abstract sign design

Sign Design Basics

Graphic design is the process of communicating and problem solving using visual symbols, typography, photography, illustration, and layout principles. Graphic design for signage is purely functional as each sign is meant for a specific purpose. Some signs are created specifically for advertising purposes and some are created to answer frequently asked questions. If you’re interested in designing your own signs, there are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind. The following points about sign design are based on the past experiences of working with multiple businesses, clients, and other graphic designers.

Appreciate Your Audience

clapping hands

Before you even start your sign design, put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Understand that they may not be as informed as you about your business so you may need to consider simplifying your sign design. Consider how your sign will look to someone who has no idea what your business does. How do you ensure that your message is understood? Be specific, be direct, and always keep it simple! Another important part of understanding your audience is knowing how they will be viewing your sign. Will they be driving past your sign at 75 MPH on the highway? That means that your audience will have one or two seconds to understand your message so plan your design accordingly.

Pick the Right Type of File

typing hands

The most frequently asked question from clients looking to send their own artwork is: “What type of file do you prefer?”. The preferred file-type is almost always a .PDF but it sometimes depends on what type of sign the client is ordering. If you’re using a software program to create your artwork, make sure you’re using a professional design tool like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Further, understanding the difference between raster and vector graphics is vital especially for large format digitally printed signs.

Understand the Difference Between Raster and Vector Graphicsraster vs vector logo

 

Raster graphics are images that cannot be enlarged without pixelation occurring. They can be edited with special software applications like Adobe Photoshop, but you will need to have a good understanding of how resolution works. Raster graphics are usually small files that are ideal for photographic prints and website imagery. Vector graphics are graphics that are defined shapes with lines and points. Vector graphics can be enlarged to any size and printed without any trouble. Vector-based graphics are also the only way to create cut vinyl decals as the digital plotter needs to read the lines and points within the file to plot them out onto the sheet of vinyl.

Use Contrasting Colors

colorful photo

Ensure that your message is clear and attracts attention by using contrasting colors for the background and foreground. From our learned experience, the best color combinations for signage is a black background and white text or white background and black text. The worst color combinations are lightly-hued text on a lightly-hued background or dark-tinted text on a dark background. Color theory explains how primary colors mix together to create secondary colors, and how different combinations of those colors become intermediate colors. Understanding color theory, color schemes, and how colors affect people psychologically is a good idea if you’re designing multiple signs that need to have a cohesive design.

Choose Easy to Read Fonts

wooden letter stamps

Another important part of sign design is selecting the appropriate font to feature your text in. The general rule is to keep the number of fonts to a minimum and to not use more than two different fonts in one design. Sans Serif fonts are easier to read than Serif fonts when it comes to signage; this is why highway signage always features sans serif fonts. Consider the hierarchy of information in your sign. What do you want your audience to do if they need your product or service? Having a bold, upper case call-to-action could be the best way to get them to take a desired action.

Utilize Negative Space

beach scene

Too much text, photos, and graphics will actually deter people from your advertisement. It might seem like a good idea to include as much information as possible on a sign, but that can lead to a cluttered design which overwhelms the viewer and leads to information being overlooked or ignored. Negative space (intentional blank space) in a sign design layout helps the reader understand the message being communicated by singling out vital information and giving the reader’s eyes a break.

Always be Aware of the Rules

discussion hands

Some types of signs, like ADA restroom signs, are required for public and commercial spaces. There are a lot of rules for the design of interior ADA signs, like the letter height and pictogram design. Ensure that your signs are compliant by following ADA sign guidelines. Further, be aware of the local sign code for large exterior signs, like illuminated channel letters, to ensure that you don’t waste money by buying a non-compliant sign that will be removed (at your cost).

 

convention signs

How to Impress with a Trade Show Display

A trade show is an event held for a specific industry that brings various businesses together to show off their products and services, generate leads, network, and to increase brand awareness. Trade shows have been around for a long time and have grown exponentially over the years. Currently the largest trade show in the world is CES with over 182,000 attendees and over 4,000 exhibiting companies participating in their 2018 annual trade show. Trade shows, expos, conventions, and similar events allows for businesses, large and small, to speak directly to a receptive and more targeted audience. This is why trade shows are such an effective marketing tool for companies.

