Common Mistakes in Sign Design

You know exactly what you want, so all you have to do is submit your sign design to the manufacturer, right? Well that depends…

Ask Yourself the Following

Whether it is for channel letters, pylon signs, or wayfinding signs, many companies decide to and simply submit their own sign designs to a manufacturer. But watch out! Mistakes can cost you big bucks. Consider the following before you go ahead with your self-created sign design:

  • How savvy are you to design mistakes?
  • Are you using the right font?
  • Are you using a color that won’t detract from your message?
  • Is your message the most effective size?
  • Are you sure of your grammar?
  • Are you trying to say too much?

Are You Confident Your Sign Design is a Winner?

Signs are everywhere. In the words of lyricist Les Emmerson, they’re often “blocking out the scenery.” To stand out yet not be a turn-off, signs must incorporate principles of good design in advertising.

How confident are you that your sign will attract customers and serve its purpose? If you have doubts, it would be wisest to discuss the design with a professional.

The Right Font

The right font for your channel letters or other sign illustrates the personality of the company. For example, Comic Sans is best reserved for a kid-friendly business like an ice-cream shop rather than a mechanic’s garage.

Readability is also imperative. There are certain fonts that are harder to read than others and are seldom used effectively roadside. For example, cursive fonts like Vladimir Script and heavy gothic lettering like Showcard Gothic make for laborious reading. Make your message readable and score a quick win for your brand.

Channel-Letters Wall Sign-Wholefoods

Appropriate Colors

Make sure your sign makes sense color-wise. The wrong colors can be detracting. For instance, the color red has certain implications in our culture. Red can mean passion and energy, but it can also mean fear and anger. Create a sign with a bright red background with a message that can be misconstrued, and customers will not want to come near your business.

Colors should also help, not hinder, readability. For instance, gray-blue lettering on a bright orange background is nearly impossible to make out. Never mind if you like the color scheme; if it makes reading your message difficult, change it.

Message Size

Don’t feel like you have to fill every inch of space on the sign with your message. You may be able to use “white space” to your advantage. In fact, some space around your main message makes it more visible, and gives it more impact than if you encroached on other typography.

Proper Grammar = Trustworthy

Your punctuation and usage either helps or hurts your message, which in turn affects your business. There are so many signs today which use “your” instead of “you’re” and “it’s” when it should read “its.” And there’s nearly nothing as cringe-worthy as a sign containing misspellings. Make sure the message on your sign is grammatically correct, and potential customers will see you as professional. Neglect proper grammar, and risk distrust and aversion.

Saying Too Much

Your sign serves a specific function. Are your channel letters displaying your brand? Is your sign directing customers deeper into your store? Mixing functions confuses customers and detracts from the main message. For example, a sign that signals a promotional sale should not include the business logo in the same font size. Stick to your number one objective, and save the other message for a different sign.

Enlist a Professional Designer

Sometimes, creators just get too close to their own work. If you have designed your own sign, you may not be able to see if it has serious flaws. Want a second opinion? Contact our design expert at Raider Signage for a discussion of any sign design.

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