5 Graphic Design Tips to Make your Sign Stand Out

Advertising is an essential part of any business strategy, and signs often provide an effective way to engage your audience. If you are going to invest in signage, try these tips to help grab the eyes of your potential customers.

1) Use Action or Movement

Whether your audience will zip by your message on the freeway or have a few moments to read it on a storefront, designs that indicate action or movement help your content stand out. According to the authors of a 2015 study about road signs, “A sign that evokes more perceived movement increases the observer’s perception of risk, which in turn brings about earlier attention and earlier stopping.” By using dynamic images and designs, you can capture the attention of your audience.

2) Consider your Sign’s Location and Size

When designing your sign, pay special attention to where it will be placed and how large it will be. While a larger canvas like a billboard offers more space to work with, that doesn’t mean every inch should be filled with information. Instead, consider how long your potential audience will have to see your message, and adjust the design accordingly. As a general rule, simple wins over complicated or complex.

3) Keep the Content Simple

Even in cases where your audience has time to read more than a few lines of text, you want to limit your words. Your message should be succinct, clear and easily digestible. For a typical sign, you generally don’t want more than 15 words. This will allow the viewer to quickly grasp and remember your message. Simplicity is even more effective when you can include a call to action.

4) Keep the Colors Simple

A sign that uses many different colors does not invite the audience to pay attention to your content. Instead, multiple colors often just serve as a distraction. By limiting your sign to two or three colors, you can establish an appropriate color palette that isn’t overstimulating. Keeping the colors simple also helps establish effective contrasts.

5) Use Contrast

As John Rampton suggests in 9 Common Signage Mistakes to Avoid, contrasting colors allow your audience to easily see and understand your message. Classic combinations like black/white, yellow/black and blue/orange ensure that your text is visible and legible. Using contrasting typefaces also creates a design that is visually pleasing and clear. For example, many signs use a sans serif font for a single, eye-catching word, which is supported by text in a serif font.