5. Controlled Image
Branding is key for business success, and everything from your customer service to the sign over your door should reflect the essence of your brand. In addition to the colour considerations referenced above, you need to think about how every aspect of your sign from its font to its size to its lighting reflects upon your brand.
Control the image you create with your sign. Before debuting your sign, poll old customers and colleagues about the sign's effect. Make sure that these people perceive the same image you are trying to create. If they see something else, adjust the sign's design accordingly, until you have created the image you want associated with your business.
If you're still not sure that your sign is quite right, read more here for addition information.