Four Tips to Creating Successful Signage

In this technology driven, fast-paced world, people often talk about online advertising as the way to go to attract new clients. Of course this form of advertising is highly effective as part of a good marketing campaign, but when it comes to really grabbing people’s attention sometimes a good, old-fashioned sign can be the best bet and an effective strategy to acquire new clients.


Successful signage all starts with brilliant design.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has the ability to create effective and compelling designs. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they can save money by coming up with the design themselves. Unless you are a trained designer or naturally gifted, 80 percent of the time you will find the designs will fall short of the mark.

This is a classic example of “You have to spend money to make money.”

Going through the correct avenues, with professionals that are specifically trained for the job, will always leave you coming out on the front foot.


Since the beginning of time, colors have stirred our emotions, drawn us in and affected our decision making. It can change our mood—and the mood of potential clients. It can stimulate our imagination to express taste, smell and emotions.

Often, colors can help convey a brand’s identity and studies have shown that 80 percent of the recognition of a trademark is due to its color. Therefore the choice of color and color contrast plays a massive role in creating a well-designed sign. If you can get that right, you are well on your way to a sure winner.


The font choice can be a deal breaker.

With all the font choices out there, selecting the most fitting one can be a challenge. Three simple rules to go by are: clarity, legibility and suitability. Typography does not just involve choosing the font. Other aspects of typography include choosing the color of the text and deciding how the text will fit into the layout and design of the sign for maximum effect.

Particularly in signage, the size and clarity of the font is incredibly important. Simply put the larger the letter, the easier it is to read. This is especially important if you are creating signs that will be displayed at a significant distance such as roadside signage and vehicle graphics.

A well placed font outline or drop shadow can also be successful in easing readability and creating impact.


Now that you have a winning design, finding the right sign company to turn it into something tangible is the final (and dare I say most important) step to creating the best signage possible.

Shopping for a sign company is just like shopping for any other company. Do your research, get recommendations, look for signs you like and ask the business owners to tell you who built it for them. The most important factor is whether the company can provide a quality sign that will satisfy your unique communication needs at a reasonable price you can afford.

Andrea Ruffles is project manager at Australia’s National Corporate Imaging. She is an experienced senior graphic designer who has been in the advertising industry for more than a decade, working on both design and account management.