14 Tips To Great Logo Signage Design

Filed in Business Idea by on January 16, 2023 0 Comments

Building signage design: Signs play important roles in advertising and marketing efforts for companies across all industries. F or signs to look visually appealing and function properly, trained professionals must install and maintain them. Being a sign installer can be a fulfilling and challenging opportunity for individuals who enjoy working with their hands. In this article, we discuss how to become a sign installer and the responsibilities, work environment and salary associated with the role.

A great logo is more than images and words, a good logo tells a story about your company–who you are, what you do and what you stand for. That’s a lot to ask of one piece of art, which is why it’s important that you take the time to do it right. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. The steps below will take you through the process of designing a logo that will successfully brand you in the marketplace.

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Building signage design

What is a sign installer?

A sign installer is a skilled tradesperson who specializes in the installation, maintenance and removal of signage. Businesses rely on various types of signs to advertise their products and services, i ncluding:

  • Billboards placed on freeways and other high-traffic roadways

  • Electric signs with lighting elements

  • Small signs placed in front of businesses

Some sign installers focus on certain types of signs, while others work on all varieties. A sign installer might work for the business that maintains the sign in front of its building, or they might work for a company that installs and maintains signs for many clients.

What does a sign installer do?

A sign installer’s main duties involve sign installation, removal and maintenance. When performing these tasks, sign installers often:

  • Transport signs to their new locations on large trucks

  • Perform repairs on existing signs

  • Remove signage from one location and move it to another

  • Replace the design on an existing sign

  • Work on the electrical components used to illuminate a sign for nighttime visibility

  • Follow specifications for installation and placement processes

  • Have a familiarity with sign types and how to install and maintain each

  • Follow strict safety protocols and regulations for sign placement and installation

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    Building signage design

Working as a sign installer might also require knowledge of and familiarity with metal fabrication and electrical wiring. Some sign installers fabricate metal components, such as columns and frames, to ensure a sign’s safety. Billboards and signs that require visibility in the dark include electrical components and wiring, which the sign installer connects and maintains to make sure the lights work properly.

Work environment for a sign installer

Sign installers primarily work outdoors, as most signs are in outdoor settings for maximum visibility. They work in changing and sometimes challenging weather conditions. Sign installers often climb ladders to work on tall signs and are comfortable with heights. They are physically fit and can perform strenuous labor, including climbing and lifting heavy equipment.

Although sign installers typically have set schedules, they might work after hours or on weekends to handle urgent situations involving signs. If a client is paying for a sign to advertise their business and the sign doesn’t meet their needs due to damage or a technical issue, they might require an immediate solution. Sign installers often work in the evenings and on weekends when needed.

How to become a sign installer

Taking certain steps can help you prepare for a career as a sign installer:

1. Earn a high school diploma

Most sign installation positions require at least a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. During high school, look for courses that might help you learn important skills for the trade, such as welding or electrical work. After you earn your diploma, consider taking additional courses through a trade school or college to gain more knowledge.

2. Develop the necessary skills

A sign installer job requires certain skills in addition to an education. You can start building these skills before you begin working as a sign installer. Some of the most important skills in this role include paying attention to detail, following directions and being organized. You can take online and in-person courses to build these skills on your own.

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Building signage design

3. Get a commercial driver’s license

Because sign installers often transport heavy materials, it’s helpful to have a commercial driver’s license to drive trucks to installation and maintenance sites. Earning your commercial driver’s license can help you stand out among applicants. To earn this license, complete a CDL program and pass an exam that shows your skills and knowledge. Most CDL programs take between three and six weeks to complete.

4. Look for an apprenticeship

A sign installation apprenticeship is the first step toward becoming a journeyman sign installer, which lets you work independently and qualify for higher pay. Look for apprenticeship opportunities that allow you to work under a skilled sign installer to gain hands-on experience. You might find an apprenticeship through a local trade school or by searching online for opportunities. Some apprenticeships are through marketing and advertising companies that provide signage for their clients, while others are available through sign companies.

