Caution: Do Not Design and style or Set up Your Outside Signage Just before Consulting This Article


As any university student with a pocket protector can tell you, the mathematical center of a sign lies half way down from its top at the exact middle of its 50% level. But surprising to consumers, the mathematical center in an outdoor sign is in truth NOT the exact same as its optical center.  This anomaly unique to outdoor signs can lead to difficulties in each a sign’s style and placement.

The Optical Center

By the ‘optical center’ of an outdoor sign, I am referring to the area within the sign exactly where the human eye tends initially to concentrate. In outside signage, this optical center is slightly higher (by 4%!) than its mathematical center. This oddity causes confusion because the sign design could appear to be sitting low despite the fact that mathematically centered.

The Style Solution

It’s for this explanation that specialist sign designers adjust style components upwards by about four% within the vertical space of a design and style. Raising these elements to a point slightly larger than the absolute center counteracts the visual imbalance we see if the style is mathematically centered. I’ve seen in practice just how noticeable the difference is from such a basic adjustment! I was skeptical when I very first discovered of this technique–way back in 1987! I am now convinced of its effectiveness, even though, more than my 20+ years of experience.

The Placement of Outside Signs

It isn’t just a sign’s design and style elements that are susceptible to this optical oddity! It also effects the placement of outside signs centered on walls and buildings. (If the sign is supposed to be vertically centered on a wall, for instance, the identical ‘4% rule’ we discussed earlier applies.)

Why This Matters

Having an outside sign that seems to be off center is far more than just a matter of cosmetics. A sign that appears “off-center” has the energy also to have an effect on your customer’s perception of a enterprise.

A sign that appears to have been installed as well low, for example, may possibly convey to a possible client a company’s lack of concern for attention to detail. This may possibly lead the public to wonder, “Why is their sign installed off center?” and ‘Why haven’t they had it corrected?” These silent objections may possibly flash through the consumer’s mind so rapidly that they may not be consciously conscious of them.

It’s for this cause that taking benefit this easy, subtle centering method is so crucial! Observing the ‘4% rule’ in both the design and style and placement of your outdoor signage secures a level of professionalism in a business’s signage that they—as nicely as their buyers–can be proud of.

Highly Successful Business Indicators

A modest 4% improvement in your design and style quality is not all that considerably by itself. But when you use this 13-point checklist, your signage can increase substantially! You can now find out other skilled style tactics in our unique free report, “The Baker’s Dozen.”

For custom quotes and private style assistance, be certain to pay a visit to us at! We’d enjoy to help you with all your outside signage demands.  Request your own free copy of our style guide, ‘The Bakers Dozen.’