Imagine This Is a Book Café in all the same weight and style—most of the visual impact and effectiveness would have been lost.
How about a super bold numeral and a super light Fashion sitting on top of it?
Here you have contrast in the heavy, loose calligraphic script sitting on a line of extra light, ultra condensed lettering. Add the contrast of white on black and you have plenty of appeal.
Using extreme contrast helps the reader read the message in the proper order. The ultra bold headline right in the center is flanked by two secondary signs—each with bold headlines but very lightweight lists of menu items.
Not much going on color-wise, here—just good ol’ red and white. Rob used extreme contrast to create a sense of color. Think they’ll get the message?
Very lightweight text for Imported, Top Shelf and Single Malt keeps them in the background so that they don’t interfere with the primary messages on the list.
The customer provided the script and the monkey. The script is only a medium weight, but Rob used it much larger in size than the extremely lightweight secondary copy.
Here the business’s name, Butter, is a bold style but is one-third the size of Ice Cream and with much less contrast.
The lighter, smaller Home Made leaves room for a bigger, bolder Ice Cream.
A medium weight style delivers the pitch, then the very lightweight text provides the details.
Black, hefty calligraphic lettering is a strong contrast to the gray, lightweight secondary copy.

Letters and the power of contrast

Line weight is an essential tool for creating visual interest

By signcraft

Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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Nothing turns a viewer off like visual monotony. We’re programmed to be interested in variety. In the case of sign design, that means contrasts of all kinds—light on dark, extended with condensed, heavy with light.

Rob Cooper, Koh Tao, Thailand, knows how to get the mileage out of contrast, as you can see by the extreme differences on these signs. You could look at the contrasts in color, shapes or even textures, but let’s zero in on the contrast in the style and line weight of the lettering.

Notice the radical difference in the line weight of the lettering on so many of Rob’s signs. Often you’ll find very bold headline lettering used along with extremely light, condensed lettering. That dramatic difference helps make for a sign layout that is much more appealing.

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