Quint’s Signs OverNITE, Inc.

Design Tips Part II

The best designed layouts will grab the viewer's interest and sustain it long enough to get the message across. Cluttered, poorly designed layouts will not get a message across as effectively as a well-designed sign because it may even repel viewers. Think about it this way: who wants to spend a lot of time looking at an eyesore?

Fortunately for do-it-yourself designers, some of the most aesthetically pleasing layouts are the simplest. Clean lines and a clear visual hierarchy are easy to create and will help your design look more professional.

Creating Visual Hierarchy

When designing your sign, it is important to begin by establishing what elements of your design you will choose to focus on. Instead of making every element of the sign compete with each other for attention, choose one or two things that you want to have stand out to the viewer. For example, if you were making a magnetic sign for your pizza delivery van, one of the most important pieces of information you would want to convey to the viewer is the phone number. If your business is delivery based, even the address of your pizza place might be secondary the phone number, a mouthwatering shot of pizza might be more appealing than your logo, and so on.

Once you have decided what element is to be the dominant element in your layout, creating visual hierarchy is easy. The dominant elements should be bigger or bolder than the rest of the information on the sign. It should act in the way a headline on a newspaper grabs your interest. The dominant element DOES NOT need to be centered on the sign. Be creative! Placing the dominant element away from the center often times leads to a more dynamic design, while centered designs can appear static or boring. Centering the main element also may leave little usable space for other pieces of information.

Once you have placed the dominant element, place other pieces of information around the sign accordingly, keeping the visual hierarchy in mind. The additional pieces should not compete for attention with the main pieces, and try and edit any information that does not need to be on the sign.