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Categories: Real Estate. Learn more Determine the primary purpose of your sign. This might be to advertise, sell, inform or impress. Decide on your message. This should be the focus of your real estate sign. Use your established purpose to craft a message that will get people to do what you want them to do, whether it is to visit an open house, call about an apartment for rent or attend an auction on a foreclosed property. Consider the size of your sign. Once you understand the purpose and message of your sign, you know how large it has to be. For example, to advertise an open house in a busy area, you will need a large sign.

A sign that displays an apartment for rent might need to fit in a window. Leave enough room for all of the information you need to share as well as a graphic or picture that will get the attention of people who see the sign. For example, a sign advertising a house for sale should have enough space for a list price or contact information for the realtor. Make your sign attention grabbing. This might mean large letters, a colorful background, a humorous slogan or a great picture. If you are selling a house, include a unique detail such as "hot tub included" or "totally renovated kitchen.

Leave a good impression. You want your sign to grab the attention of people interested in real estate, but you do not want to turn them off. Keep it tasteful and appropriate. Remember that people from all different backgrounds and ages will see your sign. Include pertinent information. For example, if your sign advertises an open house, be sure to include the date, time and address.

If you are advertising an apartment for rent, include the number of bedrooms and the price of rent. Remember that contact information is essential. It is impossible to put every detail on the real estate sign, so share your email address, phone number or website that can lead people to more information. Use branding that is consistent with your company or business.

If you are designing a real estate sign for an established company, you will need to include that company's logo. Keep colors, fonts, messages and taglines consistent with your brand. You do not want to confuse customers and clients who associate your real estate brand with certain images and logos. Consider placement. As you are designing your sign, think about where it will be placed.

For example, designing a yard sign will be different than designing a banner that stretches across a building. Think about how you can "accessorize" your sign. Some people hang balloons with open house signs, and other real estate signs might include brochures or sales sheets that include additional information on the property. Use a sign that doubles as a box. This will allow you to hold information that people can take away from the sign or the property. Some fonts can manage to be both formal and casual, depending on how they are used.

And there are degrees of both formality and informality. It's just a matter of selecting a font or theme that's appropriate for your particular message and organization. Here's an example. Now look at the difference in the sign by changing the font! It no longer has the same feel. It no longer projects the image of a clean, professional medical environment. See how a simple change in the font makes such a huge difference in the perception of the message? Parents would probably think twice before they signed their children up for this doctor! In an attempt to stand out in the crowd, inappropriate fonts and text effects are often chosen for signage.

To make matters worse, fancy type styles are sometimes still used completely wrong. Script style fonts can be difficult, if not impossible to read from a distance. Here are some other common examples of fonts with poor legibility. Only use these fonts when you need to convey a message a certain way. And the reader will be up close. The wrong text effect can ruin an otherwise perfectly good font. Here's a side-by-side example of the difference. All typefaces give the reader a certain feeling so select a font that displays the image and style you want to convey to your audience.

Sans Serif fonts project a strong durable image. They also effectively communicate quick bursts of information. Serif Style fonts shown below project a more sophisticated upscale image. They also make it easier to read large bodies of text. Serifs are short horizontal lines added to the tops and bottoms of traditional typefaces, such as "Times New Roman" seen below. Please note the differences above between the block style letter sans-serif or "without serifs" and the serif style letter.

Each letter style has its own unique, defining characteristics. The distinctions from one serif letter style to the next are often subtle. If you look at what national companies do with their signage, you will notice clear, easy to read text in almost every case. Once you know the core message, you probably have a pretty good idea of the look that you want. A law office doesn't want something that looks like a day care center. And a day care wants to look fun and exciting, not serious and silent. Articulating the look you want is not always easy for our customers. So we have put together some examples of the looks and how they could be used to help you decide on the overall look before we begin working through other design elements.

Keep your core message in the back of your mind when deciding on the look of your sign. Professional People tend to think of lawyers, doctors, and businesses along those lines when they hear the word professional. Conservative Steeped in tradition, tend to have traditional values, "straight-laced". Kidsy The look and feel of childhood, bright colors and childlike print.

This is a small selection of fonts to help you brainstorm about the image you want to project.


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Using the right font can make the difference in how your sign is accepted. Each font has its own feel and choosing the right one is important. That's because it's easier for our brains to distinguish the shapes of upper and lower case text verses all capital letters. Since passing motorists may only have seconds to read your message, maximize the readability of your custom designed sign by limiting the use of all capital letters. When you preview your new sign design, stand back from the monitor to get a better idea of what the text will look like from a distance.