Trade Show Booth Essentials

Trade shows require a lot of preparation and consideration weeks, or even months, in advance. Being in the same room as tons of competing exhibitors means that to find success from a trade show, your booth will need to stand out. To nail the visual impact of your trade show booth, enlist the assistance of an experienced graphic designer to help you with the design and mockups of your booth. From there, partner with a professional vendor to manufacture your booth display.

Trade Show Booth Signs

While there are extravagant and lavish exhibit booths that are completely custom and interactive, they tend to be very pricey. Below are a few effective signage options that are more reasonable in cost.

Step and Repeat Display

Step and repeat banners can be made from fabric or vinyl banner material. They usually feature a logo in a repeating pattern and work great as the backdrop to a trade show booth.

backdrop fabric banner

 

Stretched Fabric Display

A stretched fabric display is a perfect option for a fun photo backdrop. These displays come with a lightweight aluminum frame that stretches the fabric and holds it taut for a nice smooth display. Stretched fabric displays come in many different sizing options to satisfy your unique needs.

stretch fabric display

Pop Up Display

Pop up displays are reinforced with a lightweight aluminum frame that is collapsible and portable. These displays are usually made from expo fabric and wrap around the edges of the frame for a 3D effect.

pop up fabric banner

Retractable Banner Stand

Retractable banner stands are tall, pillar-like displays that retract back into a solid aluminum banner stand. These are available in various sizes to fit your needs and are great for drawing attention to your booth without taking up too much space. Retractable banners are also easy to take down and put up which makes them great to travel with.

Trade Show Banners Connecting Signs

Retractable banners

Fabric Table Throw

Trade show booths typically have a table or multiple tables for displaying promotions and other company information. Digitally printed fabric table throws are fully custom and can feature your full-color logo or another fun design!

trade show display

 

one way sign

Why Road Signs are Important

speed limit sign

What are Traffic Signs?

If you commute regularly, there’s no doubt that you experience construction signs regularly along your route. Traffic signs are utilized as a method of warning and guiding drivers, helping to regulate the flow of traffic among vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles, bicycles and others who travel the streets, highways and other roadways. All road traffic signs, construction signs, and parking lot signs are intended to convey a clear, yet simple message. The signs should always be prominent enough to command attention and placed in a manner that gives drivers adequate time to respond to the command. Traffic signs and road signs also use consistent shapes, colors, and symbols to keep a consistent message.

 

Who Makes Road Sign Decisions

Before traffic signs are placed, municipalities will commission an engineering study to gauge its necessity and usefulness in a particular location. After all, no one would want to travel roadways where signs are placed haphazardly and without just cause. Doing so would eventually cause some drivers to fail to respect the traffic signs, possibly causing traffic incidents instead of preventing them. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website, because road signs impose legal obligations on all drivers, the signs need to be authorized by the local government. Traffic signs are consistent from one municipality to another – the reason is simple. Let’s say, for example, that a driver is travelling across several states. Construction signs in Texas conform to the same design as construction signs in Colorado (or any other state, for that matter), so that the messaging is not confusing when a driver is operating in unfamiliar regions.

 

stop sign

What is the Purpose of Traffic Signs

Going back to their overall purpose for a moment, road traffic signs in Colorado are placed for the purpose of warning drivers and maintaining a steady traffic flow; inconsistent messaging would make that difficult (if not entirely impossible) in a highly mobile society with motor vehicle operators travelling unfamiliar regions every single day.

Types of Traffic and Road Signs

Regulatory Signs

An example of regulatory signs are stop signs, yield signs, one-way signs, speed limit, No U-Turn, One-Way, No Parking and Road Closed signs. They regulate the speed and flow of traffic and parking.

