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Tips for Designing An Effective Sign

You and your graphic designer are ultimately responsible for your sign's readability.
For maximum effectiveness, do not include more than 80 characters.

The Arts Events Office does not provide design services, but we are happy to offer suggestions and advice for laying out an effective  barn sign.

Your artwork must be designed within a 2” x 7” horizontal rectangle. This approximates the actual dimensions of a panel on the side of the Barn Theater. WE CANNOT ACCEPT YOUR ARTWORK IF IT IS NOT 2” X 7”. Artwork can be submitted electronically or by hard-copy. FOAPAL is required prior to painting,

- Be bold. Use simple, striking art and clear type. Small type or very detailed art is not effective on a billboard.

- Use contrasting colors for background and text. Remember, people will not be parked in front of the Barn Theater when they view your sign. (This is VERY different from focusing your attention on the printed artwork in your hands.)

- Be effective: Include only the most essential text. Omit unnecessary text such as the year or the day of the week. Excessive text and small type is impossible to read. It will not help promote your event—it will simply make your Barn Sign more expensive and less effective as an advertising tool.

- Test the readability of your Barn Sign. Print out your draft artwork, and tape it to a wall. Step back 10 feet. Does your sign make an impression on you? Can you read everything? How do photos or other images “read”? Think about abbreviating dates or omitting detailed  information. Less is better.

- Competing for attention: There are four panels on the Barn. Keep in mind that your Barn Sign will appear next to other artwork that will compete with your design. If yours is very "busy" and complicated while the nearby sign is bold and eye-catching, guess whose sign will stand out?

- Make your sign stand out: A Barn Sign that is very bold and well designed will stand out. A sign that is hard to read or confusing with become “invisible” to the viewer.

- Human hand and eye vs. digital process: Since this is not a precise digital process, some variation of your colors is inevitable. Our painter mixes his paints as closely as possible, but you should expect some variation from what you see on your printed art submission.