We’ve dealt extensively before with what makes a sign readable. It seems, based on the signs I see when I’m out and about, that all aspects of this topic cannot be repeated enough. It’s not hard to spot signs that make you wonder if the designer had any understanding at all of what the sign was supposed to achieve.
VistaPrint recently offered some good advice on the use of visual hierarchy in sign design. Visual hierarchy is the design principle that uses scale to convey importance. And while this may sound obvious, it’s obviously not obvious to some sign designers. And I wonder why more sign shops apparently don’t make a practice of pointing out design flaws to customers who turn up with their own designs for printing. But back to VistaPrint’s article where they provide an example of visual hierarchy in sign design . . .
Take a simple example of, say, a restaurant advertising a new lunch special on a sandwich board. You’d put “Lunch special” in large letters at the top. Then you’d list out a description of the special in a smaller font in the middle of the board. And finally, you’d provide the contact details for the restaurant at the bottom.
In summary, when it come to visual hierarchy, the larger and more prominent and element, the more likely it is to grab attention.