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Interior Signs

Simply put, a sign that fails to communicate is worth nothing. Perhaps even less than nothing. If you've ever scratched your head while trying to decipher which directional arrow applies to which door, then we're sure you'll agree that the message is the most important part of the sign.


That said, you're the customer here. If you want a black background with off-black letters in Old English Script, we can do that. But first we'll make sure that's what you want.

Rules of Thumb When Designing a Sign:

Visual Center: It's simple enough to deduce that the center of a rectangular sign has equal space to the left and right, but the eye instinctively looks to a point roughly 2/3 of the way up. It probably has something to do with the fact that we look at other people's eyes and they're above the center point on the face, but the main point here is that if you only have one line of text, it's easier to read when it's slightly above the geometric center.

Distance: A one-inch tall letter is visible at ten feet distance. Two inches, twenty feet away, and so on. There's probably a metric conversion for this, but it's nowhere near as elegant.

Background space: The total of the letter heights on a sign should not exceed half the height of the sign. Put five lines of 1 1/2 inch tall text on a ten-inch-tall background, and it's visible at fifteen feet, but not very legible.

Contrast: Sometimes people try to pick sign colors that will "match" their office color scheme. They are seldom happy with the results. We often suggest that the letter color should tie to a design element in the building, and the background color provide adequate contrast.

More than one way to make it:

Engraved on the front: This is the bulk of what we do. Plastic engraving material with a surface color and a contrasting core color has the letters cut through the surface to reveal the contrasting core. It's straightforward and fast, provided we have the right color combination available.

Engraved from the back: This way, the sign stock is usually a clear acrylic at the core with a background color color on back. We engrave the sign backwards and use a contrasting color to fill the letters. There's practically no limitation to your color combinations this way, and the letters are hidden away from dirt and bored fingernails, but the process is slower and more expensive.

Vinyl letters: (Pictured above) Just about every town has a sign shop where they cut thin letters out of a sheet of sticky-back vinyl. Depending on where the bored fingernails live, the letters can be placed on the opposite side of a window or glass door. But there's a knack to applying them, and they are not forgiving if you do the job wrong.

Silk-screened sign: If you have hundreds of signs which are all alike, silk-screening is a printing process that becomes very cost-effective. We can put you in touch with the right source if this is what you want.

Dimensional letters: Letters, Logos, just about anything, can be generated and mounted on a wall. You can get a woodgrain, a metallic look, the look of stone, enough depth for a dramatic shadow line. You also can get a tremble in your hand as you write the check. But if this is what you want, nothing else will do. Measure the wall, take a digital photo of it, and call us.