Warning Signs

Warning signs are usually in a diamond shape and bright yellow. Warning signs warn drivers of such things as merging traffic, railroad and bicycle crossings and traffic signals ahead.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Signs

These types of road signs indicate pedestrian crosswalks as well as where bike lanes begin and end on main roadways.

Guide Signs

Typical guide signs include interstate and highway signs, destination distance signs, mile markers, roadway junction signs, and highway exit signs.

 

Motorist Services and Recreation Signs

These signs indicate recreation areas like campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, gas stations, emergency services, and rest areas.

School Signs

School signs warn drivers that a school is nearby, directing them to drop their speeds and to watch for children and pedestrians.

 

How to Order Traffic Signs

When construction companies, cities, HOA’s, and other groups in Colorado need traffic signs & custom parking lot signs, Connecting Signs offers a wide range of sign solutions. Our team will be happy to provide you with consulting services, should you need them, as well as a full line of standard and one-of-a-kind custom traffic and parking lot signs for your project. Give us a call today at 970-493-0133 or request a quote here to get your road signs ordered today!

college ada signs

Understanding Compliant ADA Signs

college ada signs

Signage and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was first signed into law on July 26, 1990. However, people with disabilities were fighting for inclusive and accessible spaces long before ADA became law. ADA signs are an integral part of compliant public and commercial spaces. There are specific rules to follow when creating your ADA sign plan. Rules like sign installation height and location, lettering height, braille, and color combinations are in place to create unity and continuity throughout public areas.

wood ADA sign

Rules for Compliant ADA Signs

Firstly, the lettering on ADA signs needs to be in a sans serif font and all the lettering needs to be uppercase. The width of ADA signs is dependent on the letting height. The minimum letter height for ADA signs is 5/8 of an inch while the maximum letter height is two inches. Lettering also needs to be featured in acrylic tactile that is at least 1/32 inch deep. Pictograms require an area six inches in height to be ADA compliant. Braille needs to be clear, domed, and grade II. Lastly, all the lettering and pictogram features need to be in a non-glare finish and must contrast with the backer of the sign.

Acrylic ADA signs

 

When Braille is Required for ADA Signs

Not every interior sign requires grade II braille. Only signs that designate permanent rooms and spaces like restroom signs, exit signs, room number signs, and elevator signs need compliant braille and uppercase lettering. Directional signs, wayfinding signs, and overhead signs do not require braille and are not required to have uppercase lettering. However, all of these types of signs must have materials with a non-glare finish and contrasting characters and symbols.

restroom ADA signs

How to Create Unique ADA signs

While there are a lot of rules and regulations attached to ADA compliant signage, there are still ways to incorporate creativity and uniqueness within an ADA sign project. Firstly, mixing contrasting colors and materials is a great way to make a statement. Utilizing a flatbed printer allows for acrylic to be printed with a unique design or a logo can also make a lasting impact. Keeping the different sign-types similar in design allows unifies the space and keeps confusion to a minimum.

custom ADA signs

Get Your ADA Signs Ordered Today

Don’t wait to order your required ADA signs! There’s a lot of time required to organize the sign schedule, design, manufacture, and install ADA signs. Request a quote from Connecting Signs today or give us a call at 970-493-0133 to speak with a member of our experienced staff to get your questions answered and your ADA sign project started!

Exterior Building Letters

Essential Business Signage

Do you know how important signage is to a business? According to research from the Sign Research Foundation, 61 percent of American consumers failed to find a business because the sign was too small or unclear. Further, 60 percent of businesses reported average sales increases of 10 percent or more by adding to or updating their current signage. Business signage acts as a silent salesperson for your business, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Signs brand your business, provide information about your products and services, and direct customers to important areas within your business. So, where to begin? Keep reading to learn more about the different types of business signage as well as their uses and applications.

church entrance sign

Start with an Entrance Sign

An entrance sign not only greets new and returning customers but also differentiates a business and helps it to stand out from competition. Additionally, entrance signs increase property value and adds to the overall image of communities and properties. Types of entrances signs include monument signs, plaque signs, post and panel signs, and tenant panel signs.

