3 Quick Tips to Level-Up Your Outdoor Sign Design

3 Quick Tips to Level-Up Your Outdoor Sign Design

Outdoor signage is a great option for business owners looking to get their advertising or marketing message out to a massive local audience. When properly designed and mounted, banners, A-frame signs, and vinyl decals are as effective for generating foot traffic as they are affordable.

With that in mind, today’s post shares 3 quick tips to help you level-up your outdoor sign design.

Plan for a Perfect Installation

Some sign shops go all-out to create beautiful looking signage, only to have the execution fail miserably when it’s mounted. And while these flubs reflected poorly on the sign shop owners in question, they usually have little to do with a lack of installation skill. More often than not, the problem starts during the design phase.

One of the biggest mistakes made is planning a design that’s too big for the substrate. For example, some sign shops create designs that cover the entire banner. Though done with the best intentions–in this case, giving the client their money’s worth by using every inch of available space–this causes major installation problems. Notably, the grommet holes will cover a portion of the design, which results in a banner that just looks off.

To get around this issue, be sure you’re crafting a design with a specific substrate, banner size, and installation spot in mind.

Another thing to consider is the mounting environment. Where are you planning to mount your sign? Will there be a strong breeze that could upend an A-frame sign? Will there be incessant sunlight that could cause your vinyl decal to fade or lose its adhesive properties?

If you need help planning for a perfect installation, be sure to get in touch with a member of the Signworld business alliance.

Take Font Size Seriously

Outdoor signs should capture the attention of people near and far. And while this might lead you to believe that “bigger is always better,” that’s rarely the case.

Supersizing the font may increase readability at long range, but at what cost? If your font is so big that you can only squeeze a few words in, you may need to rethink the design.

So what font size is appropriate for outdoor signage? As usual, there’s no single “right” answer; it all depends on your sign goals and locale.

That said, the basic rule of thumb is 10” of letter height for every 100 feet of visibility. That means signs intended to attract readers 200-feet away should have 20” letters. Following this simple design rule can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.

Engineer a Strong Focal Point

The focal point is where the human eye is drawn when looking at a design. Finding the focal point is usually quite intuitive–just take a quick look at a design and see where your eye goes. This can be trickier if you’ve been working at the same design for some time, in which case it’s best to bring in a pair of fresh eyes.

Once you’ve identified the focal point, place the most impactful elements of your design right next to it. You can also use white space to isolate focal points and make them pop on a colorful background.

Admittedly, the topic of focal points is much bigger than a single point in a blog post, so if you want to learn more, get in touch with a member of the Signworld business alliance at


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