An Adventure in Marketing

Marketing opportunities are all around us. Some of us see them when we close our eyes and some of us see them when we go on vacation. We let our Graphic Designer leave for a week this Spring, and while we managed to survive, she was making some marketing observations.

“To Overland Expo!” That was I told them. Driving to Arizona and back in a 50-year-old vehicle with a tent perched on a trailer. What sorts of things did I see on the way? Well, of course everywhere there were billboards and storefront signs trying to outdo one-another with something clever or no-nonsense, but I noticed a three key things underneath the surface of my destinations:

Continue reading An Adventure in Marketing

Banners are Not Business Cards, Part 3

bilboard that says "if you were waiting for a sign, this is it."Maximizing your investment with optimum sign placement

My previous blog talked about maximizing legibility through use of optimum letter fonts, line spacing, and color contrast. With that in mind, placement and location also play an important part in the design process.

Let’s talk about placing your sign on the roadway:

If possible you should try to take advantage of stop signs and lights near your business.

Consumers, who have only a few seconds to allocate to a sign when they are driving, prefer signs that can be located easily, read quickly, with logos that are understandable.

For example, choose a location where drivers have time to react to the sign. At a red light, they’ve got all the time in the world to read the sign and decide to turn.

When they are driving by at normal speeds they have only 2 to 3 seconds to spend reading the sign.

Since weather and wind are factors for outdoor banners, keep these in mind when deciding the best location. Using durable outdoor banner stands along with the strong vinyl material will keep the message out front longer for all to see.

Placing your sign on a structure:

When placing a banner on a wall remember that vinyl banners are not expected to last forever, but with proper installation, you can significantly increase the durability of vinyl banners. Here are a couple tips:

  • Use anchors for every grommet to reinforce the mounting.
  • When installing outdoors on walls of buildings, screw or drill washers and screws directly on the building if permission had been granted to do so. Stretch the Vinyl Banner tight to keep any gusts from pushing it out.
  • If you plan on rotating your banners/signs install eye hooks into the wall instead of screws. Doing this will make the replacement process quicker and more convenient.

Please remember placing a flag, A-frame, banner in front of your business or on the roadway must conform the local rules and regulations set by your county or city.

That’s a Wrap!

horse trailer wraphorse trailer wrap

We put the finishing touches on this fabulous horse trailer wrap in March. It was a pretty impressive size! Backcountry Horsemen of California helps maintain the trails in CA for all of us to enjoy, and it was a wonderful experience donating our time and resources to this cause.

Part 2: Banners are not Business Cards

As promised in my last blog about the importance of letter size on a banner, our next step is to take a look at the importance of contrast and font.

Good contrast is very important! Just like a sign with small letters is not readable, a sign with poorly contrasting colors or letters is also not readable. When choosing colors we keep in mind that certain ones should not be paired together. For example, we know that colors on the opposite end of the color wheel should not be used in text/background combinations without some color manipulation. Take a look at the color and contrast combinations below and you can pretty much come to your own conclusions as to what works and what doesn’t.

Image of yellow type and blue back, black type and yellow back, green type and red back, blue type and green back

In regards to font take a look at the fonts below. You can see that Helvetica and Tahoma are a couple fonts that are read easily from a distance. Now take a look at Old English or Edwardian Script. These may be elegant fonts but should never be used on signage.


List of fonts that are readable from a distance

image of Edwardian Script typeface

Old English Typeface is hard to read from a distance




Hold on to your seats because my next blog will be addressing the importance of placement.

Banners are Not Business Cards, Design it Right!

I’ve seen great designers lost in how to create an eye catching, easy reading banner. It’s no wonder you may be a little nervous. Don’t just take your best shot and hope it turns out right. Take the time to plan ahead.

The reverse thinking approach is your first step in creating an engaging and easy-reading banner. In other words start by figuring out what size the letters should be. After that you can move on to the font, color, contrast and finally the banner dimensions.

Today’s blog is going to address the letter size and its importance.

Let’s suppose you need a banner above the door of your business. How far away do you want potential customers to be able to read your message? The letter height recommended for optimal visibility at 60’ away is 6”. Of course making the letters a little bigger won’t hurt either, considering the amount of time they have to read your sign. Here are some average view times:

  • Driving past – 2.2 seconds

  • Walking through a store – 5.7 seconds

  • Traveling a busy trade show – Less than a second

Be on the watch for my next blog on font requirements and color/contrast!