Contrast and Color
Color and contrast are very important elements in the effective communication of your message. While colors tend to convey different messages or feelings, they also work in various ways to provide contrast together.
Ease of reading is greatly affected by the contrast between background and foreground. The greater the contrast, the better the readability. Remember that the environment in which the sign will be displayed is another contrast factor to consider.
- Black sign background – lettering will stand out more than on other background colors, but the background can be overwhelming if the lettering is small. A good choice for office building signs, visually overwhelming environments, hotel signs, and indoor signs.
- White sign background – most effective for most color combinations. It tends to absorb its environment so it is best with lower contrast lettering. A good choice for museums, offices, retail signs, and hospital signs.
- Yellow sign background – ideal for use in busy and crowded settings. Yellow with black lettering is an especially effective combination. A good choice for direction signs, public signs, and signs in visually cluttered environments.
A commonly used reference for color compatibility selection is the color wheel. It shows colors divided into primary colors and secondary colors, and also shows complementary colors:
- Primary colors:
Blue, Red, Yellow
- Secondary colors:
Green, Orange, Violet
- Complementary colors:
Red–Orange, Red–Violet, Yellow–Orange, Yellow–Green, Blue–Violet, Blue–Green
Examples of Common Color Associations
- BLACK – elegant, formal, powerful
- WHITE – light, pure, clean
- RED – assertive, strong, determined
- YELLOW – joyful, happy, energetic
- BLUE – trust, wisdom, calm
- GREEN – fresh, environmental, relaxed
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"These efforts…brought a multitude of complimentary comments from the attendees of our open house about not only the aesthetic look of the awning, but also the location identification, value it provides our customers… [The awning] served as one of the key highlights of the day, and in my opinion, helps convey the quality image we want to present to our customers."
"From April 1st, 2010, through September 2010, ABC Signs completed 4 projects for us and received a 100% evaluation rating. Our account managers noted that the installation was completed on time and to our satisfaction following our processes, procedures, and scope of work. Communication and responsiveness to phone calls, emails, etc. was rated excellent along with our overall satisfaction with ABC Signs."
“Thank you to you and your company for such a wonderful sign. We have had so many compliments. It tops off our new offices with style. The entire process went smoothly from how the logo could be made into a sign to the pleasant professionalism of the installers.” Rhonda C. Small Business Owner