We’ve all seen poorly designed signs, banners and vehicle wraps, and these bad signs serve as an instant reminder that simply having a vinyl cutter doesn’t make one a professional sign maker. But don’t worry! We’ve got a basic sign design guide that can help you not end up making the mistakes of these poorly designed signs.
At SA International, we strive to help our customers use their Flexi sign-making software to its full potential. We believe that your success is our success, and we’re here to help you design professional signs for any application. Whether you’re designing signage for your own use or to sell to others, this sign design guide will help you get started on making attractive and effective signs.
Sign Design Guide From SAi
Contrast and spacing are two of the most basic and most important elements of effective sign design. Without proper spacing and contrast, signs are often too difficult to read and don’t stand out. Because signs and banners are often seen by people driving by, it’s important that they be easy to interpret at a glance.
- Contrast is what sets the main element of your sign apart from other information as well as the background. It’s how you draw attention and ensure that essential information is communicated. There are a few ways to effectively use contrast. Two of the easiest are colors and fonts.
- Colors – High-contrast colors grab attention. Black text on a white background offers maximum contrast, but many people find it a bit boring. White on black works well to change things up a bit. You can use other colors as well. When trying to determine contrasting colors, make sure you don’t use any colors that are too similar. Yellow text on a white background, for example, is very difficult to read.
- Fonts – When designing your sign, use different fonts that look nice together. You should use one font for your main message and other for your secondary message. You can achieve contrast by using different font styles, sizes and weights. Remember to use fonts that are easy to read at a glance.
- Spacing – A good design makes use of both positive and negative space. Your positive space includes letters and images, and negative space includes everything around and in between. Ideally, you should make sure your negative and positive space are well balanced. One of the most common mistakes is failing to manage the amount of negative space between letters. Another common issue is trying to cram so much information into the design that there isn’t enough negative space for organization.
- Kerning – Kerning, or the negative space between letters and numbers, is an important graphic design element. Most software programs apply a certain amount of space between characters. While this works well for documents, it’s not so great for graphic design. All letters are not the same in size, and kerning keeps smaller characters close together to make words more cohesive. Sign software, such as Flexi, includes kerning tools.
- White space – A good design should have a good balance of white space in relation to the other elements. Overly cluttered signs are difficult to read, and presenting too much information could cause viewers to miss your message entirely. Use sufficient white space to group related elements close together to help your viewers find what they’re looking for.
Flexi software is a powerful tool that allows you to create professional-quality signs, banners, vehicle wraps and more. While this sign design guide is far from all-inclusive, it will help you create better, more effective signs using the powerful tools included in Flexi sign-making software. As always, if you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us or participate in one of our many training opportunities.