5 Common Design Mistakes

Many people get excited about ordering a sign, only to be disappointed by its performance. If a sign doesn’t increase traffic, capture leads or persuade customers to buy, chances are that the sign suffers from one or more design mistakes. Here are five of the most common problems with sign design:


1. Not Having a Goal

Behind every good sign is a goal: It’s important to know what the sign is supposed to do for your business.

Do you want to attract foot traffic to your store? Get people to visit your website? Persuade in-store customers to look through your sale rack? The purpose of your sign dictates its size, material, colors, and text. Don’t try to design a sign, or hire someone to design one, until you are clear on how you want the sign to function.

2. Bad Use of Color

Good use of color catches the eye, reinforces your brand and makes your sign easy to read. Bad use of color gives readers a headache, clashes with the sign’s surroundings and causes people to look away from your sign, not at it. Using a color wheel, limiting the number of colors used in the sign and making use of white space can help you avoid color problems.

3. Inappropriate Material

Sign material is important: A good use of color and text won’t do you much good if the sign can’t stand up to the elements or looks tacky in an indoor environment. Cloth banners, for example, look great at trade shows, but can fade and bleed if displayed outside for long periods of time. Signs that have to be moved around a lot should be made from sturdy, lightweight material that’s easy to store and transport. Before designing a sign, consider where and how you are going to use it:

    • Will you display it indoors or outdoors?
    • Will you display it on a permanent basis? Or will it be up during certain seasons or at certain events?

What is the environment of the area in which you’ll display the sign?



4. Crowded Text

Even people with great eyesight get headaches from trying to read crowded text: In fact, if sign text is hard to read, most folks won’t even try to do so. They’ll just walk on by.

If you feel like you’re trying to cram too much text onto a sign or banner, take a deep breath and re-think. Is a larger sign possible? If the answer is no, experiment with different fonts. Another option is to reduce the text: A professional copywriter can often distill copy to is most essential parts, often increasing the copy’s impact. A good copywriter can also ensure that the sign’s text is spelled correctly and adheres to the rules of grammar.

5. Inconsistent Branding

Signs should be noticeable, not distracting. Even a well-designed sign will look out of place if it doesn’t correspond to your brand. Good design incorporates your brand by using logos, colors and slogans.


Final Word

If you don’t have a design pro in house, hire one. A good designer knows how to craft text, color and materials into a great sign that communicates both your brand to the people who need to know about it.