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The 3 Rules of Sign Design

In every business market, there are important things an entrepreneur must consider before even opening their doors. There are certain fundamental things like location, overhead, and competition that must be worked out beforehand. After you open the doors, you will need to market your company to increase sales, get your word out, and create some competition. Effectively promoting your business can make all the difference between a busy day of sales and the unsettling chirping of crickets.

Did you know that signage is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies there is? Because it’s visible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, makes it an indispensable beacon for your business. Just as Accounting is the brain of a business, and the product its heart, your signage is the face that everyone sees—or doesn’t see. 

Which brings us to the "CCL Rules" of Contrast, Clarity, and Legibility


The difference between the foreground and background on your sign plays an important role in whether people (and just how many) can read your sign or not. Think about someone driving by your store talking on their cell phone while their kids are kicking the back of their seat. You want something that screams out at them. Think of contrast as the pitch of that scream. Click here and here to see two signs that are bound to get lots of attention. The colors that will get you more bang for your marketing dollar are black and yellow, which is why these two colors are primarily used for traffic signs. Best Buy and Sprint chose black and yellow for their branding and it seems to have worked well for them. Below is a sign that’s severely lacking in contrast and as a result, falls flat. Remember: there is a science called color psychology that would do you some good check out before making color choices.

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                                             (Classic Signs Designs)


Even though clearness should be a given, a lot of business owners will design signs that aren’t that legible from far distances. What will determine if your sign is readable is the space between the lines, called “leading” and the space between the letters called “kerning”. These two components are as important as the words themselves. For a peek at what clarity in a sign should look like, click here and  here.


The sign pictured below is a strong example of clarity gone all kinds of wrong.




We cannot stress this enough when we say that the type of font you choose is crucial. So when it comes down to selecting what type of font you’re going to use, there is something you must consider first: There are over 100,000 fonts in the English language to choose from, but 90% of them are useless for signage due to perception. In other words, what looks great and decipherable in front of you on paper is a different story entirely from far away. A few rules of thumb are not to go overboard with script (the fancy, cursive font) because it gets hard to read after one line. If you’re wanting to use cursive, make sure and pair it with a complimentary simple font to break it up and make it more legible.

Never Ever use all uppercase script




Click here and here and here to see some great cases of complimentary fonts. The pics below are a few epically scary font fails.

the rapist
















kid sex change 320x240












click lovers 320x240

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Some of what we create on a regular basis

Signs we manufacture are used for but limited to: Business signs, shops signs, restaurant signs, condominium Signs, subdivision signs, golf course signs, street signs, housings development signs, salon signs, beauty parlor signs, real estate signs, commercial signs, industrial signs, house signs, farm signs, beach house signs, resort signs, traffic signs, hotel & inn signs, pub signs, vehicle signs, interior & ada signs, boat signs, truck signs, office signs professional signs, trail signs wall sign, entrance signs, lobby signs, street name signs, outdoor signs, custom signs, mall signs, retail signs , marina signs, architectural signs.

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