Logistics and Planning
The first step in designing your sign is to think and make decisions about the initial purpose and logistics of the sign. Such a task can seem daunting if you’re not sure where to start, luckily we’re pretty good at this and are here to help! There are several questions that need to be answered when you’re at this stage, such as what is the sign’s target audience, what is the viewing distance of the sign, and more!
What is the sign’s over all purpose?
What is the problem to be solved or benefit to be gained? What specific message do you want to communicate? Most businesses consider signs to be only for promotional purposes, but signs can be informational or educational. Sometimes it is better to inform than to “sell” with your sign.
Other uses for a sign include:
Who is the target audience?
How would you describe them in demographic terms? For example, if you are selling adult women’s shoes your signs should be designed with this specific audience in mind.
What is the viewing distance and viewing time?
Is the target audience lingering nearby or are they driving at high speeds? Generally you will need an inch of letter height for every 10 feet of viewing distance. The sign should also be placed in a location with maximum exposure to the target audience.
Distance and Visibility Chart
What materials should your sign be made out of?
Is the sign intended to be temporary or permanent? Is the sign to be used indoors or outdoors? This greatly affects the type of material used both for the underlying sign (substrate) and the message medium (vinyl, digital print, laminate, silkscreen, etc.). A sign that only needs to last for a month would not need to be made from aluminum or a sign for inside a building lobby does not need to built from weatherproof materials.
You can learn more about the different materials we offer our products in from our materials guide!
Where and how does the sign need to be mounted?
Who is going to do the mounting? Special mounting needs range beyond just “where should I stick this sign?” Does it need to be seen from more than one angle? Is it better to light it for night viewing? Does it need to be mounted to any special structure like stone or concrete? All of the above require specialized skills to ensure your investment is properly mounted and displayed! We have professionals trained to do all of these things and more, to provide your sign with the care it needs to be used effectively.
Does the sign need to travel and are there special portability concerns?
Not all sign materials are suited for repeated handling. Some prints are easily scratched or corners dented. how the signs will be used is just as important sometimes as what message is displayed on them.
When do you need the sign?
The turnaround time can also greatly affect the materials needed or used. Did you know that red inks dry slower than other colors? We do! So if you need red signs in an hour this will restrict the printing methods available to you.
Once you have the coordination of your sign planned out, it’s time to design it!