Make the main message shout
Posted on Monday, January 9th, 2023
We naturally notice larger things first. They’re more obvious and more noticeable. The Mack truck beside you in traffic is more conspicuous than the Honda Civics that whiz by. We notice the 6-ft. 9-in. guy who is waiting in line at the theater.
That’s why the primary message on a sign should be obvious. Make that “really obvious.” Bob Behounek likes to devote half or even two-thirds of the layout space to the copy that matters most. In the two or three seconds most viewers have to read a sign, that helps make sure they get the main message. The secondary copy is there for those who want more information.
When the secondary text is properly sized, the smaller text also helps emphasize the larger copy. When you keep the secondary text significantly smaller, the contrast actually helps make your big copy look even bigger. It helps the primary message clearly dominate the secondary copy. There’s no doubt about what to read first and that makes the reader’s job easier.