You read correctly - one little color is all it takes to make your custom sign pop with interest and visibility. Why? Because the human eye is trained to look for contrasts, so if you have a well designed custom sign that is monochromatic or at even has a dark color on top of another dark color or a light color on top of another light color, then no matter how original your lettering, slogan, or graphics, your sign will go unnoticed by many potential customers.
So before we get into the particulars of what different colors may mean for your business, go ahead and decide that your custom sign will include at least one color to contrast on a background.
The whole point of your custom sign is to attract people to your message. Making your lettering stand out through the use of color is the most effective way to draw the eyes of passers by to your custom sign. No matter what your custom sign says, people must first be drawn to it in order to read it.
You have two options with the use of color contrast in your custom sign. You can either choose a dark background with light lettering or a light background with dark lettering. Optically speaking, light colors tend to look larger on a dark background than dark colors on a light background, but either style is an acceptable way of using color contrast to increase the effectiveness of your custom sign. The reason for this is that light colors tend to advance while dark colors tend to recede.
That being said, white and off-white backgrounds are still the most popular for custom signs because they provide contrast to almost any color and have no chance of clashing with the main text. However, if you have in mind a different background color for your custom sign, that will work, too, provided you use some type of contrast. Examples are a dark blue background with bright yellow lettering, or a light yellow background with dark green lettering.
Now try to imagine a dark blue background with dark green lettering. The lettering just gets lost in all of that darkness, doesn't it? The use of color can really lend to a creative and artistic one-of-a-kind custom sign - just make sure viewers can read it by using contrast. Even highlighting a light or bright color with black or gray around the letter's edges makes a word more visible and easy to read.
Different colors convey different emotions, and depending on your business, you will want to choose a color that speaks to your message. For example, pink will always be a soft, feminine color, while purple suggests wealth and authority. Purple is also popular with artistic people and businesses that have a unique flair. Red is an emotionally strong color, inciting passion and strength. White is a contemporary color while also a refined color, appearing fresh and pure. Blue is warm and soothing, while green is earthy and indicative of vitality.
Yellow is actually the most complicated of the colors, as it is warm and cheery, yet is also used for warning signs and is associated with cowardice. Yellow can be serious and professional, or bright and whimsical. Yellow is the most versatile of the base colors and can be very effective in signs if used to send the correct message.
And don't forget that your custom sign needs at least two colors for contrast, so consider what colors not only look best together on your custom sign but also work best together to deliver your message.
Unless your business is a paint shop, it's best to stay away from too many colors on your custom sign. In fact, even if your business is a paint shop, visually, your custom sign will still be more effective if your use of several colors is limited to one space of the sign or even in the sign lettering. Just as too many words can clutter a custom sign, too many colors can overwhelm people trying to read your sign as they drive by your business. One to two colors on a white background is a safe bet for effective contrast and interest on your custom sign.
Remember the rules of using color in your custom sign: always use contrast, convey a message through the use of color, and don't overwhelm your custom sign with too many colors. Following these principals, your custom signage will appear vivid and vibrant and make your message stand out.