Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it?” While you can’t control what tone of voice, accent, or fluctuation your costumer will read your sign in, finding the right typography can be a major influence. For those out of the graphic design realm, typography may sound like the science of typing, or how to use a type writer. It is actually more of an art form; how designers arrange type to help your message say much more than it would in Times New Roman on white paper.

Do you see what I mean?

example font

Determining the right typeface, spacing, color, and alignment can take designers hours.

Knowing which details they are looking at can help you better communicate to your design team what you are looking for.

Know your style

When first choosing a font for your sign, you are met with thousands of options. One way designers simplify their choice when starting out is by choosing a style. A few styles designers choose between are serif, san serif, script and display. Serifs are small lines which accentuate the beginnings and endings of a character. Times New Roman is an example of a serif font which is generally used for body copy. San serifs are fonts without serifs, like helvetica. Script fonts are those which resemble something that is hand written and are generally used to express a personal message or note. Display fonts are more specialized fonts which are generally not used for body copy such as The beach. Assess your message and tone to help lead you into the right style.(http://www.noupe.com/essentials/icons-fonts/a-crash-course-in-typography-the-basics-of-type.html)

Be aware of space

White space is a powerful thing.

Designers look at space as a way to guide the reader’s focus. When discussing space, designers use three key ingredients: kerning, tracking and leading. Kerning is the space between a set of letters. Tracking is the space between letters in an entire word. Leading is the space between two lines of text. Changing up these elements can make a   b i g   difference in how something is read and reread. (http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/typography-terms-introduction) 

Accentuate

Have you ever boughten a new highlighter and started to test it out on every page, every line, and every word of your text book? Once you were done, was there really anything highlighted? The same rules apply to design. Using bold words to catch your reader’s eye only works if there is contrasted white space and unbolded type. Communicate how you want your information to flow on your sign with your graphics team. If you still aren’t getting the desired results, suggest adding in some accents. Remember the most powerful accents can come for very subtle differences. Don’t get highlighter happy!

For more information on creating a custom sign for your business, click here. (http://kachinasigncenter.com/custom-signs/)