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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