What NOT To Do When Designing Signs For Your Shop

Our signs Raleigh business gets a lot of orders from clients that have very specific requests. We honor them all and do our jobs the best we can, but we have noticed a few glaring problems that could have made their signs so much better. Here are some of the more common ones we’ve encountered:

Using meaningless language

One of the worst mistakes we notice is that some signs say nothing at all. A common example would be signs containing nothing but names – “Joe’s” or “Alanair” for example. These words might appear unique and eye-catching, but they just end up confusing and meaningless if used alone. The average person would just scratch his head and ask ‘what’s that place for?”

This is why there has to be a second part, a subtitle if you will, explaining what your establishment is about. “Joe’s Diner” will tell the consumer you’re running a diner, while “Alanair Antiques” tells people you’re running an antique shop.

Typeface that does not match the ‘vibe’

Would you trust the competence of a law firm that advertises using the overly-casual Comic Sans typeface on their sign? Would you be excited by a gadget store that uses the same old Times New Roman? These are examples of establishments that use a typeface that really does not match the message they’re trying to say to people.

We can classify fonts into two broad categories: casual and professional. Casual is geared more toward fun and cool stuff while professional appeals more toward people that mean serious business. Each different font has a different feel to it, but they fall into one of these two categories. Ask the advice of a professional sign maker to find the best fonts that will match your needs.

Colors that blend instead of contrast words

Another common problem we see with some of our clients is the way they mix colors that make it hard for the eyes to focus on the sign. Blue on green, violet on black, yellow on red – these color combinations blend together and make it difficult for people to read them at a distance.

Black on yellow, white on black, yellow on black and white on black are the color combinations that best contrast with each other. These significantly increase readability, especially when it comes to text. This can also apply to pictures, especially artistically rendered images. Increase contrast and people will have a much easier time reading your signs.

Cramming too or too little much in a sign

We know you need to economize the space on a sign, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stuff it to the point where it becomes painful to look at. Signs are supposed to highlight a few words and a picture or two – not explain everything right off the bat. The same rule applies to a sign with so much dead space that it just becomes awkward to look at.

This is where spacing comes in. A properly spaced sign will make sure all components fit together without eating too much space, allowing the viewer to look at a sign without straining to see what’s on it or getting distracted by dead space. A good rule of thumb is to first measure the size of the letters and images to determine the size of the sign itself.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll come up with a sign that will work well for your business or establishment!

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Screen Printing 101: What It Is and Why It Matters

Our screen printing Raleigh NC services sees a lot of brisk business, from school teams looking for unique sports apparel to start-up companies eyeing uniforms for their local employees.

But wait a minute, what exactly is screen printing and how can it help you?

What is screen printing?

Screen printing, aka silk screen printing, involves using a fine mesh screen stretched flat across a solid frame. Printers like us take sheets of plastic, cut out holes in the design our clients want and lay the resulting sheets on top of the mesh screen. The printers then take the surfaces where the design is to be printed on and lay them flat underneath the mesh screen. Some ink is poured on a section of the plastic while a squeegee is used to spread that ink evenly across the screen.

The ink will seep through the holes cut out on the plastic sheet, coloring the material underneath in the shape of the patterns that were cut out. Screen printing can also create more elaborate designs with multiple patterns and brilliant color combinations. All it takes is multiple plastic sheets, a mix of colored inks and a skilled printer to make the magic happen.

What is screen printing good for?

Screen printing is best used for printing large quantities of designs on flat surfaces, with garments most commonly used in this situation. This is ideal for those looking to use low-cost t-shirts and sweatshirts for team uniforms or promotional materials. Screen printing is also an ideal low-cost choice for printing fancier pieces of documents like higher-end brochures and wedding invitations. Even larger designs should cost only around 50 cents to a dollar per piece.

A skilled printer can even create veritable works of art. Multiple colors can be layered on top of each other, creating unique and colorful designs using nothing more than a screen and some ink. This is a great option for those that want to create a great design without having to fork over the money required in more elaborate embroidery jobs.

All in all, screen printing is the single most cost-effective method of printing graphics en masse. This is the foremost reason why people pick out screen printing in the first place.

The limitations of screen printing

Now it is important to note that screen printing itself is not perfect and that it has its own limitations. It cannot be used when the surface has any kind of elevation on it. Seams, buttons, zippers and embroideries will interfere with the pattern. It is also not practical to use screen printing for smaller orders. The screen charges and setup fees are cost effective for 15 items or more, but the cost effectiveness of screen printing goes down the fewer items you need printed. Another limitation is that you cannot use an infinite number of colors. A skilled screen printer can work with around six to eight colors at a time, but the thickness of the paint tends to build up after further coatings.

Keep all this in mind the next time you’re in need of shirts and designs and you’ll know just what screen printing has to offer!