Give your layout the squint test

By signcraft

Posted on Monday, January 1st, 2024

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Many years ago, SignCraft asked the legendary Chicago sign designer Bob Seelander how to tell if a sign layout was going to work. He said that what mattered was “the legibility of the copy and the general appearance of the layout through half-closed eyes.”

Rob Cooper, whose outstanding sign designs fill Koh Tao, Thailand, told me years later that if you squint at the sign and cannot easily read the essential message, the sign isn’t working.

The squint test has long been used by sign designers, graphic artists and fine artists as a way to test the effectiveness of a layout. If you do a little homework, you’ll find it’s used by top website designers as well. Websites are often complex, and the designer must make sure the viewer gets the important stuff first.

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