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Step 5: Negative Space--Sometimes it's What Is Not There that Counts

If the sign code allows an 8' wide by 4' high sign--should every square inch of that 32 square feet be filled with letter and graphics? There are sign makers that will fill up the board, but will that accomplish the first step discussed here?

If the sign needs to be read from a distance, the letters need to be large, but there also needs to be space between the letters because the farther the reader is from the sign, the closer together the letters appear. This can blur the word into a jumble of color.

The negative space between words is also paramount to the effectiveness of the sign. Exterior signs have a lot to deal with--traffic, speed, competition with other signs, lighting--it's important not to make the sign conflict with itself by putting too much information within its borders.

The blank space on the sign is money well spent, especially if the store is in a high density, high traffic area. If people driving by can't read the sign because of the crowded letters and words, the sign is useless.

Be sure to follow step 5 and have enough negative space between letters and words so that your customers can find your store.

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