Building signage design

5. Pass a certification exam

Many states require sign installers to earn a certification before working on their own. The certification varies by state, but the exam requires you to demonstrate your knowledge and experience with sign installation and safety measures. Certification programs are also available through the International Sign Association, with options focused on wall signs, freestanding signs, electrical signs and special signs. This association also offers a dedicated safety certification course.

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6. Determine the primary function of your logo.

A logo represents your brand through the use of shape, fonts, color and images. Being clear on why you need a logo can guide your design.

  • Boost recognition. Is your company new or competing in a field with a lot of other players? Having a strong logo can help clients recognize your brand more readily.
  • Create memorability. Consumers shop with their eyes and logos can be easier to remember than names, products and services. Over time, a customer comes to associate your logo with your company.
  • Create trust. Part of bringing in and keeping clients is based on their willingness to trust you. A solid logo that conveys your honesty and integrity can help put clients at ease.
  • Enhance admiration. If clients already have a good impression of your business, you can build on that by creating a logo that is well-regarded for its good looks, cleverness or effective simplicity.

7. Think about your target market.

It’s important to be clear on who your client is and customize the look of your logo to appeal to those who will be using your services.

  • A logo for a florist shop could incorporate a whimsical font and a bright color scheme; this wouldn’t work so well for an auto body repair garage.
  • A logo for a law firm must communicate integrity and strength; not necessarily the look that would work well for a catering company.

Building signage design

8. Decide whether to incorporate your company’s name into the logo.

Of course, you want to build name recognition for your business, but making the name part of your logo design may not always be a good idea.

  • Include the name if it is reasonably distinctive but not yet a household word or if your marketing funds are limited and your goal is to build name recognition.
  • Do not include the name if it is too generic, too long, doesn’t translate well globally (if that’s a consideration) or lacks personality. Leave the name out, too, if you must put your logo on a product, such as a sneaker or a handbag.
  • Think of all the different ways you plan to use your logo. Picture the smallest size you may need; if the company name won’t be readable when the logo is the size of a favicon, it may be best to leave it out of the design.

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9. Follow the company’s color scheme.

If your company has already established the use of certain colors in its signage, advertising and other materials, it’s important that those colors are reflected in the logo.

  • Consistent use of colors builds familiarity. You want customers to be able to mentally “link” your logo to the company.
  • If your company has branded itself with specific colors, the public will have developed a subconscious association with those colors. For example, wikiHow’s color scheme is green.
  • If you don’t yet have an established color scheme for your business, do some research on the psychology of colors so that you can choose appropriately. For example, red signifies strength, passion, energy and confidence but it can also signal danger.

10. Be inspired by but don’t copy successful logos.

While it might be tempting to create something that looks like your favorite corporate logo, it will communicate an unintended message to your audience—that you’re lazy and uninspired.

  • Look at logos of other business similar to yours. Ask yourself what you like and don’t like about them. What works and what doesn’t. Don’t get overwhelmed by looking at too many examples—10 or 12 should be more than enough to give you ideas of what to do and what to avoid.
  • A successful logo should be simple, memorable, timeless and appropriate. Keep these as goals as you play around with ideas.
  • If you’re struggling for ideas, trying using different key word to conduct searches online or use a thesaurus to move your thinking in some new directions.
  • Doodle. Sketch things out and play around with them. Write key words in different fonts. See if something visual sparks an idea.

Building signage design

11. Keep it simple.

Designing a logo is an exercise in restraint. While it may be tempting to try to convey a multitude of messages with your design, trying to do too much will sabotage the success of your logo.

  • Avoid too many colors, multiple fonts and layered images. A confusing or cluttered logo won’t convey a clear message.
  • If there are too many visual elements in your logo, it will be difficult for the customer to process. They won’t know where to look or what it means.
  • Practically speaking, a simple logo is easier and less expensive to reproduce. Since your logo may appear on a variety of items—from letterhead to advertisements to tote bags—simplicity could save you money in the long-run.

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12. Create multiple designs.

