The best signs are usually the ones that are demonstrably unique. They are attention-grabbing and stick in your mind like nobody’s business. A good designer knows how to showcase the features that make a company special.
But often, saying that you want to make your design unique is much harder than it looks. Now and then, all we need is a bit of inspiration to get the creative sparks flying. So, here are examples of every type of sign and some tips to make your signs distinctive.
A-frame sidewalk signs
A-frame sidewalk signs can go wherever you do, indoors, outdoors, at your storefront, or an exhibition. Therefore, you need to optimize the content for its planned use.
Critical tips for creating a unique sign are:
- Work specific call to actions into the design to encourage the audience to react to the sign.
- Adapt the layout of the sign so that it’s spread out across the rectangular board.
- Use the natural order in which people read to direct them towards the most important message first.
- By using several different colors, you can break the monotony of the sign and keep people’s attention for longer.
Channel letters are three-dimensional characters that you can illuminate with LED bulbs. For a good reason, these signs are incredibly popular, so it’s even more vital that you use all the tricks of the trade to make yours stand out.
- Combine the letters with custom capsules for additional visual elements.
- Use a font that is consistent with your brand’s visual identity.
- Experiment with lighting options to find what will work best.
- Use bright, vibrant colors that are associated with your brand.
Undoubtedly, illuminated box signs are OG’s of the industry. These products are as relevant as ever and can be extremely useful marketing tools.
The following are some tips for making your sign box unique:
- Play with 3D elements that add some depth and unconventional touches to the sign.
- Focus on using high-contrast color combinations, for instance black on white, to improve the sign’s visibility and legibility.
- Combine minimalist graphic elements with text.
LED message center
An optimized LED message center is worth its weight in gold. These signs stand out both in terms of their use for advertisements and to convey practical information.
But just like any other type of sign, they are as good as their design and content. You can get the most out of these boards with the following tricks:
- Build a unique base or structure to mount the center on.
- Combine the board with other types of signs for maximum effect.
- Craft clear and unambiguous messages to display.
- Above all else, choose a font that is legible even at a distance.
Magnetic vehicle sign
Aside from wraps, there’s another option for signage for your vehicle. Magnetic signs are typically a less expensive product. Moreover, because they are easy to remove and place, you can easily replace them.
Here are guidelines for making the most out of these signs:
- Rounded corners create a less severe aesthetic and give a more refined impression.
- The goal of magnetic vehicle signs is to keep the content simple. You want anyone looking to understand and absorb the information immediately.
- Don’t use too many different colors. Instead, stick with two to three primary shades.
Ground signs are a cornerstone of advertising, particularly at a business’ storefront or offices. Unfortunately, many brands rely solely on tired and cliched looks for their monument signs.
But you can add some novelty to yours with a few strategies:
- Create a custom structure for the signs. For example, you can choose a personalized multi-tenant monument like Clinton Valley plaza.
- Use channel letters on the sign.
- Make visibility and legibility a priority in the design.
- If you choose a multi-tenant sign, use different fonts, colors, and styles to distinguish the individual departments or companies.
In most cases, sign companies produce yard signs from coroplast. All in all, this is one of the most cost-effective signage products out there while still being durable and high-quality. It’s no wonder then that they are one of the most common types of signs.
In particular, they are favorites with real estate agents and political campaigns.
Because they are so prevalent, you have quite a challenge ahead to make sure yours stand out. A few tips to get the look are:
- Standard coroplast signs are 18″ x 24″. But for a unique look, you can change this up. You can make the sign bigger or smaller to suit your purposes.
- Aside from this, they are usually rectangular. However, you can consult your sign company for custom options. For example, the sign above has an additional arrow-shaped board.
- Keep the graphics or images simple on the design.
- If you want to make your sign easy to spot, use bright and contrasting colors.
Tradeshow displays & exhibits
Tradeshow displays and exhibits are an effective tool for both B2C and B2B marketing. And generally speaking, your booth is just as good as your signage. Luckily, there are many options to choose from in terms of materials and constructions.
Here are several tips to help you create the perfect design:
- Combine text and images to get your message across clearly.
- If you are commissioning more than one sign, keep the design consistent and make sure they work well together.
- Your brand’s visual identity should be showcased to full effect in terms of images, colors, logos, and more.
All in all, banners are an industry favorite. Flexibility, versatility, and cost-effectiveness are fitting terms to describe these vinyl signs.
To get the most out of your banner, you can try these tips:
- Use bright and contrasting colors to make your sign stand out.
- Choose high-resolution graphics for the centerpiece of the banner.
- Carefully consider how you will hang or mount the sign. This can significantly impact its overall impact. Therefore, you want to make sure the installation is tailored to the environment and show off the design to full effect.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are strict rules and regulations that businesses need to follow. In the case of ADA compliant signs, the standards are aimed at making them and your building more accessible.
