If you think of all the different signs you’ve seen in your life, it must be close to a million - but how many do you actually remember?
CATCHING THEIR EYE
As a minimum, a decent sign should inform whoever sees it; and going further a good sign attracts attention and promotes itself to the viewer. Then there are those rarities you could call great signs. They’re great because they’re remembered long after being seen, fixing their message in the minds of those who’ve witnessed it.
A sign may be memorable for a number of reasons: the use of colour, it’s size, incorporation of large elements, the clever use of existing infrastructure, and what it is advertising. But creating a great sign that’s memorable isn’t easy otherwise everyone would have done it.
A pitfall that does need to be negotiated is the fine line that separates originality and novelty. Taking things too far is easily done and will obscure the message with too much going on.
Be specific with the type of sign you are creating as they differ drastically in their make-up and design. Signs used purely for advertising purposes have much more freedom to do whatever it takes to be seen, whereas those whose purpose is purely informational for example, shop front signs must put function above all else.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Lettering is crucial to putting your company name out there. It should be clearly visible and easy to read from a considerable distance to maximise the number of people who could potentially see it.
With modern methods there’s almost no limit to the size and shape of lettering you can use, and materials like sign block are both lightweight and strong making them perfect for creating 3D lettering.
Large scale lettering, clearly visible from a distance.
Lighting is another critically important element to a sign, particularly for shop front signs. They illuminate your company name to keep it visible at all times and attract attention with interesting and creative uses of light.
Examples of light being used to create interesting effects.
3D components can be used to emphasise elements of a sign and truly hold the attention of those viewing it. Careful and deliberate use will elevate your sign above those around it and make it far more memorable than flat design.
A simple depiction of clouds brought to life with 3D lego bricks, and a music shop using 3D elements to imitate an amp.
Functional elements within a sign provide the highly desirable trait of making your sign useful, giving people even more reason to look at it. Things like clocks or info boards all have a purpose that increases the amount of time your sign will be seen for.
Mcdonalds cleverly using a clock and a sundial as functional elements within their advertising.
Situational circumstances can also be turned from a problem into an opportunity. Not all locations have the perfect space for signage and may be obstructed by any number of structural parts of the building or space. When these situations occur, they can be overcome by incorporating these elements into the sign itself. Be warned, this isn’t easy and not always possible, but when it works it’s very memorable.
Take advantage of your circumstances to maximise potential.
Ideas can come from anywhere, but it also doesn’t hurt to look at the competition. Taking an existing idea and reinventing it to suit your own purpose and circumstances can provide you with a great sign without having to break the bank to get it.
Advertising billboards and installations can provide a wealth of inspiration, but generally need to be toned down for your own uses. Big businesses benefit from instant brand recognition and so can afford to put the idea first, but smaller business must concentrate on getting their name out there as a priority.
If you have an idea for your business, or just need some inspiration, Evans Graphics has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you. Contact us to discuss your project and see how we can help you bring it to life.