3 Simple Design Tips For Creating Effective Business Signs

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

Interested in creating the first sign for your business? Do you want to design something that will really attract the customers as they walk past your store? Here are three simple design tips that you need to know.

  1. Choose The Right Colors

Many experts would argue that colors are just as important as the words on the sign. This includes the background color, the color of the text, and the colors of any additional graphics on the sign. Choosing the right colors for your sign is going to be one of the first steps after you’ve decided what the sign will say. Choose the wrong colors and the sign won’t have the impact that you’re hoping for.

A general rule of thumb is to limit the number of colors to only three for the average sign. This gives you a color for the background, a color for the text, and an additional color that you can use for outlines, graphics, or anywhere else. But don’t feel pressured to use that third color. Two colors are often more than enough to get the point across.

By the time you begin designing your business sign from Atlantic Sign Company, you’ve probably already established the basics of your brand. This would include a brand logo with one or two specific colors. Those are the colors that will eventually be associated with your brand. For example, when you think of Coca-Cola you think of the color red. When you think of Fed-Ex you think of purple and orange. Various studies have indicated that color is a huge part of brand recognition.

With this in mind, your brand colors should be your first choice when designing your sign. If you only have one color associated with your brand, then it would work very well as a background color. If there are multiple colors, then you will need to place them throughout the background, text, outlines, and graphics.

Working with brand colors is the right decision in almost every scenario. Many business owners have made the mistake of using “trending colors” for their signs. Unfortunately, trends change rapidly and those signs quickly lose their attention-grabbing qualities. It’s much better to invest in longevity and brand recognition by using familiar brand colors.

If your brand colors are used in the background of the sign, then you’ll still need to choose appropriate colors for the text and graphics. It’s always a good idea to choose colors with a strong contrast. Contrast among colors will greatly increase readability and make it easier for the sign to “pop-out” and grab someone’s attention.

Even simple color contrasts like black and white can make extremely effective signs. Whether it’s bright colors on a dark background or dark colors on a bright background; there needs to be a sharp difference between the color choices or the entire sign will blend together into a confusing mess.

Some adventurous designers have chosen to use text and background colors with a very weak contrast. This is possible only in situations where you rely on an outline color around the text. It can be a creative and effective solution, but it will require some creativity. However, in general, adding a bold outline to your text can improve reading time even if a sharp contrast already exists.

  1. Choose The Right Text

At the end of the day, it’s the words on the sign that are going to have the greatest impact on the readers. Having the perfect colors and font that is just the right size won’t help if the message is confusing or pointless. That’s why it’s very important to clearly identify what you want to accomplish with the sign and what you hope people will do after reading it.

Is your company launching a new product? Is there an incredible sale going inside the store right now? Know what the purpose of your sign is and then find a way to get that point across without any confusion. It can be as simple as “Sale!” or “New Products!”. You can them complement the message with a graphic and the rest is history.

Just as with colors, simplicity is a key design factor when writing your message. The fewer words you can use the more effective the sign will be. It’s even better to use multiple signs with short phrases than to pile a long message onto one sign. For example, if you’re having a big sale indoors, you don’t want to list every product, category, and savings available on one sign. Instead, you might have one sign that says “Big Sale!”, another that says “50% off Electronics!”, and a third that reads “Ends 10/20!”. Each of these individual signs is more effective than a single sign with all of the same information.

  1. Choose The Right Font Size

One of the main advantages of using fewer words on a sign is that you can easily increase the size of the font. With the previous example, a sign that reads, “Big sale! 50% off electronics! Ends 10/20!” would feel very cluttered and the font size would need to be smaller to fit the entire message. But if the sign only read, “Big Sale!”, then the font size could be three times as large.

Using a larger font size has several benefits. First, it makes the sign easier to read. Second, it makes it easier to grab the attention of someone passing by. People walking past a store aren’t likely to walk closer just to be able to read a sign.

You should know where the average person will be when they are reading your sign and then use an acceptable font size. The general strategy is that the font size should be at least 1 inch for every 10 feet away from the sign the reader will be. If the sidewalk if fifty feet away from the sign, then the font should be at least five inches.

Keeping It Simple

Keeping the design simple is always a great strategy. Use as few words as possible and in a very large font. Stick to a few basic colors to prevent confusion. If possible, use colors that are already associated with your brand. These three tips will make creating business signs a fast and simple process.

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2 thoughts on “3 Simple Design Tips For Creating Effective Business Signs”

  1. I’m opening a landscaping company this September, so I need a good business sign to place on our storefront and business cards. I appreciate you informing us that a good general rule of thumb is to limit the number of colors to three since this will give us enough for the background, the color of the text, and additional color for outlines, graphics, and anything else. I’ll take note of this tip while I look for a sign company to hire soon.

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