Tools to create sign layouts that really work

By signcraft

Posted on Monday, September 4th, 2023

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“Design is everything. It’s what makes a sign work,” says David Showalter, David Design, Bryan, Ohio. David leans on traditional sign design principles (you’ll find them in Mike Stevens’s Mastering Layout) and a healthy dose of simplicity to make sure his layouts do their job.

The first thing he does is get the copy under control. Customers typically want to say too much on their sign. They don’t realize that most readers have three seconds to read the sign—maybe less. If the sign has too many messages on it, the reader’s brain will often give up before it starts, choosing not to read the sign at all.

“I explain to customers,” he says, “that excess copy will hurt the message they really want to get across. We try to get rid of whatever we can. I can still put the secondary copy on there in some very small copy blocks if they want, but we can’t make that secondary copy big unless we’re willing to sacrifice the main message—and that’s always a bad idea.”

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