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Critique Requested

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by JTBoh, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    The original looks fine. As well as the updates. There are no major design flaws that would make this layout a "fail."

    There is plenty of negative space. Margins are good. I usually look at the treatment of negative space first. It's where most layouts fail. The layout is not crowded. It can be scanned and digested in about one to one-and-a-half seconds, which is just right. Compare this to vehicle graphics that require 5 or 6 seconds or more to read. Such sign work is ineffective and wastes the client's money, and its only real purpose is to make a clueless client feel good.
    Yet, no composition is perfect. There will always be flaws. Still, most tweaks are just tweaks, and not always based on serious design problems.

    For example, the small letters in this layout will suffer from a degree of illegibility. A white letter on a dark background will optically grow in size. It's the irradiation illusion. It can render tight spacing harder to read on a dark background. If these are push-thru letters, illegibility will be intensified by the effect of halation. Halation is when the spaces between the letters fill with light and they may be next to impossible to read from any distance. On lighted signs, especially with dark backgrounds and white letters, letter spacing can be critical and often needs to be increased significantly for legibility. I love tight spacing. We all do. But sometimes compromise is necessary for a sign to do its job. The letter spacing of the small letters is far more important than their style (my opinion, of course). On the other hand, the small lettering is secondary copy, after all, not primary copy, and will require a closer viewing distance anyway.

    A hundred different designers would give a hundred different variations. This is actually part of the beauty of sign design—the infinite variety that is possible. There are dozens of color combinations and compositions that will work well. This particular layout, with its letter style, reflects a design aesthetic that was extremely popular for a short period in history. It is, therefore, a "period" design. This is neither bad nor good. But if it was the designer's goal, he nailed it beautifully.
    • I Appreciate You I Appreciate You x 1
  2. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018
    Good feedback on this thread! Keep us posted with where this project goes.
  3. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    buffalo ny
    Seeing his layout I thought it was Frank Lloyd Wright's stain glass background with an Art Nouveau type style. All late 1800s.
    But then later on he says they want a more modern look than what they have. And, I agree with signbrad's take on it.
  4. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    Thanks Brad for the detailed critique - appreciated.

    If I'm an artist, I'm an accidental one. I took my bare minimum in classes in HS, still can't put pencil to paper worth a lick. If you would've asked me, I probably would have classified the font as "Art Deco". The background was just a simulation of hills. Honestly, there was no design intent other than "err, make it look pretty" lol. Art history is not a strong suit.

    Maybe I should look into it.

    I've been to 3 of FLW's buildings - Robie House, Fallingwater, and Florida Southern College - made it a point to visit. At one time I wanted to be an architect, waaay back when.
  5. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    Customer response:

    "Font - would like something fancier - like the idea of the letter being lit. Can the back ground be made to look metal with some accents?
    Basically the look of the indoor sign loved on your brochure in an outdoor version"

    So... I'm gonna put a grey sign on a grey wall, with blue letters.
    But not before I try to sell this.

    Attached Files:

  6. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    Sent her this as response, now we wait.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    We can make the sign with a metal finish. Any cabinet that is a metal color is going to blend in with the wall. We can make it rectangular as well, and it will align with the lines in the wall.

    But my biggest concern is with the lighting effect. I think that the end-user is seeing the gradient in the blue, and how the effect is cast within the letters. The letters shown in that image are no more than about 5" tall. The radius of projected light from each LED diode is about 3" at full illumination, which causes what we call "hot spots" to appear. Because the hot spots are in a line, it appears that there is a continuous line of higher illumination around the letters. This is an effect that cannot be duplicated with a bare metal cabinet.

    In addition to that - the Pinnacle sign is designed for interior use - the lighting is just standard fluorescent, and not enough to wash out the blue (as opposed to sunlight). The parts you see illuminating on the sign are actually the wall itself. In order to have legibility in daytime and at night, the letters themselves would have to be blue. Below is a quick representation of that.

    I can proceed with providing a full, drawn up version of this, but it's my opinion that it's not nearly as effective, legible, beautiful, or unique as the previous proof.

    On the previous, we can use a metallic copper paint for the copper color, and that alone would give a very cool effect. The font can be swapped out for something less decorative, as needed.
    I posted it on a design forum, prior to sending it to you, for critique - I only do this when I know I have a good design, for tweaks and advice. The comments from other designers were overwhelmingly positive - it is, or was, a good design. I know that in the end, it's up to you, the customer - but I really do think it would work well for the space, both day and night, and help break up the brute force of those walls.

    Please let me know how you'd like to proceed.

    Project Manager

    Attached Files:

  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Sorry, I don't like this latest one at all for so many reasons...... and don't use copperplate.
  8. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    That was the point, lol.
    I'm trying to control the narrative.
  9. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    What's the architectural style of the houses in there? In that area, I would assume late 90s early 2000s florida stucco tract homes? Shouldn't the sign match the style of the neighborhood?
  10. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Sorry, but this is by far the nicest design I've seen in the thread. Perhaps you should subcontract the design work?
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Not that it's my business and no offense, but I'd take a different approach. I wouldn't of sent that email to the customer, instead I would of called them to explain the problem so you can instantly gauge their feedback and guide them. When you get over a paragraph on an email it's better to call.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    Shoresigns - Specific instructions from customer "We don't want to have a magnolia flower, there's like one tree in the entire development". They've had that since 03 iirc.

    Texas - It's for a PM company that we've done like 100k with in the last year. They're the liason with the HOA. Good working relationship, and I can "push back" a little.
    In the end, it's how well we know our customers. My normal method is to provide a detailed email, then follow up with a phone conversation. It lets me make sure I don't miss anything when speaking with them.

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