After countless hours of tweaks and deliberation, you finally have a logo, and you want to show it off. In an ideal world, you can use the same logo on everything. In reality, using a logo in signage is a completely different beast compared to print and digital applications. There are visual and manufacturing limitations to consider.
If you have an intricate logo or one with very thin lines, it will come across beautifully on screen or on paper where you can look at it closely. For building signage, customers will be standing far away or, most likely, in a moving car. Those thin, delicate lines disappear especially when the sun is hitting directly at it.
The logo, itself, may not be the problem. The background or wall color can have a major impact on your sign. Let’s say your logo is blue and you want to put it on a brick wall. The blue will be difficult to see against the red brick normally, but it becomes more difficult when reading it 150’ away going 45mph in a car.
The first solution in this scenario is to use a white version of your logo. It is standard to have black, white and color options for logos. Another solution is to surround your logo in white either as an outline or backer panel. Sign companies typically provide layouts and renderings to help you find the best solution.
Manufacturing limitations is also a factor. Many signs have a limit on how small or large they can be. First, let’s look at the small end of the spectrum. One issue you may encounter, as mentioned earlier, is if your lines are too thin. Can it be cut without breaking? Is it wide enough to add mounting hardware or to fit LEDs inside? This is a common issue for logos that use serif fonts like Times New Roman or Garamond. These fonts typically have thinner strokes and fitting an LED into one of the “feet” can be impossible depending on the size.
On the other side of the spectrum are very large signs. The main concern is material limitations. Aluminum and acrylic sheets come in the standard size of 4’x8’ but can be available up to 12’ long. Vinyl rolls come in limited sizes too. If you do get a very large sign made, transporting the sign or parts can be tricky and expensive. After arrival, the crew will need cranes and hoists to get it out of the truck and onto the building. After all that, you may have a seam or seams going through your sign.
These are things few people consider when creating a logo. Don’t worry, this is why we hire technical designers. It’s our job to figure out all of these issues for you.