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What Makes Various Types of Signs Successful

by | Dec 3, 2013 | Articles, Design | 0 comments

What makes signs successful?Since humans developed a written language, we have been making all types of signs. These signs are sometimes designed to educate and inform or even just generally advertise. Given how long humans have had a written language, it is no surprise to hear that there are tons and tons of different types of signs in existence.

Every single day we are exposed to a great number of different signs. We see traffic signs, advertisements, and more. With such a variety of signs, it seems useful to assess what makes a sign effective and why.

The main purpose of every sign is to convey information. There are a few things which must be brought into consideration when determining a given sign’s ability to convey that information:

  • Can the sign be seen and understood easily?
  • Does the sign distract or assist in conveying the needed information?
  • Is the amount time needed to understand the information realistic given the context of the sign?

Painted Lettered Signs

These refer to the traditional painted sign which spells out the desired message. Sometimes this type of sign is quite large and cannot be missed. While other times, these signs can be relatively small and only those who know to look for them will catch it.

One of the things which determines the success of this type of sign is its size in relation to its location. If the sign is rather small, but the only thing to look at for miles around, it will most likely catch the intended audience’s eye. However, if the sign is rather small in a fairly complex and full environment, then it may not be as effective. Having said that, there are numerous ways a small sign in a complex environment can still be effective.

For example, if the sign displays some sort of icon, whether a painted image, a particular color scheme, or a specific font, the audience may recognize it and the connection to the desired advertised business without being exposed to a large stimulus. One example of this sort would be the Wells Fargo letters. These letters are always written in gold against a red background. Although the sign for a Wells Fargo location may be small and overcrowded by other commercial signs, the recognizability of the company symbol may be enough to catch the audience.

When evaluating the effectiveness of a sign of a traditional painted letter sign, it is important to consider several factors. First how recognizable is the content of the sign. Will people understand what it means independent of the size and location? In addition, you will need to evaluate the size of the sign in relation to the context in which it is placed. Is it easy to see, recognize, and read given its location? Will this sign successfully direct traffic to the desired location?

Digital Signs

Digital signs are used in a variety of different ways. Some of these signs show images to the audience in full high definition color, while others simply display written words in a sequenced pattern.

This type of sign is still fairly new. There are not yet a lot of standards in how these signs are utilized. There are a number of factors to consider when determining how effective these types of signs are.

For example, one must consider if the extra abilities of the technology is aiding in conveying the needed information or distracting from it. One example of distraction is displaying numerous images quickly but during the sequence failing to directly connect to the business which is trying to advertise. In this case, the technology is able to display a number of images; however, it is not successfully conveying information to the intended audience about the business.

Another factor to consider is the display capabilities of the digital sign. Is the sign text visible during daytime as well as the darker hours? If it is most important for your sign to direct potential customers inside during working hours, it is extremely important that your digital sign be bright enough to be seen in the bright daylight.

Freeway Signs

These types of signs are designed to inform drivers of important information. Some of these signs indicate safety warnings, such as the speed one ought to be going, while others inform the driver of which lane he or she ought to be in. These signs are carefully designed to be easy to read in both sunlight and darkness without causing dangerous distractions. In addition, the signs are designed to convey the information we need in a realistic time frame given the speed at which we are moving down the road. The road signs we see along the freeway are highly effective because they quickly and easily convey the information we need to get to our destination safely.

Louise Williams is a freelance author from Tucson, AZ. She’s worked for several businesses like Integrated Sign Installations in a marketing capacity and knows the importance of choosing quality signage for storefronts and in office lobbies.

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