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Great Sign Design and Brand Impressions

Great sign design is artistic, practical and humanistic.
Great sign design is artistic, practical and humanistic.

Great sign design means elegantly executing a client’s brand image within the confines of our physical environment. The custom design of pylons, monument signs and other brand impressions is not separate from other great design basics such as artistic, practical and humanistic considerations.

Artistic Elements of Sign Design

The artist in me cries out for design. – Robert Frost

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. – Joe Sparano

Design is intelligence made visible. – Alina Wheeler

In expressing a brand artistically through signage, we find ways through the shape, materials, finishes and colors to communicate more than the name of an entity.  Characteristics can be conveyed and feelings evoked when artistry is incorporated into signage.  When successful, artistic design reminds and extends the brand experience in a beautiful and seemingly simple way.

Practical Sign Design

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like.  Design is how it works. – Steve Jobs

Good design is good business. – Thomas J. Watson

Design is not for philosophy it’s for life. – Issey Miyake

Everything is designed. Few things are designed well. – Brian Reed

The issues here can seem endless.  Does the signage augment your brand and the location of your facility?  Is it conspicuous, discernible, and visible?  To achieve this we must consider the building, the streetscape, and traffic patterns (auto and pedestrian) that surround the site.  There are also the elements of the message; the logo, typestyle, kerning, materials, lighting, colors, and finish.  The goal is to create brand impressions that reach humans in a way that creates a resonance, evokes a memory, and moves them to action.

Humanistic Sign Design

People ignore design that ignores people. – Frank Chimero

The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living. – Harry Bertoia

Design is the fundamental soul of a human-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service. – Steve Jobs

Signage that connects with people in those short viewing moments (3 seconds) serves as the base of successful sign design.  Without the human connection, signage becomes simply an environmental place mark or even a nondescript building element.  Great brands and successful companies understand how to connect to their customers on a human level and use signage to both reinforce and extend this human brand connection.

As humans we naturally celebrate visual graphics and form that express beauty within the limitation of our physical environment.   Signage as a part of the brand experience can reach this level when the elements of sign design are consciously incorporated into all aspects of a business sign program.


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