Top 5 Digital Sign Design Rules from the Signworld Team

Top 5 Digital Sign Design Rules from the Signworld Team

Rule number 1: Respect the 3×5 rule!

Remember, digital messages serve the same purpose as physical signs: they’re there to communicate clear, concise messages to your desired audience. It’s easy to get indulgent and try to use every cool image, GIF file, and emoticon you come across to liven things up, but it’s a mistake! Don’t clutter your site or banner ad with text, and keep the font big to make life easier for mobile users, who make up the majority of online audiences these days. Emphasize your important information, and keep your writing simple and concise.

The 3×5 rule is a handy way to keep yourself honest in this regard. The rule states that you will not use more than three lines of text of five words each OR five lines of text of three words each when creating your digital signage.

Rule number 2 – Prioritize contrast.

Legibility is going to be your strongest weapon in the fight to capture the attention of a web-scrollers, and one of the best ways to do that is to prioritize contrast in your design. Poor contrast is one of the number one problems with illegible signage, and that problem typically centers on color choices. Try to pair a light colored font with a dark background or vice versa. That said, this isn’t always a surefire formula; remember those terrible Geocities pages with neon-green lettering on a black background?

Use negative space where you can, and tailor your color choices so that the font is easy on the eyes, and presented in high contrast.

Rule number 3 – Don’t overdo the font.

The urge to go crazy with fonts can be pretty tough to resist with digital signage because trying out wacky new lettering is as easy as scrolling through the font list. But unless you’re trying to duplicate a stylized logo or brand, always keep your font simple. This really goes back to rule 2; font has a lot to do with your contrast and legibility. Never use more than two different font styles on digital signage unless you’re breaking the rules intentionally. Generally speaking, we recommend a serif font for longer digital signage, as the small character strokes used with this typeface help the human eye track from word to word. For shorter signs, try sans serif options.

Rule number 4 – Implement focus techniques.

Focus techniques are design strategies used to capture the reader’s attention and guide their eye towards specific areas of your sign. Using focus techniques lets you build a kind of visual hierarchy that prioritizes key pieces of information. Headlines, graphics, bright colors, high contrast items, and bullet points are all focus techniques that should be in your digital sign design arsenal. A Signworld expert can help you implement these tools in a way that tells your brand message like no other!

Rule number 5 – Don’t skip the preview stage.

Testing is paramount to your digital sign’s success. Preview the design and pay attention to where your eyes go first. Adjust your design based on these tests to ensure that the most important elements get priority, then run a second series of tests to optimize readability and visibility at different “zoom” settings on your device. It’s a good idea to view once on your desktop and once on your mobile device, too.

If you can any further questions or concerns about your digital sign design, visit

About Signworld

Signworld is a national organization with more than 300 independently owned sign companies, which provide commercial custom signage and graphics. It’s personable, creative, rewarding and ideal for people-oriented individuals who have the desire to learn how to manage a sales and production business. Signworld has been a part of the industry’s profit and fun since 1988. With over 28 years in the business, Signworld has established itself as the leader in the no-royalties and no-rules sign business concept. The ongoing support and training along with state-of-the-art equipment helps leave the competition behind. For more details visit –


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