As we discussed in January's blog post, there are many factors that make up the science of signs. We are touching upon some of the most basic - but most important - considerations. Good sign design starts with legibility and readability, and then must address visibility and conspicuity. Here we are with those latter elements.
Visibility is characterized much as you would expect: It is the aspect of “being visible” period. When a sign first becomes visible, you may not yet be able to read it. You can make out the sign in the distance, and it may have recognizable colors or shape. With on-premise signage, you can see the illuminated beacon of the Golden Arches in time to cut across three lanes and safely grab a burger. Back a block or two, you couldn’t read the daily specials – all that mattered at that distance was that the sign was visible.
Too often, signs are placed where you can’t see them until you enter the immediate zone in which they are displayed, often too late for safe lane changes. This can lead to delays for everything from pizzas to ambulances. It is critical that signs be allowed to rise above shrubbery and be visible early!
Location & Size: You have just a few seconds to grab attention of those driving by in their cars. Small signs, set back signs, and non-illuminated signs are very ineffective and will be missed by the majority of those passing by.
Color and Crowding: And finally, forcing all tenants to one color scheme and crowding too many on a sign creates a very devalued sign. A sign's value to a community is directly related to its ability to communicate. Why reduce this important asset's value by making the message less conspicuous?
By allowing for good sign design, individual logotypes, trademarks, brand colors, and identity can all be maintained, thereby increasing the success of each business (the SBA reported results of study showing that up to 49% of new patrons to a business came through the door because they saw the sign). The community's tax base and revenue goes up along with the effectiveness of the sign. It is interesting that some cities here and there have lost sight of these facts, and instead make arbitrary sign design decisions based on subjective likes and dislikes. The vagaries of the personal opinions in this matter will often, in turn, hurt the very businesses that the cities count on for paying taxes.
Hopefully this information and the prior post have provided some simple but effective guidelines for good sign design. Thank you to Sign Biz Inc. for sharing this piece of their education materials.
Xara Photo & Graphic Designer v9 Released
20 hours ago