Great technology, terrible signs!

The thumbnail version:

  • Sign-printing technology nowadays is amazing
  • Poorly designed signs are still being produced
  • Printing poor signs with great technology is a waste

The full version:

Sign-printing technology has come a long way. Today we have the technology to churn out excellent signs. But has sign design kept up with the advances in printing technology? Not so much.

You shouldn’t have to squint to read a sign!

For example, Nova Scotia’s province-wide municipal elections are coming up in a week or two and there are candidate signs everywhere. And some of them are so poorly designed that one has to wonder whether printers are even trying to offer design advice. Surely design advice is part of the printing service?

What many of these sign designers don’t seem to realize is that in rural Nova Scotia in particular (which is most of the province), people are not going to stand and examine the signs. They have to be read from passing cars at speed. So a sign with poor colour choices and cluttered and small lettering are essentially totally useless, and hence a waste of money.

Great sign-printing technology counts for nothing if it’s wasted on churning out poorly designed graphics.