Kerning may be a rather unfamiliar word to you now, but its application will help unify your new sign design. Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between letters. The human eye is quick to notice breaks in regular patterns. When there is too much or too little space between characters within a word, the reader's eye stumbles. By adjusting the letter spacing, you can increase or decrease the space between characters to ensure the smooth flow of information from the text to the reader's brain. Proper kerning brings the individual characters of a word together into a single unit.

Even though design programs automatically address most of the kerning issues, there are many instances when a user must adjust kerning manually.

3 Design Tips for Creating Signs That Attract Customers

For instance, a typeface may have automatic kerning pairs for the characters "Yo", such that the lowercase letter o tucks under the arm of the uppercase Y. Here are letter pair examples with known kerning issues. With most fonts, uppercase characters are spaced so they fit best when lowercase letters follow them because that is how they are normally used.

So words set in all uppercase letters may be poorly spaced between characters. Just below is an example of Power Kerning. And here are some examples of Over Kerning for effect. You can actually create your own distinctive, stylized logo type with this design trick. So how exactly, do you use color effectively? The key is contrast. So what exactly is contrast? Contrast is the difference in brightness between the light and dark areas present in a single design. A bright yellow background, for example, will contrast well with dark letters such as black, a dark shade of blue and even purple.

The greater the contrast or difference between the light and the dark colors, the more legible text is from a distance. Colors that are closer together such as a medium gray letter against a black background won't contrast as well and therefore will be more difficult to read. Take a look at the above illustration. Which of the two looks larger They are both exactly the same size. The use of a light colored letter against a dark background makes it seem larger.

Light letters tend to come at you, whereas dark colors tend to recede. Generally speaking, white as a background color is by far the most versatile because more colors naturally contrast better against a neutral white background than any other single color. When you choose a background color for a custom sign other than white, you limit your choices for colors that will both stand out and "go with" that background color. That's not a good thing or a bad thing - it's just something to keep in mind when making color selections. These 14 color combinations for lettering were tested for readability at a distance.

Contrast is one of the easiest design principles to grasp. After all, it's easy to see how two objects are different. Just be careful: you don't want everything in your design to contrast stand out. Viewers won't be able to decide what's important if everything is contrasting. And that can distract from a message. Essentially, contrast creates visual interest by placing two different objects next to one another.

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How can you create more visual interest? There are a lot of ways by varying;. I have created an imaginary business for our discussion of design principles.

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It's a team of certified financial advisors. To the right is the beginning of a logo for The Professional Group with examples to show how you can build contrast into your designs. I've introduced contrast via size in the design above. I've made the most important word, Professional, the largest. Contrast by typography. Now we've added Times Square, a serif font, to the Standard Block, sans serif font. Above is an example of contrast by emphasis. Now "the" and "group" are in italics.


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Contrast can be as simple as having one part of a title in a regular font, and one part in a bold or italics font. Now here's an example of contrasting colors. Except that these colors don't really differ all that much, do they? Because the words "the" and "group" are small and italic, the black text appears almost gray. Both the blue and the gray are fairly similar in color. You know there are two colors in the logo above, but it is almost hard to tell that it's blue and black.

Just above is an example of contrast by value. All of the words are in the same blue color, but the value of the blue color is lighter in the words "the" and "group" than in the word "Professional". Once again I've made the important word in this logo — "Professional" — stand out by making it a darker value. You want to emphasize the important points.

There's no doubt that the blue and green above contrast. Not only do they contrast in color, they contrast in feeling, too. Blue is a cool color and green is a fresh color. I think that there's little doubt that the final logo is more interesting than the original logo, even though it's not really a finished logo. Contrast is what makes it a visually stimulating design. Instead of plain, ordinary and boring, there is visual interest and a corporate look and feel to the design. Not every sign needs graphics.

For example, this type of sign with text only can quickly build awareness with thousands of views per day! Full color graphics create the highest awareness of all sign categories. Borders are often recommended whenever automobile traffic is the intended audience.

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A border regulates the reading space and brings focus directly to the center of the sign. Of course, there are a variety of other shapes like circles and ovals that are available but in the interest of efficiency, let's just deal with the most common shapes for now. When it comes to choosing sizes, most people seem a bit lost.

I can see it in their faces. They just don't know how to go about it mathematically.

How to make a sign - Sign Design Step by Step

So they take their best guess and hope the sign will turn out okay. Think backward! That's right. If you want to size your new signage properly, it should be "reverse engineered". Don't worry, it's easy to do, once you learn this simple secret. After all, people don't read signs. They read the words displayed on signs. But only if the words are easy enough to read at a glance. If the letters are too small or too difficult to read, most people just won't bother.

So focus on choosing the size of your lettering, first. And then fit the sign to the size of the letters. There are two primary factors that determine what size the letters should be. Of course, there are important secondary factors to consider too.