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  • Writer's pictureNorthPoint

Pixels To Print: Designing Signage


The importance of signage design is sometimes overlooked by business owners, but the reality is that signage is one of the first things that a customer sees when visiting your business or store. Just like a logo, signage can either make or break a first impression of your business, so you want to make sure that you design something that will grab your customer’s attention, paint a clear message, and be memorable!

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing signage:

1. Readability

The most important thing about your signage is that it is clear and easily read. If its legible, your message is likely to be seen by more people at just a glance (which sometimes is all it takes to make an impression!) To assist in readability, choosing fonts that are simple, bold, and clear will allow for quick visibility and less distraction from what the message actually is. Stay away from script or decorative fonts when possible, as these are often harder to read, especially from a distance. Readability can also be impacted by how much or how little white space is used on a sign. Too much information crammed into one area makes it much harder to read and distinguish what the message is. Leave enough space around your text to create a contrast that will allow your message to stand out.




2. Contrast

Speaking of contrast, having contrast within your signage is another factor to helping with readability and clarity of both your design and message. Ultimately, the goal with signage is to have your message easily understood, so it is important to create something that stands out, especially when you only have a few seconds to catch someone’s attention. Think white on black or complementary colors over tone on tone, as well as thick bold fonts paired with thin simple fonts. White space, too, can be used to create balance and contrast! With a bold message over a simple background that uses lots of white space, your message is sure to stand out to your customers and passersby alike.




3. Hierarchy

Hierarchy shows people what to read first on your sign, so use it wisely when determining what you want your primary message to be! As mentioned before, text size and weight definitely help in placing hierarchy. For example, on Sale or promotion signs, you often see the word “SALE” on the top of the sign in large letters. This grabs your attention right off the bat, and then you walk in closer to see the details of the sale that are listed below in a smaller font. The “SALE” message is the main focus, though, as that is the information that people need in order to be initially interested. So, making your top line the largest and working sizes down from there can be a simple and effective way to communicate the importance of your information.



All in all, signage is an important marketing tool to any business and when used successfully, can draw people’s attention to your business. To create the most impact from your signage, use simplicity, contrast, and hierarchy in your design, and stick to the goal of delivering a quick but effective message with your sign. Let the sign designing begin!

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