Things to consider when designing or re-branding your business signage.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
Signs are designed to inform, direct and sell, so whether you are a new business looking to create an eye-catching, yet effective sign or simply wish to rebrand and reinvent (see ‘Jazz up your brand’ August 2016), it is important that you take the following points into consideration before committing to your project.
‘Signage and branding increases message retention by 300%’Colour The colours used on your signage are very important. Studies have shown that 80% of the recognition of a trademark is due to colour. Below are examples of this: With this is mind, your signage must represent your identity and branding as well as considering contrast and visibility. Contrasting colours are on opposite sides of the colour wheel, such as; red and yellow, blue and white, green and yellow or black and white. Poor contrasting colours would reduce visibility and could therefore lead to a missed opportunity for your business. The location of your sign must also be considered when thinking about colour; if your sign is green and hanging high amongst trees it could be easily missed, if your sign will be supported on the side of a concrete building, then a brighter and bolder colour would be more visible than grey or black. Size and Location Size matters and the general rule of thumb is 1 inch of letter height for every 10 feet of viewing distance. For example, for a 10 inch letter the distance for best impact would be 100 feet. This is dependant on the location of your signage; are you looking to attract walking, passing trade or are you hoping to catch the attention of a driver passing your business at a faster speed? Below is a chart that advises on the appropriate letter height for readability at certain distances; Another example of where size can be effective is to use different sized lettering to emphasize parts of your message, but remember the 7 word rule;
‘The human eye can take in 7 words at a time. Do not over cram your information.’Try to keep your text under 15 words, for example; 3 lines of text with 5 words per line or 5 lines of text with 3 words of line. Typography When selecting your fonts, keep the message you are trying to convey in mind as well as your audience, for example, if you are a children’s toy brand, Comic Sans MS may be an appropriate font, however if welcomed by a sign to a Solicitor’s firm using the same font on the front of the building it wouldn’t appear appropriate or fitting to the nature of the company. There are 5 types of fonts;
- Serif – A ‘serif’ is a small line attached to the end of a stroke on a letter or symbol. A common example of this type of font would be ‘Times New Roman’ which was originally created in 1931 for ‘The Times’ newspaper and is commonly used to this day due to it’s simplicity.
- Sans Serif – The word ‘sans’ means ‘without’ in French, therefore as explained above, the ‘sans serif’ fonts are simply missing the serifs at the ends of a stroke of a letter. ‘Helvetica Neue’ is the most popularly used of this type of font.
- Script & Cursive – These fonts are very formal in appearance, the only difference in them being that the letters of ‘cursive’ fonts are joined together and with a ‘script’ font, they are not. You would typically find these types of fonts on invitations rather than professional documents as they can be difficult to read.
- Text – These are the most difficult to read, originally used to print some types of bibles that were handwritten by monks, therefore this type of font should only be used if it has a strong relevance to the marketing or audience of your brand.
- Novelty – These types of fonts can also be difficult to read and should be used sparingly if at all. However, season or occasion appropriate they may add extra interest to your campaign or project, but remember, using these types of fonts regularly could slowly lead to you losing your company identity.