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Don't end up with signs that nobody can read.


This blog is a hall of shame for sucky signs. The purpose is to inform you by showing you common problems with signs and sign layouts so you can avoid the same problems.

These directional signs were only 10 feet away from where the picture was taken. That's extremely close in the sign world.
Yet these signs are impossible to read.  The text is microscopic. 
This is why it's important to pick a sign company  that knows how to design directional signs. They can be the prettiest signs in the world but if nobody can read them, you've just wasted your money.  And no, putting two of them next to each other doesn't help make them any easier to read.

Poor color choices.
This is a common problem when ordering online from print shops with online design apps where you pick a template with a horrible background and arrange text in colors that don't display accurately. This is what you get, a banner that can't be read from the road.

  Avoid online design apps and templates like the plague. The colors and designs may look good on your computer screen but it can end up looking much different on the actual printed product. It may look pretty online but in real life, if nobody can read it, you've just wasted your money. Rocket Signs knows how to design banners to be eye-catching but more importantly, they're designed for optimum readablity.

This looks like the result of another template & online design app victim.
It's a 12x18" yard sign with two words and a web address that can't even be read from 20 feet away.

  Avoid online design apps and templates like the plague. It may look really awesome on your screen but in real life, if nobody can read it, you've just wasted your money. Rocket Signs knows how to design banners to be eye-catching but more importantly, they're designed for optimum readability. And Rocket Signs offers expert design for FREE.

Take a good look... This is NOT the way to make a banner.

Rather than putting in hems along all 4 sides, the cheapskate who made this banner used small squares of reinforcing tape only where a grommet was put in. This is a very weak banner and is susceptible to being torn. Especially how it is suspended tightly with ropes.

The lesson to be learned from this is, if you're shopping for a banner, ask questions about how it's made. If it's an extremely cheap price, it's probably because corners where cut. A banner that gets torn hours after going up isn't a bargain. It's a rip off.

The layout for this banner also needs a lot  improvement. The flag icon is taking up too much space, leaving the most important text to be crammed in. There's extraneous text and it's not arranged in a logical order. It's a banner, not a business card for goodness sakes. A word to the wise... pick a sign company that not only knows how to make a quality banner, but also knows how to design one to be effective.  Rocket Signs won't make you choose from templates that don't accommodate your copy.

This 12x18 yard sign not only has a terrible layout and text that is too small to be read from the road, the ink is fading.

As more and more shopping center sign stores try to compete on the increasingly popular yard signs, they're not screen printing them but instead many are using large inkjet printers. These printers put down a very thin ink film that is not as brilliant to begin with and also fades very quickly.

If you're shopping for yard signs, ask how they're made. The best looking and longest lasting yard signs will be screen printed or made with vinyl lettering.

Its clear that the person(s) responsible for this design have no idea how shakerboards are used or the kinds of distances the copy needs to be read from, but this is yet another example of a pretty sign that people can't read.

The colors don't work and the wording is too small for the 6 lane road that it's being used on. And besides, shakerboards aren't intended to be billboards for cars to read as they're whizzing by. . The sign is constantly moving! Shakerboards are for 2-3 words tops, or a widely recognizable company logo.

In a world of increasingly more restrictive sign codes, shakerboards are a valuable tool for advertising. Hire a company like Rocket Signs with a design team that knows how to lay out shakerboards so they will be effective. Because if people can actually read them, they WILL get customers in the door.

Here's yet another PRETTY sign that no one can read.

The picture was taken from only one traffic lane away. That's about 12 feet. That's extremely close in the sign world. And all I got is "vote pizza".
It tells me nothing about the company that put it there or what it is they're offering because I can't read it.

These signs are impossible to read.  The text is microscopic.  Valuable space was wasted on colorful borders that could have been used to enlarge the text to a size that people could read from 12 feet away. It does look like really light copy afterall. It should be readable from a much greater distance.

Don't end up with pretty signs that nobody can read. People will not get out of the car to read a sign.
Pick a sign company  that knows how to design yard signs to be readable and effective. They can be the prettiest signs in the world but if nobody can read them, you've just wasted your money.  

More signs with microscopic text that nobody can read, even after pulling off onto the shoulder.
The yelllow sign is a 12x18 with SEVEN lines of copy! That's way too much and there's just way too many words on each line.

The black sign is poorly laid out. All you can really read is the phone number. The most important text, that should have been emphasized is the smallest and hardest to read.  What a waste.

The lesson of the day is, people will not get out of the car to read a sign. If your signs can't be read from the road, you've just wasted your money.
Rocket Signs knows how to design yard signs to be readable and effective.  Rocket Signs knows how to get the phone ringing.

This is an 18x24 yard sign, that in English, reads "Need a Doctor" except it's misspelled.
Aside from the spelling, this sign is the product of a sign designer that didn't want to make the effort to make the sign more eye-catching or appealing.

They left a lot of empty space on that sign that could have been used to enlarge the text or add the punctuation.

It's a readable sign. But it's a boring sign.

It's possible to have both a sign that's readable and not boring, I promise.
You just need the design team at Rocket Signs. Design is free at Rocket Signs and even though it's free, it reflects the experience of having designed  thousands of different layouts, including layouts in Spanish.

I've got two and a half complaints with this sign layout.
The font used for the logo is a poor font choice for signs. The line thickness in the letters is very thin which translates to low legibility. Even if this font was the company's logo, it still could have and should've been thickened up by the graphic artist so  it's easier to read from a distance. It's a step that takes 2 seconds in modern software.

My second complaint is the arrow is too scrunched in. It would look a lot more professional to have used a different type of arrow that would end up fitting in the narrow space and also end up being easier to see from a distance.

And lastly, the half complaint that I have is with the color choice. The pink color used should be lighter so that it contrasts better with the black. I say "half" a complaint because it may just be the picture causing the pink to look darker than it really is.

Here's more  signs with microscopic text and poor layouts. They put two of those yellow ones on this corner.
Had they used the design team from Rocket Signs to design their signs, they'd only need one sign because it could be easily readable from an even greater distance than the two of those signs combined.

Another thing that can be pointed out from this picture is you'll notice that signs are placed right in front of the D.O.T. street sign posts. This offers two advantages. The sign post helps to keep the sign from bending in the wind and it also keeps people from running over the signs in a vehicle.

Those two on the very end are susceptible to being flattened from trucks making turns. Best to set them back a few feet and of course, have a sign that people can read.