business directory sign

Clarify with a directory board sign

When there’s multiple businesses operating in the same building, a straightforward directory board sign is necessary. Without a clear directory sign, people become confused, stressed, and anxious. Mitigate these negative emotions and foster a positive experience for your clients by getting a directory board sign. If your directory sign is outside, remember to consider how the sign will look at night. Adding illumination by utilizing an internally lit cabinet sign or spotlights ensures that your directory sign is visible all the time.

gym channel letters

Distinguish your business with a building sign

Building signs can be any type of sign on the outside of a building. They can be huge front-lit channel letters to attract customers in the daytime and at night, or they can be simple adhesive vinyl decals on the windows of a building. Exterior building signs are perfect opportunities to not only identify your company, but to impress and enhance your corporate branding! If you can not showcase your own logo or business name, make sure the address of the building is highly visible with large dimensional address numbers.

acrylic logo sign

Enhance branding with a lobby sign

While designing the interior office area, think about how customers will interact with the space. Bare, boring walls do a disservice to your customers and employees! What better way to increase brand recognition than with a professional lobby sign? Remind customers what your brand represents by including your slogan or tagline in the lobby sign. Increase the “wow” factor by featuring your logo illuminated by LED lights! There are so many different options in materials, finishes, colors, and effects that you’re bound to find the right lobby sign for your business needs.

Are you ready to get your business signage started? Don’t wait! Request a quote here or give Connecting Signs a call at: 970-493-0133 to get your signage started today!

environmental signage

How Signage and Environmental Design are Related

Signs and Environmental Design

The role of signage in environmental design is very important. Signage that is thoughtfully and purposefully designed for an interior or exterior space creates a pleasant experience for visitors while keeping them informed. According to the Society for Experimental Graphic Design, Environmental graphic design includes architectural, interior, landscape, and industrial design principles. First-time visitors unfamiliar with a space will look for important wayfinding markers to assist in informing them of where everything is located. Utilizing custom, branded navigation signage like wayfinding signs and identity signs help your visitors understand where they are while reminding them of your brand!

church wayfinding sign

Graphic Design for Directional and Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signs help people get from point A to point B when they’re in an unfamiliar space. Effective and efficient wayfinding signage should answer three important questions: ‘Where am I currently?’, ‘where am I trying to go?’ and ‘how do I get there?’. Utilizing cohesive and simple designs throughout your wayfinding signage types ensures minimal confusion, and happier visitors! One other important guiding principle to follow is to stay compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. While conceptualizing the designs and layouts of wayfinding signs and directional signs, one of the most important things to remember is to keep the design as minimal and simple as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

college ada signs

Types of Signs for Environmental Design

Wayfinding signs and directional signs have already been discussed, but there’s other environmental signs that might not be so obvious. Exhibit signage and public installation signage are unique environmental signs that can add so much interest to guest’s visual experience. Lobby signs and reception area signs are also effective types of environmental graphics. Public spaces are required to have ADA compliant restroom signs, room identification signs, elevator signs, emergency exit signs, FACP signs, and Fire Riser Room signs. All these regulatory signs require braille and a certain letter-height to be ADA compliant.

 

 

 

Trends in Environmental Design

The biggest trend in environmental design is a focus on sustainability. According to the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), in the U.S., buildings account for 38 percent of all CO2 emissions and 73 percent of electricity consumption. These compelling statistics are the driving force behind the increased need for sustainability in commercial and residential development projects. Signs manufactured from recycled or recyclable materials and LED digital signage ensure that there’s less wasted materials as well as reduced carbon emissions.

reception area sign

Are you searching for the right vendor for your next development project? Give Connecting Signs a call today! Call 970-493-0133 or request a quote here to get your environmental sign project started!

rock slab monument sign

Custom Monument Signs

Make a professional and long-lasting statement with a custom monument sign! What is a monument sign? A monument sign is an outdoor, long-term sign that is usually placed at an entrance of a development, community, business, or public area. A monument sign not only informs the public of your brand and business name, but also solidifies your brand image. Read more about tips for success on monument signs here.

