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Avoiding Sign Design Clutteritus Part 1: Yard Signs

Posted on Mon, Mar, 08, 2010

Bio HazardThere is a new virus sweeping the country, and although this one is not hazardous to your health, it can be very unhealthy to your wallet and even worse to your business! The virus that I'm referring to is Sign Design Clutteritus; a nasty strain of bad sign design...gone very wrong.

This is the first in the series of many articles on dealing with Sign Design Clutteritus (commonly known as SDC), how it affects various signage designs, and simple ways to beat it. Today were going to talk about how SDC affects custom yard signs, which by their very nature are very susceptible to SDC. These typically 18"x24" sized corrugated plastic signs are usually mass produced in quantities of 50, 100 or more and placed along well traveled roads and highways.

If these corrugated signs are designed well, they have the uncanny ability to act like their much larger Billboard cousins. But when Sign Design Clutteritus finds its way into the design, strange things can happen.  Here are some symptoms:

  • Too many colors: The idea behind color is to evoke an emotion and at the same time provide a visible contrast to text and other yard sign elements. Too many colors make the text and graphics hard to read; especially when your driving by at fifty miles per hour!
  • Too much text: I know, as a business owner there is a lot that you want to tell the world.  Your passionate about what you do and you don't want a single drop to be missed.  I can empathize with you, I'm the same way. Without having someone else to be my critical eye, I can assure you that my corrugated plastic signs would read like Moby Dick.
  • Too many numbers: Hey I know you have an office number, an 800 number, a cell phone number, fax, social security, tax id...okay I think you get the drift. SDC thrives with too many of these on your custom yard signs.

Now that we've discovered the ways that SDC can easily find its way into your yard sign design, here are the 2 rules you need to follow to ensure fantastic yard signs:

  • Rule #1: Keep it simple. Remember you are likely printing 50-100 of these pint size billboards and strategically placing them on well traveled roads.  Simple, highly contrasting color yard signs with just enough text and contact information will ensure a very healthy recall rate among viewers...and more importantly make the phone ring!
  • Rule #2: Follow rule #1.  Sorry, you probably saw this coming a million miles away.  Have someone, particularly your graphic designer be the angel on your shoulder.  They have a very keen idea for symptoms of SDC, and can stop it dead in its tracks. When your designer recommends and alerts you of this potential disaster, take a second, step out of your "I got to list everything" mode and your corrugated plastic yard signs will thank you via the "ring, ring, ring" of the telephone!

In our next segment of Avoiding Sign Design Clutteritus, we'll talk about another popular cousin of the billboard and how to save yourself countless wasted miles of driving.  Stay tuned! 


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Tag: yard signs, lawn signs, coroplast signs