But just because they are regulated doesn’t mean they can’t be creative or even appealing. You can have just as much fun with these signs.
Top tips to try when creating ADA signs are:
- Design the boards with color schemes that fit in with your branding.
- Generally, you want to stick only to the ADA approved graphics. So one way to add some interest to the sign is to play with alternative visuals like variating colors as with gradients or splitting the board into sections.
- Customize the shape, dimensions, and materials for the sign.
Unsurprisingly, menu boards are one of the essential pieces of signage for any restaurant or cafe. They are of both practical and aesthetic importance, so you should ensure that your boards represent your business positively.
To achieve this, you should consider the tips below:
- To keep the sign up to date, design it with reusability and adaptability in mind. For example, like the board above, you can choose a product which can be written on and then erased.
- Alternatively, you could use slots into which you can slide cards for new menu items and prices.
- Or your signature look can be to use digital boards.
- The design should highlight the name of your restaurant or cafe.
- Keep decorative features to the minimum so that the focus stays on the menu items.
Notably, lobby signs are often the first thing a customer sees when they walk into your business. Therefore, they play a crucial role in welcoming visitors and representing your brand.
Be sure to design these signs with care so they convey the right message. The following tips can be useful:
- Use lighting to highlight the sign and add a bit of flair.
- Choose a color scheme that matches the interior decor.
- Bold fonts can improve both the sign’s legibility and its visual impact.
- A matte finish, such as in the example, reduces the chance of glare, and the textured look can be very appealing.
Generally, sign companies will have custom options available for dimensional letters. First, you can usually choose between a range of materials like foam, PVC, and metal. Second, you can customize the shape and dimensions of the letters.
Here are some critical tips for designing distinctive dimensional letters:
- Note that you don’t only have to use letters. Graphics like your logo are a great way to make your sign more noteworthy.
- Use different fonts for the main heading and subheading.
- Three-dimensional letters pack a punch in terms of catching attention and leaving an impression.
- Painting specific parts of the sign can help draw the eye to the entire composition.
On the whole, window graphics are a fantastic way to utilize all the space at your disposal. This handy invention is made from perforated vinyl that can be applied to the surface of the glass.
To get the look, you can:
- Design the window graphics to complement its surroundings. For example, the dark green of the Reptarium signs above blends in well with the wood and stone facade around it.
- Use attention-grabbing images to show what type of business you’re running.
- Keep the text minimal and straightforward so as not to overwhelm the audience.
Another way to use all the surfaces in your building to your advantage is by applying wall graphics. In most cases, the sign company will make these murals out of vinyl too.
When creating wall graphics, keep these principles in mind:
- Stick with a coherent theme or visual style. You don’t want the graphics to clash with each other or any other elements in the space.
- Make sure the content suits your business. For instance, exciting and colorful graphics are ideal for a company like Gates. On the other hand, calming images will work better for a yoga studio.
- Use the murals as a critical part of your decor and make sure it suits the rest of the interior.
Likewise, you can experiment with floor graphics as a way to creatively utilize your space.
A few tips that can be handy are to:
- Combine the floor graphics with another type of signage, such as the above example.
- Print the decal with a glossy finish to make it more visible.
- Find fun ways in which the audience can interact with the sign.
Manufacturers produce routed signs by cutting out letters, symbols, characters, or custom shapes out of a solid material. You can choose between multiple materials like wood, foam, or aluminum.
Significantly you can use these hints to customize a routed sign.
- Use colors and contrast to get the sign to stand out from its environment. As an example, we painted the RGBSI logo to make it visible against the wall.
- For a full-bodied effect, you could use a panel out of which shapes have been cut. Or else you could use characters that you’ve cut out on their own or mounted on another board.
- Use a textured material to create an interesting look.
Vehicle graphics and wraps
First and foremost, vehicle graphics are an ideal tool to spread the word of your business around town. As mobile advertisements, there are specific principles that can help you create exceptional designs:
- Bold and bright colors will be more eye-catching, particularly on a moving object.
- Don’t use too much advertising copy on the design. Instead, emphasize the visuals and the name of the brand.
- Design the wrap specifically for the shape of the vehicle and its panels.
- In the case of these graphics, animated, drawn, or cartoon graphics often look better than a photo.
- Above all, only use high-resolution images.
Your unique footprint
Remember, when you’re creating signs, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, like many of these examples, you can use the aspects that make your business unique as inspiration.
On top of this, you should strive to use and adapt tried and tested principles of design to stun your audience. If you want to find out more, take a look at these tips on designing signs for winter and the best tips on how to mix & match colors on signs.