Close your eyes. Imagine I teleported you to a random busy street, in a random city of an unknown country – I bet you within a matter of seconds and a few glances you will be able to answer the question whether you’re in a developed country or a developing country. The difference in visible.
Our sub-conscious is one of the most powerful computers. It gathers data, analyses it and feeds us the conclusions within a matter of nanoseconds. It has analysed your surroundings, compared it with all your knowledge of how developed and developing countries look, and spit out a result. This functioning is hidden from our conscious mind, however when we choose to analyse it, we can trace the path the subconscious used to get to the result.
So if you trace your path, you will realize that your subconscious has has gathered data about how clean the road is, how organized the traffic is, how organized the buildings are, how broken the footpath is.. but most importantly – the signage.
Now you might call it an occupational bias – since we’re committed to making signage that look spectacular year after year – but you will not be able to deny that it’s a really important consideration of how organized a street looks, if not the most.
Developing countries will tend to have shabby, unplanned signage – usually inferior quality with broken lights, or cluttered lettering. But having visited many developed nations, I am always stupefied by the quality of signage which exists even in the smallest of kiosks.
Some of the thumb rules we follow at making signage look better, which you can incorporate next time you get the chance
- Less is more: Never clutter signage. Always try to have the least possible information, only the necessary information. Look up to Apple in their communication for this
- Stop using neon lights, LED is the future: Tubelights are unreliable, and prone to damage/breakdown. In comparsion LEDs are much cheaper on the electricity consumption and are much more reliable in terms of life and brightness.
- Flex is passé: Using printed flex is a technology of the past. There are much better ways of making signage like ACP. (Options available on www.amitoje.com). If you insist on using flex, always go in for back to back printing.
- Face-lit 3D letters: If you use 3D letters, make sure only the face is lit and edges are blocked. That makes the letters more readable, and look more premium.
- Avoid hot-spots like poisonous snakes: It is important that light should be evenly spread, and LED dots should not be visible on the front. That makes it very distracting.
- Go in for a trusted signage supplier: Most signage will fail after a point of time because someone who made it did not understand heat dissipation of LEDs. As a result LEDs turn blue or simply die very soon. Partner with someone who has the relevant experience.
So while the government and the citizens do their job at making the roads better, the country cleaners, the responsibility for improving signage rests on people like us – the marketers, the signage makers and the property owners. We must endeavor to make that visible difference by doing our part.