5 Tips for Designing an Eye-Catching Sign


Signs are an effective way to call attention to your business, but they can also be expensive. If you’re going to design a sign, you have to design an eye-catching, accurate, and effective sign to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Here are five tips that will help you design an attention-grabbing sign.

Pick the Right Sign

A sign isn’t just a sign. There are many different kinds to choose from. Choosing the right one starts with thinking about where your sign is going to go.

For example, if you need a free-standing sign that can be installed in the grass, you will want to look at monument signs. Blade signs are a good choice if you need a sign that extends from the front or side of your building, while channel letters can give the outside of your store an upscale feel.

Temporary signs are an option too. Hanging canvas signs are great for special sales and grand openings, while A-frame signs are great for restaurants and bars.

DIY frames are an option if you’re on a budget. You could create a:

  • Hanging wood palette sign
  • Fabric banner
  • Chalkboard sign
  • Painted window sign
  • Wall mural

Keep Things Simple

It can be easy to get a little too carried away when designing a sign. Overly artistic signs can be pretty, but they aren’t very effective. Passersby, whether walking or driving, will only glance at your sign for a second or two. With so little time, they have to be able to figure out your business in an instant.

It’s important to keep things simple. That means keeping the design of your sign relatively simple, but it also means choosing a clear font. Avoid lengthy phrases and overly detailed images.

Instead, choose one short and compelling message, use just one or two design elements, and make sure there’s enough negative space on the sign. With ample space, design elements really pop, and readability is increased.

Create a Unique Shape

Rectangular and circular signs are the most common types of signs. These shapes can be effective, but if you really want to stand out, consider creating a unique shape.

For example, you might create a sign in the shape of an object, like an airplane, or create a rectangular sign with a jagged top to mimic the look of a rugged mountain range.

You can evoke the right mood with the shape of your sign. Signs with a rounded top are perfect for businesses that harken back to the past, like old candy stores and bed and breakfasts.

You can also incorporate unique shapes into your sign, even if the sign itself is shaped like a rectangle or a circle. Three-dimensional features and neon lighting can add interest to your sign through the use of shape.

Use Contrasting Colors

You can’t just pick the most eye-catching colors for your sign. It’s important that it features the colors that are associated with your business. That’s why you should focus on using contrasting colors instead.

Contrasting colors are those colors that have other colors between them on the color wheel. The more colors between them, the higher the contrast, and the easier they are to see from afar.

For example, if your brand uses the color red, yellow is a great contrasting color, but orange isn’t. You could use blue on a white background, but not on a violet background.

The more surprising color combinations you make, the more likely your sign is to stand out. For example, black and white are a classic contrasting color pair, but they won’t get as much attention as violet and white.

Use Images Carefully

Signs with images on them often get more attention than signs with brand names or messages alone, but the images you use matter. Some are better than others.

Don’t use too many images, and don’t use images that are too complex. It can end up making the sign look cluttered, which can make it difficult to decode for those who are glancing at the sign on their way by.

The quality of your images matters too. Only use high-resolution images so they don’t end up looking pixilated and cheap.

Still having a hard time figuring out how your sign should look? Take some time to see what others are doing. Go downtown and check out signs near where you live or search online. When you combine real-life examples with these tips, you’ll be inspired to create an effective, eye-catching sign for your business.

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About the author

I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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