Design Clinic: Freestanding sign for a nursery

Changing an informational sign into advertising

By Bob Behounek

Posted on Saturday, August 27th, 2016

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I was heading to the store the other day when I spotted a very plain, uninteresting sign. Normally I zip right by signage like that without a glance. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in Chicago traffic alone dominates my attention every minute that I’m driving.

With that said, the time needed to read a sign is decreased greatly in those conditions. This seems to get worse with each year that goes by. That plain, generic sign that I saw really never had a chance to advertise to me as I drove past it.

The subject for this Design Clinic is similar to the sign I saw the other day. It, too, had a white background with one color text and graphics, all done in one typeface with minimal contrast of size or weight. The white background reflected so much of the sunlight that it was difficult to look at on a bright day.

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Bob Behounek has spent over 40 years as a sign artist and pinstriper in the Chicago, Illinois, area.

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