4 Tips to Simplify the Sign Design Process
We often receive questions about what is all needed to provide a layout for customers. If you're not familiar with the sign design process, it can be a little frustrating if you don't know what file types or colors are needed to produce a sign. In order to limit that frustration below is a checklist of file types, colors and other required information needed from your sign contrator to produce your sign correctly.
Logo in Vector Format
Having a logo in a vector format is important because it ensures that the logo will be scaled correctly, without any distortion. Vector images (.ai, .eps) are created using points and paths, where as bitmap images are made up of pixels. Images and logos in bitmap formats (.jpg, .tiff) become pixelated when scaled up and which will leave the image looking blurry. Vector images are also needed when routing copy in aluminum for a monument sign, creating LED face illuminated channel letters or cutting vinyl graphics because the machines used to create these sign types follow the paths for precise fabrication.
Color tends to be one of the more challenging aspects of sign design. There are so many different color books and codes it can often become confusing and a little overwhelming. Computer monitors and desktop printers further the confusion by making colors look different than they actually are. This is why it is important to provide your sign company with specfic finish colors, so that those can be matched. The most recognized color formats in the sign industry are Pantone colors. Pantone colors are so widely used because they can be used in both digital printing and painting.
Font choice is just as important as color. They are both a part of the team that make up the brand identity. And like color, consistency is key. Make sure not only your primary, but also secondary fonts are provided for your signage. Often the secondary font will be used for wayfinding signs, door vinyl or taglines. If you happen to have a unique font make sure it is converted to outlines to avoid any substitutions.
Many companies require a specific amount of clear space around their logo. This maximizes visibility and establishes a consistent look for your brand. Make sure this is provided to your sign company to ensure your branding requirements are being followed.
This is a basic list of required information for the sign design process. Of course depending on what type of sign you want there maybe others. If you have any other questions that arise, please feel free to contact us.
Patrick is a Graphic Designer at Spectrum Signs, a custom business sign maker in Blaine, MN. After a call from his college placement office, Patrick joined the Spectrum Signs team in 2010. Patrick finds enjoyment in the unique challenges his job gives him through the use of out of the ordinary materials. When Patrick isn’t designing signs, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking with his dog Willis, and getting out on the golf course.