You’ve come up with a company name and you’ve created your logo – now it’s time to have some signage made up. If your logo follows all of these rules, then your job is halfway done. If it’s not designed well enough for interior or exterior signage, though, you may want to redo it.
These are a few things you should consider when creating your company’s sign to attract customers.
1. Colour still matters
The human mind is highly responsive to visual stimuli, and colour is one of the major defining factors in that response. Color choice plays a big role in how affective your sign is. The color will help you brand your business and it communicates information about your brand’s identity.
Majority of people recognize a trademark because of its color. Avoid trendy colors – just think of what an 80s-esque neon sign would look like today. Your business can be modern and up-to-date, but your sign should stand the test of time. Make sure your colour choice reinforces and enhances the design of your logo – but doesn’t define it.
Cooler colors (blues, greens, purples) often provide an inviting, professional and relaxed feeling. In contrast, it can be used to give a very cold and unfriendly feeling as well. Warmer colors (yellows, oranges, reds) are soothing, warm, and give a sense of creativity but can also give off negative feelings such as anger and stress.
2. Yes, contrast makes a big difference
Readability really starts with contrast – the sign’s contrast will greatly determine whether or not it’s easy to read. Most signs have one background color and then graphics or text (or both) in the foreground. The contrast between the background and foreground will determine what people see when they look at the sign.
The rule of thumb is to not pair similar colors. Instead, choose a light neutral and a dark color – either one can be used as the background or foreground, as long as they’re different. If you have your heart set on a particular color scheme but the contrast is weak, outline some of the elements with a dark color to make it more prominent.
Margins between blocks of text and other elements on the sign, and font size (and its relation to leading) are also factors to consider when designing signs that can make the most impact as expected.
For instance, if your company’s main colors are blue and red, with neutrals being white and black, it is likely that you may choose a white background to display your content on, instead of a blue or red background.
3. Font and text size are crucial
This is so simple, but a lot of designers ignore it: the larger the letter, the easier it’ll be to read. This is extra important when it comes to outdoor signage, which a lot of people will be looking at from far away.
The typeface you choose will also have an affect on how readable the sign is. Flowery scripts can be easily misconstrued. Stick with an easy-to-read font that has a bit of uniqueness to fit with your brand. Typewriter fonts still have style but they’re still easy to read.
If individual letters are too close together, the typeface size is too small, or the words are so close together that people find it hard to distinguish one word from the other, your signs will definitely be ignored.
These ideas also apply to web design or any other marketing tool that combines text, image and colours. Stick to the standards but be unique and convert your message in a way that represents who you are as a business.
Unless you’re adept at graphic design, you may want to consult a pro before you finalize any designs. Having someone who’s familiar with your type of company and who creates marketing materials in a style you like will help you to create the perfect sign for your brand.