In the early stage, you may have several ideas that you want to express in your logo design. Commit them all to paper so that you can see what works and what doesn’t.

  • Even a design that’s a dud can spark an idea or offer one element that you want to retain in the next version of your design.

Building signage design

13. Draw a rough sketch of the design.

You’re better off putting pencil to paper in the initial stages of your logo design process. Sketching is a quick and easy way to get the ideas out of your head and on to paper where you can evaluate them more easily.

  • Plain white paper or simple graph paper make good backgrounds for your pencil sketches.
  • Don’t erase. Designing is not a linear process. Keep the pages with the designs that you didn’t like. They may spark an idea or, upon later examination, offer something of value.
  • Large design companies will often sketch out dozens of pages of logo concepts before they even touch a computer mouse. Take a tip from the pros and focus on your sketches first

14. Show the design to a test market.

It may be tempting to move forward once you’ve come up with what seems to you to be a winning logo, but it’s important to get feedback.

15. Get feedback from people in your target market.

Show your design(s) to a sampling of people who fit the profile of your ideal customer. You may show them multiple designs or simply the one you feel to be the strongest candidate.

  • Ask key questions that will reveal their reaction to the logo. Do they think it’s boring or exciting? Ugly or attractive? Generic or unique? Also check to see what image or message the logo conveys to them, whether they find it easy to read/recognize and if it seems consistent with what they know about your company or about your industry.

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Building signage design

16. Be wary of relying too heavily on family and friends.

While you may want to informally get the opinion of those close to you, their comments may not offer the kind of feedback you’ll find to be most useful.

  • You can use family and friends to test your logo’s memorability. Let them look at the design for a few seconds and then ask them to draw it. If they can remember most of it, then it’s memorable.

17. Make sure that the design is scalable.

Consider all the different ways you may use your logo—in newspaper ads, on signage, on your website. Your logo must function well whether it’s being reproduced in a large or a small format.

  • If a logo has too much detail or lines that are too thin, those elements may get lost or the logo may look too fussy at small sizes.
  • If a logo is drawn to look good only at a business card size, it will tend to appear clunky when reproduced larger.
  • Graphic design programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape will allow you to test the scalability of your design. If you’re working by hand initially, try making copies of your design at different size settings.

18. Create a final draft.

Ultimately, you need to have your logo digitized. You can do this yourself or hire a professional to make it happen for you.

  • Learn a graphic design program. The most used program is Adobe Illustrator but Inkscape is another offering, and it can be downloaded online for free.
    • There are a number of instructional books and websites that can help you learn Illustrator. Community colleges and some continuing education programs offer classes in this design program.
  • Hire a professional graphic artist. If you already have a background in graphic arts, computer-assisted design or you’re a quick study, then you may be able to do it yourself; otherwise, you’re better off putting your work in the hands of a professional.
    • Visit designers’ websites to see their portfolios. You want to choose someone who has experience working with logo design.
    • Ask about turnaround time. Depending on what stage your design is in, you may go through another revision with an artist or he or she may simply reproduce your idea “as-is.” In any case, find out how long it will take from the time you give them your design until you see a finished product.
    • Find out about costs. Again, where you are in your design process will impact the cost of this service. If you need someone to go back to square one with you in your design, that will be more expensive than if you are happy with the logo you’ve created and simply want to have it professionally computerized.
    • Check online services. There are a number of online graphic design services that allow you to pay a set fee and in return receive several logo designs from artists trying to win the job. You choose the design you like best and work with that artist through the completion of the project.

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Building signage design

19. Keep listening.

Once your logo is finished, it’s important that you stay open to feedback on the design.

  • Use social media. If your company has an established online presence, run your logo past those who are connected to you and listen to what they have to say.
  • Try your logo out on your website first. If the response to your logo isn’t positive, it’s easier and less expensive to revise and republish it on your website than to redo printed materials.
  • Get details. If clients say the logo is “confusing” or “difficult to read,” press them for details. The more you can find out before you invest in all of your print collateral, the easier it will be to tweak the design.

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