Have you been commissioned to design an attractive sign for a business? Are you looking to design a sign for your own startup?
Good signage design can make or break a business, especially in the early stages where first impressions bring in the most customers.
If you don’t know where to start with signage design, we’ve got you covered. Here are 7 simple promotional design tips to help you get started.
1. Proper Logo and Imagery
The single most important aspect of good signage design is the logo. Potential customers are busy browsing different signs and displays, so your logo must grab their attention and stand from the crowd.
Good logo design can turn a promotional banner into a client magnet and help you establish your position in your local market. If your logo is forgettable, weak or just plain weird, customers will pass your store by and never look back.
When designing your logo, keep in mind your intended target group. A recent survey by FedEx found out that younger audiences prefer banners, posters and window clings that use humor and intelligence to engage customers. Older audiences preferred more elaborate logos.
Many banners will require photos and images to go with the logo. These are often photos of people engaging in relevant activities or some kind of background. Again, the right imagery can make or break your sign.
If you can’t afford professional models or exclusive photography, buy a stock photo library license. From there, you can access thousands of photos to use in your banners. Many stock photos come with wide enough clear spaces to include your logo and signage text.
2. Clever Color
Choosing the right color combination plays a huge part in promotional design. People associate colors with different emotions and activities. For example, the red and gold combo in the McDonald sign conveys their brand identity across the globe.
Most customers recognize a brand based on color alone. Some colors are considered “modern”, while others are more traditional, like gold and silver.
You can use color to mark the important sections of your banner, insert emphasis or generally help your signage stand out. Keep in mind that people will see your sign both day and night. So, pick colors that will be distinguishable in various lighting conditions.
3. Contrasting Elements
Colors mean little if your banner all blends in the background. You need to get the right amount of contrast for your banner to stand out without being too garish. Contrast also helps with readability, making your sign engaging and fun to look at from a distance.
When it comes to contrast, either combine dark colors with light backgrounds, or vice versa. If your brand colors are not contrasting enough, add an appropriately strong outline to make your sign stand out.
Readability is more than just contrast. Your sign will probably feature one or more lines of text.
You should aim to make these readable from a distance. The farther away your banner is readable, the more potential customers it will attract.
As a general rule, aim for your banner to have four or fewer lines of text. These should include, a title, a subtitle and the body copy of your banner.
As expected, the title should be the largest and body copy the smallest in terms of font size. When it comes to font types, stick to clear, simple fonts. Avoid scripts and cursive-style fonts as they confuse and become unreadable from a distance.
5. The Right Size
It’s hard to argue against the benefits of a huge sign. When it comes to banners, bigger is almost always better.
Simply put, the larger the banner, the larger the letters will be on it. This will make it easier to spot among the crowd and at a great distance.
However, if your banner is too tall, your customers might not be able to read it when coming closer to it. You can fix this with a smaller banner for closer inspection, or by cleverly positioning the design elements in the center of the sign.
Additionally, you might consider a smaller banner when space is restricted or when you just want to attract attention from a single street.
6. Display Your Value Proposition
The point of your banner is to showcase your business offerings. That is why the bulk of your banner should aim to showcase your offerings and how they benefit your customers.
Images of your products or services can only get you halfway there. You need to convey how these products or services relate to your customers in order to get them interested.
When it comes to value propositions, aim for long-term statements over seasonal stuff like limited-time offers.
7. Call to Action
In the end, your banner serves a single purpose: to engage customers. Your banner should urge customers to come in and engage with your business.
Attractive signs always incorporate strong CTA elements, from NIKE’s “Just Do It” to the captivating messages on Coke ads.
Your CTA should be clear and unambiguous. This is the ultimate goal for your banner: to get people do business with you.
Looking for More Promotional Design Tips and General Advice?
Now you know how to make effective signs. For more tips, Photoshop guides and general business advice for graphics designers, check out PSD Learning.
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