Top Tips for Creating Eye Catching Signs


Whether a fifteen foot billboard towering above a major highway or a flyer haphazardly posted on the company bulletin board, signs are everywhere. In fact, a person can be exposed to up to 5,000 ads per day – up from an average of 500 in the 1970s. Of course, with the advent of digital media and television not all of these ads are physical signs. But the use of signs in advertising, to promote political campaigns, to promote organizations, and share points of view has certainly dramatically increased in the last few decades. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to make your sign stand out. Fortunately, there are several sign design techniques to help your sign catch the eyes of passersby.

1. Be Concise
Use the least amount of text possible. A person should be able to read the most important point at a glance. A second glance should be sufficient to take in the rest of the necessary details. The fewer the characters, the easier a sign is to read and understand.

2. Use Contrasting Colors
According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, outdoor sign recall is improved by as much as 38% when a sign has high color contrast. A few contrasting colors include black and white, navy and white, yellow and black, green and white, and blue and yellow. Basically, pairing a dark color with a light color usually yields the best results.

3. Be Sure to Have Sufficient White Space
At least 50 to 60 percent of a sign’s space should be white space – space uncluttered by texts, graphics, or logos. An adequate amount of white space vastly improves readability.

4. Choose Font and Text Height Carefully
Limiting text to only one or two different fonts aids in readability and keeps a sign looking clean and simple. Also, consider the distance from which people will be reading the sign. A letter visibility chart can help with specific text heights and the best distance from which to view them.

5. Less is More
The best general rule in sign design is that less is more. Less text, less colors, less imagery, and less details all will help you keep your sign simple, readable, and to the point. And such signs have proven to be the most eye catching. But keep in mind that less does not have to be boring.

6. Include a Hook
One way to give your sign personality and pique the reader’s interest is to include a hook. After all, you want to get that second glance. A hook is a catchy phrase, an interesting image, or a funny statement. Just think of how effective the phrase “got milk?” is and how many funny sign images make the rounds on the internet. The key is to make your sign memorable, so add a hook if it is applicable.

Sign design requires some strategy and a lot of editing. But by implementing these ideas you will have a leg up on the competition. One last tip: run your design by several trusted individuals. Getting their instinctive reaction can provide you with valuable insight into whether you need to tweak your design a bit.

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