high density foam monument sign

Best Materials for Monument Signs

Wood, brick, stone masonry, concrete, natural rock, metal, and high-density foam are all great options for the structural part of a monument sign. From there, try to mix up the materials and use contrasting colors and textures for the sign text. This ensures that the text on your monument sign will be highly visible and readable to traffic.

cabinet monument sign

Illuminated Monument Signs

When you’re thinking about getting a monument sign, it’s important to consider how the sign will look in the day and at night. Spotlights are perfect for illuminating a monument sign that does not have any internal electrical components. However, the most effective way to ensure optimal nighttime visibility is with LED lights. Back-lit or front-lit channel letters look great on a monument sign in the day and at night.

salon business monument sign

Electronic Message Centers (EMCs)

For an even more effective way to reach your customers consider featuring an electronic message center (EMC) on your monument sign. An EMC is a programmable electronic sign that can store and display text messages and images. They can be monochrome to display simple messages or full color to really impress your audience! Most modern message centers are fabricated with LED lights so you can be assured that your message shines at night and in any type of weather.

electronic message center sign

 

Multi-tenant Monument Signs

One of the cool things about monument signs is the many uses they can provide for your business. If you rent out retail space to different businesses and need your monument sign to inform the public of your multiple tenants, then consider having changeable tenant panels on your monument sign.

tenant panel monument sign

 

 

Ready to get a monument sign for your business? Don’t hesitate to get your project started! Give Connecting Signs a call at 970-493-0133 or request a free, fast quote here.

business storefront signs

Complete Storefront Sign Package

Need Signs for Your Business?

Rain for Rent is a leading provider of temporary liquid handling solutions.  It is family owned and operated since 1934; serving all 50 states, Canada, the UK and Europe. Read more about this company here. Connecting Signs has been working with this business for a little over a year and have done some work locally (northern Colorado) and nationally. We have provided everything from vehicle decals to dimensional signage for the company.

Explore the photos and descriptions of the different storefront signs for this fast, expanding company!  

Greeley, Colorado signs:

fleet truck graphics

Stockton, California storefront signs:

Illuminated building sign

Charlotte, North Carolina storefront signs:

monument sign

  • Monument Sign (flush face)

Connecting Signs is proud to partner with Rain for Rent for all their storefront sign needs here locally and across the country! How do we do make a sign for their out of state locations?  We partner with excellent sign companies and installers that we trust and depend on to get the job done to our expectations which meets our customer’s expectation!  Our contact at the North Carolina location was thrilled at how quick and easy the job went – especially since we are over a thousand miles from the job site!

Any kind of signage; anywhere! Get started by requesting a quote or Call us 970-493-0133 for your all of your signage needs – local, statewide, and nationwide.

Fabric Banner Backdrop

All About Event Signs & Banners

Do you want your business to stand out at your next event?

Trade shows and expos continue to prove their value. Events like these help exhibitors and businesses raise awareness of their brands in a big way! However, standing out in a sea of competition is not easy. The best way to visually make a good first impression is with effective event signs and banners. So then what kinds of event signs and banners will work best for you? There’s lots of different options, so the following list is just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re still lost after reading this article, contact us by clicking here or give us a call at 970-493-0133 to get your event signs and banners started today.

 

Retractable banners

Retractable Banners

Retractable banners are the perfect type of event sign because of how professional they look and how travel-friendly they are. Another benefit is how cost-effective they are. Have a budget you need to stay within? No problem! There are also many kinds of retractable banners. Some are made specifically for outdoor events while others are made for indoor events. Some can be made with a telescoping pole that reaches over 12 feet tall and some are made for table tops and are 12 inches tall. Retractable banners are easily broken down which makes it easy to travel to your next event. Another nice feature that retractable banners have is that they are made so that you can change out the banner graphics when you want to change up your message.

