Please enable JavaScript, then refresh this page. JavaScript is required on this site.

The Dos and Don’ts of Sign Design

Signs are a great way to promote your business, products, services, or event.

However, many Raleigh businesses and organizations who attempt to create their own sign design quickly realize that it’s more complicated than it looks. 

Hiring a professional sign designer can help eliminate much of the stress and uncertainty of designing your own sign. If you would prefer to have a go at it without the help of a sign designer, here are a few dos and don’ts of how to design an effective sign:

Don’t Add Lots of Text

One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to shoehorn too much text into the design. Signs should convey information as quickly as possible—nobody wants to take the time to sit there and read it. Try to get your message across in as few words as possible. Don’t use ten words when five will suffice. 

Do Add Elements of Your Branding

Adding elements of your branding to the sign design will help people quickly associate it with your company. Whether it’s a logo or your company colors, it will allow people to instantly recognize it, which can help improve trust.

If you don’t have cohesive branding for your company or organization, try to incorporate attractive elements appealing to your ideal audience. For example, if you’re designing a sign for a Farmer’s Market, add some veggie or other eco-friendly images.

Don’t Use Temp Signs for Permanent Purposes

While it’s tempting to use temporary signage to save money, it will only wind up costing you more in the long run. While temporary signs are durable, you don’t want to use one for more than a few weeks to a few months. Permanent signs can last years or even decades—and you can use weather and UV-resistant inks to help ensure they look as good as the day you first got them.

Shaped SignsDo Create Purpose

It’s really easy to get carried away with the design of your sign. As you embark upon the creative process, keep in mind that your sign should serve one purpose and one purpose only. This is because when you try to accomplish more than one thing at a time, it usually winds up falling flat. 

For example, if you’re designing a sign for a trade show, make the message more about the attendees (and solving their pain points) than about your company. If you want to promote your company, create a secondary sign specifically for that purpose.

Do Add Color

A full-color sign creates a far bigger impact when it comes to grabbing the attention of people. If that’s not a possibility, try adding a colorful border to frame your message. Remember that specific colors work better when used together, and a color wheel can help you choose the best one.

Do Consider Location

One of the most critical aspects of sign design is the location where it will reside. For example, if you’re creating an outdoor banner and want people from far away to see it, you’ll need to use an appropriate letter height.

The general rule of thumb is that you’ll need to increase the height of your lettering by one inch for every ten feet of viewing distance. If you want people 100’ away to be able to read the text on your sign clearly, you’ll need to make your lettering at least 10 inches tall.

Don’t Use Fancy Fonts

As pretty as they may seem on your computer screen, fancy fonts are often very hard to read at a distance when used in print. Instead, stick to more commonly used fonts. If you’re unsure if the font you’re considering using will work for a printed sign, contact AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh, and we’ll let you know.

Do Hire a Professional Sign Designer

Hiring a professional designer to design your new sign offers many advantages. Sign designers know and understand the various principles and nuances of what makes an effective and persuasive sign. Contact the professional sign designers at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh to get help with your next sign project.

Sign Design in Raleigh

It’s often easier and much faster to have someone design your sign. At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, one of our expert sign designers will sit down with you and listen to your overall vision before heading off to the proverbial drawing board. They’ll then send you a few ideas and mockups for your consideration and input.

If you need help with your sign design, give AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh a call. We’re more than just a print shop—We’re also marketing experts and can help you set up, create, and track your next email marketing campaign. 

To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your sign and marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.

Mike Linden

Posted by Mike Linden

Mike Linden is the Vice President of Operations at AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh. He focuses on client relationships, daily operations, business development and digital marketing initiatives. Mike joined the firm in 2008.

Mike is a graduate of the University of North Carolina where he earned a degree in Economics.