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Harford County Signs and Banners Blog

Can You Read That?

Monday, July 21, 2014

The purpose of a sign is to guide, announce or inform a prospective customer or an entire audience. If your audience can’t read the sign, they can’t get your message. Your signage professional can advise you about specific sign sizes and lettering, but here are some guidelines.

North Chapman Building signA recent study showed that significant factors in signage are legibility, readability, environmental (illumination) and personal factors, such as the viewer’s attention level.

Font: The bigger the font, the better the readability. Likewise, increased character height improves legibility and readability, as does use of both upper and lower-case letters in a sentence format. This is especially true with visually impaired readers. Choose a simple font that does not have fancy curls or resemble script handwriting – these are often attractive close-up, but when hung at a distance and enlarged, they can be difficult to read.

Color: Use green or gray letters for the best results with people who have normal or low vision. The background should be non-glare and contrasting for best readability.

Spacing: Allow enough white space around letters. A general guideline is two inches of height per line, for standard 5/8-inch high letters. If letters are higher than 5/8 inch, allow two times the height of the characters. Don’t crowd the lines or the lettering, because it will impede readability. No matter how large the letters may be, if they are too close together, they will still resemble a jumbled alphabet.

Logo: Keep it simple, both in design and color. Allow enough white space around it to make it clear that this is an identifying mark and to guarantee no text infringes on the image. Make sure it’s identifiable and readable as your logo.

Remember: If you can’t read it or understand it, chances are, no one else can either!

Signs of Sponsorship

Monday, July 07, 2014

If your business plans to sponsor events or teams this summer, make sure you get the most from your efforts with meaningful signage. A sponsorship agreement will usually provide the parameters of the deliverables you’ll receive in exchange for your financial support, and it usually includes some type of name recognition. Whether through program listings, advertisements or signage, this is the showcase opportunity for which you’ve paid. If you evaluated the audience and deemed it important enough to buy a sponsorship, then make those dollars count.

Your sponsorship signage should be simple, yet impactful. It should always include your company name and logo. If space permits, a brief tag line or a few words that can easily identify your business should accompany the name. Even better, it should have a way for potential customers to learn more – such as your website address and/or phone number. Choose bright, bold colors and a clean design. Remember, you’re trying to make a memorable impression on your audience.

If the organization you’re sponsoring is having the signs made, then ask to be personally in touch with the professional sign manufacturer. Provide your artwork or work with them to create artwork that will be readable and attention-getting. If the organization is designing the signs, or if all sponsors will be represented equally on a sign, be sure the artwork is acceptable to you. Make sure your logo translates clearly and your message can be easily identified and read.

Finally, if you’re approving signage artwork electronically, keep in mind that the signage space is exponentially larger than your computer screen. Sometimes, what looks great on the screen doesn’t translate well on a large sign or area. It often looks like it’s too small on the end product. Be mindful of the dimensions and perspective when checking the proof on-line. Next week, we’ll talk about how to determine the correct size of your logo and text.

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