by Peter Higgins, Marketing Coordinator & Web Manager
Yard signs get noticed. If a yard sign is poorly designed, the message can be missed, but the presence of the sign gets noticed. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that your yard sign has an effective and eye-catching design in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Let’s talk about why yard signs work. Advertisements in places where one expects to see advertisements tend to get passed over and ignored. Think about TV commercials, billboards, and ads on public transportation. We expect to see ads in these places and we’ve become used to ignoring them. We are inundated, and it all just becomes noise. For an ad to stand out in such a place, it must do something extra-special to grab our attention.
But … When a new yard sign suddenly appears in front of your neighbor’s house or along your route to work, you notice. You are being shown a new ad in a context where there are not normally advertisements.
If you have any doubts this is true, think about yard signs during a political season. When those first few signs start to pop up, you notice. Whether the sign is for your candidate, the opponent, or someone you’ve never heard of, interest is piqued. As it gets closer to the election, however, and there is a sign on every other lawn, it all tends to slide back into the territory of “places you expect to see ads”. It becomes clutter.
If your business is in an industry where you think yard signs could be an effective way to advertise, give it a try. It is important to get your design right, however, or you are just wasting money.
The number one rule for yard sign design is “short and simple.” We’ve all seen those signs that have more information than you could possibly read as you’re driving past. Some of these may be beautiful pieces of artistic design, but if it doesn’t convey the message to the intended audience, what’s the point?
The fewer words you can get away with putting on your yard sign, the better. Company name plus phone number OR website will usually do the trick. If your website address and company name are long but matching (as is the case with Denver Print Company), you can even try just throwing a “.com” after the company name and leaving it at that. For example, a yard sign such as this might work for us.
You’re also going to want to design your sign with eye-catching elements that will stand out in a front-lawn environment. In other words, a camouflage-print yard sign might be a bad idea. Bright pops of color and stark contrasts are usually a good way to go.
Though a bit more expensive, die-cut yard signs are also something that will grab attention. Die-cut signs are cut to a shape, instead of being rectangular. In a world of rectangles, a unique or unexpected shape can really stand out.
The final design-related decision is, “how big?” The standard yard sign size is 24 inches by 18 inches. Unless you have a specific reason to go with a non-standard size, there’s no need to over-think the size of your yard sign. 24” x 18” is the standard size for a reason. It works perfectly for most applications. Any smaller, and the sign becomes hard to read and easier to miss. Having it any larger can often be pointless. If you’re just trying to fit more words on it, don’t bother. Passers-by won’t have time to read them all anyway. Simplify your message.
If you’re just trying to “go big”, keep in mind that signs larger than the standard size are much more susceptible to flopping over or getting blown away by the wind. 24” x 18” signs hit that happy medium of big-enough-but-not-too-big.
Another size consideration is the size of the text. Remember, most of the people who see your yard sign will only have a few seconds to look at it. Make sure they can understand what they’re looking at in that amount of time. Thick sans serif fonts generally work best. A small cursive font that takes a moment to figure out is not a good choice.
If you’re still having trouble deciding what direction to go with your yard sign, let our graphic design team at Denver Print Company help you out. Our designers have designed countless yard signs and they know what works. Give us a call!