 

 

 

 

Fabric backwall display

Back wall Banners

Back wall banners provide a backdrop to your booth display and gives your booth a more complete “look” with your logo and brand repeated throughout your display. Back wall banners can also be used as step-and-repeat banners for a fun photo backdrop. A simple vinyl banner with grommets will be the most cost-effective option, while a high-quality fabric banner installed in a collapsible frame will give you the most visual impact. Back wall banner displays are perfect for expos and trade shows because, like retractable banners, these items are also easy to break down and put up for when you need to exhibit at multiple shows.

 

 

 

 

 

trade show display

Complete Trade Show Expo Display

Table Throws

Usually (but not always) you will have a table or podium display in your booth exhibit where you might place brochures, business cards or other kinds of swag to give away to people passing by. Digitally printed fabric table throws can be another effective opportunity to showcase your brand. Fabric table throws are very versatile and can be made to custom-fit your needs whether you have a six-foot-long table or an eight-foot-long table, a round or square table, or need a four-sided table throw or a three-sided table throw. The most cost-effective table throws are one- or two-color vinyl graphics with a solid fabric background. However, to help your booth display stand out a digitally printed fabric table throw allows for any image you want to be featured on your table throw. Fabric table throws are washable and easily foldable for ease of transport.

Lobby Signs

Lobby Sign Inspiration

Astute Financial – Clear Lobby Sign

Clear Lobby Sign

Clear Acrylic Lobby Sign

This simple acrylic lobby sign for a local financial services company is a great example of how to showcase your brand in a tasteful way. This medium-sized lobby sign is made of clear, matte acrylic backer and the logo is thin dimensional acrylic letters. The logo subhead and tagline are made of premium cut vinyl. Round brushed aluminum standoffs were chosen to anchor the lobby sign directly to the wall because of the subtlety of the installed look.

Trademark Property Management Group, Inc. – Dimensional letter/logo reception area sign

Dimensional letter/logo reception area sign

This brushed aluminum dimensional logo sign for a property management office shows how much impact some simple dimensional letters can have. The intent of this sign was to keep the logo and letters subtle and classy. There are lots of different options available for materials and finishes, but this reception area sign is made of 1/8” thick composite aluminum. The shapes of the letters and logo accents were then routed out using our CNC router/engraver machine and installed directly to the wall.

 

 

 

 

Landmark Monuments – Wood Lobby Sign

Wooden lobby sign

If you’re looking for a more rustic sign, here’s a sign that might give you some ideas! This wood lobby sign for a monument company features a re-purposed wood backer with steel-cut logo and letters. Additional steel accents frame the logo on both sides to help showcase this business’s brand. This lobby sign shows how mixing different and contrasting materials can make an impact and professional statement. It’s never a bad idea to explore and get creative with sign design!

 

 

 

 

 

Device Pharm – Red Acrylic Lobby Sign

Red acrylic lobby sign

Here’s a great example of how to utilize your brand as the focal point in your reception area or waiting room. This acrylic lobby sign for a marketing firm is made of opaque (non-transparent), high-gloss, red acrylic with black and white dimensional acrylic letters applied directly to the backer. Round black standoffs were used in the installation. Standoffs are one of the best ways to anchor your sign because they’re minimal and help to add depth to the finished sign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She She Nail and Wax Lounge – Routed Composite Aluminum Reception Area Sign

Composite aluminum salon lobby sign

Here’s an example of taking a great logo design and creating an effective reception area sign! This entire sign was routed from a piece of thin aluminum composite metal. We used a bright pink opaque premium vinyl for the pink features and black premium vinyl to cover the subheading backer. To help line up the letters and logo features we made a simple line template and adhered the sign components directly to the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These examples of effective lobby signs are only just the tip of the iceberg! There’s so many additional ways to showcase your brand and impress your audience. Consider an illuminated cabinet sign or a multi-layered lobby sign, the options are truly endless! Not sure where to begin? Give us a call at 970-493-0133 or click here to get your free estimate on your custom lobby sign.