As the owner of Forerunner Signs & Graphics, I am blessed to work with an amazing team of experts.  Every day, I see them work with our customers to produce the highest-quality signs (from design to material) to better their business.  And many times they run across business owners who have a certain thought in mind and that thought could actually hurt their business.  So, my team advises, teaches and explains the pros and cons of a variety of options to help our customers.

After all, having the right sign for your business is a big deal.  We take great pride in our work because your business sign is the first thing people will see when coming into (or passing by) your building. The wrong design can be off-putting for a lot of people, and can even turn potential customers away.


So what makes the perfect sign design for your company? Here are some things me and my staff ask our customers to consider:

Color Combination

One of the most common errors that businesses make with their signage is the color scheme. There are some colors that just do not mix (yellow and white for example). Make sure that the background color complements the color of the font.

You can also opt for just having the logo be the main focal point of the sign. However, that can be a bit damaging if the logo doesn’t reveal the name of the company. McDonald’s can get away with this because everyone knows that the Golden Arches mean, but expecting everyone to know that a big yellow S means that they are passing Simmons Auto Repair is crazy.


Although it doesn’t take a graphic designer to come up with height, it’s still very important to consider when making a sign design. Here is a quick breakdown on the correct height for signs, no matter which road you are on.

12 feet high if the speed limit is 25 mph, 20 feet for 30 mph, 35 feet for 45 mph, 50 feet for 55 mph and 75 feet for freeways. This will give your sign the greatest visibility, so make sure to plan accordingly.


Making sure your sign design is visible at any time of the day is very important. Even when the business is closed, people will still be able to see your advertising overnight. You will want to make sure to choose the correct illumination, however.

Some color schemes will not match well with certain types of illumination, so careful planning is necessary. Choosing bulbs to illuminate the background color to make it pop at night is a great way to gather attention. If you think of the Citgo sign at Fenway Park, it’s a perfect example of great illumination and sign design. Although people tend to overlook it during the day, it really livens up the sky at dusk.


It’s not good to have an abundance of wordage on a sign design. It’s too busy, and people will not pay attention to it for more than a second or two when driving by. If you do have vital contact information, make sure to change the size of the sign design accordingly. However, it may be best to make a sign that simply contains the logo, while adding an additional sign below it with a phone number. You don’t need an address, people already know where it is.

Now that you know some of the general tips for making the perfect sign design, it’s time to put them to use. Work with designers to pick the perfect logo for your business as this will be the first thing everyone sees.

We understand that there are a lot of options out there to choose from.  Our team has more than 40 years combined experience and we would love to put that to work for you.  Contact the experts at Forerunner Signs today!

Michael Ryan