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Top 10 Sign Design Elements to Consider

Your sign is one of your business’s most critical brand assets. So ensuring the overall design of your sign stays true to brand guidelines is equally as important. We’ve outlined the top 10 sign design elements to consider when putting together your sign.

  1. Size – You should base the size of your sign on your permitting and variance requirements and the size of your façade. A sign that is too small will be difficult for customers to see. One that is too large could overwhelm the storefront.
  2. Dimensionality – Sometimes, a sign that is raised from its façade allows your sign to literally and figuratively stand out. Channel letters are a popular option in this design aesthetic.
  3. Color Palette – The color palette of your sign should fit your brand guidelines as well as the exterior color of your building. When putting together your sign design, it may be useful to examine color psychology. You should consider items like contrast, tonal value, and the color that would work best for you’re the target market you’re trying to reach.
  4. Lighting – It is almost always advisable to have an illuminated sign on your exterior. It is especially important to have an illuminated sign if your business operates into the evening hours. But it is still important even for those businesses with an earlier closing time. Your sign is one of your business’s most important brand assets. It will continue to create brand recognition even after your business has closed for the evening.
  5. Materials – Different materials create various textures and qualities in your overall sign design. Common materials include aluminum, vinyl, and acrylic. But other options, like wood, plastic, and other types of metal, can also be used.
  6. Negative Space – As in any design, the effective use of negative space is critical. Negative space provides a bit of “breathing room” for your design as it makes key elements of the design stand out. You should consider negative space in both your logo design and any text you include on your sign.
  7. Logos – Your logo is a critical piece of brand recognition as it crosses both the physical and digital spaces. For many businesses, including your logo in a sign design is a great way to extend brand recognition. It also lends an architectural element to your business’s facility exterior.
  8. Text – Sometimes, your logo may be enough to communicate the location of your business, like in the case of McDonald’s famous golden arches. But oftentimes, and sometimes depending on the building’s façade, you’ll need actual text to communicate the name of your business. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider the font you use in your sign. Generally, a thicker font is preferable as it’s easier to read than a slim font. This font should align with brand guidelines and clearly communicate your brand.
  9. Visibility – The placement of your sign is critical to a customer’s ability to spot your business. And because your sign can increase foot traffic to your business, it must have high visibility. You may need to consider whether you should elevate your sign on a pole or if a blade sign would be effective so customers can see it from both sides.
  10. Layout – The overall layout of your sign, both on the actual sign and how the sign plays into the other visual aspects surrounding it, is the final item to consider. All the elements we’ve mentioned thus far play into your sign design’s layout and ultimate success.

We hope the delineation of these top 10 sign design elements helps you in your journey to creating the perfect sign for your business!

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