Signage can no longer be an afterthought. We can no longer afford to just “hang up a sign” or throw up some plywood with painted letters. The basic sign is well proportioned, carefully balanced, tastefully drawn, and perfectly color coordinated. In other words, utterly predictable and effectively invisible.
A pitfall to signage is when function over rules design. “If you build it, they will come,” does not apply in the today’s competitive landscape. Great design has become the standard for creating dynamic visual cues. A sign’s appeal to patron’s lies in its ability to execute effective graphics.
Here are some tips I have learned from designing signs for over the last 20 years:
Size Does Matter.
Dino’s Storage-Winnipeg Sign can be seen from a mile away.
There is a reason you see ads for the big budget companies on billboards and semi-trucks, the bigger your sign or ad is, the more attention it grabs. This is why many stores have large-print lettering along the bottom of their windows. This lets people on the other side of the street see what they have to offer. Essentially, bigger signs speak to a bigger audience.
Make it 3-D.
The Good Life Tattoo-Omaha, NE Prime example of economic approach to 3-D signage.
3-d Design helps emphasize your intended message, making it less likely to be lost in a sea of competitor graphics. 3-D signage brings your product forward, separating it from background clutter, focusing the viewer’s attention on where you intend it.
Keep Change Coming.
Landmark Group–Omaha, NE Landmark’s own changeable reader board draws often remarks.
In my experience, I have found that changeable reader boards are an economical, effective, and easy-to-use solution to communicate your message. Not only will your sign reach a large audience; it will consistently draw attention and solve visibility problems. I recommend changing your signage twice a week for maximum readership.
Iconic and Memorable.
Landmark Group–Omaha, NE Iconic sign, prior usage was a paint store.
Consider the white letters stretched across a hillside in California: HOLLYWOOD, a landmark seen around the world. The famous sign is dramatic, different, and contrasts sharply with the surroundings. For example, the paint can on top of Landmark Group stands out in front of everything else on your way to downtown Omaha. There is nothing around to distract from it. If your building has a unique sign, make sure to take advantage on it becoming an iconic sign.
Can You Make It Architectural?
Landmark Group–Omaha, NE. Strong architectural elements in the exterior canopy.
Landmark Group implements 3-D signage into the building. The protruding canopy is architecturally refined and aesthetically pleasing. The canopy blends into the landscape; well-designed and well-positioned are key factors here. By implementing and refreshing elements into interior and exterior signage- we avoid blending in with the landscape and reinforce effective communication of the sign.
Audacity For Your Walls.
Landmark Group-Strong architectural and material usage for interiors.
Incorporating details such as glass or other creative materials for signage provide a bold and uncommon design. With a distinct and modern feel, it sends a message that your company is focused on the future. Etched glass instantly adds a modern elegance resembling art that fully embodies your mission and logo.
Remember, your signage is your voice on the street. In order to stay competitive in today’s market, it is vital to think of your signage as a sophisticated, marketing tool.
David J. Paladino CPM, MSRED
Landmark Group ■ 402-672-6566
2702 Douglas St. ■ Omaha NE 68131