Sign & Digital Graphics

April '19

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • April 2019 • 17 I got hired at a sign company as a graphic designer to design signs. But I quickly discovered I would have to create designs that would need to be built into a dimensional product. See, I came from the print world. I assumed my designs would just... work. My design skills have immediately expanded into graphic designer/sign designer. Before this job, I had no idea what a sign designer was. I had to quickly learn to create drawings that amount to a plan to build, among many other things. I had no idea where to start. During my first day at work, I imme- diately realize that sign design is much more than design. Sign design (as it is mistakenly named) requires a graphic designer to know how to create a tech- nical drawing called a mounting detail and even a ground sign installation page. Even more, a design I create would be more than just a fanciful graphic design, it would have to accomplish three things: provide instruction to a viewer, as well as properly convey an identity (such as a brand) for a com- pany or organization. My design may also have to include wayfinding to guide a pedestrian or driver to a destination. This is all new to me! Where do I start? And how long will it take to learn this so-called sign design? A question about learning: how long does it take someone to learn graphic design? One year, two years, three years? It varies on the person. When you find an answer to this conundrum, you may come closer to an approximate time it will take to learn professional sign design. In some cases, it may be safe to add a couple of years to the answer. Since 2002, Mike Burke has been the lead sign designer for three electric sign companies in Los Angeles. He currently works for ChatterboxDesigns.com, doing subcontracting sign design and technical drawings for more than 10 sign companies in the U.S. He has written three books related to the sign business. He can be reached by email at Chatterbox.SignDesign@gmail.com. To learn more about this technical drawing process to speed up your art department, visit www.SignBusinessBooks.com. Ask for a free sample download of any eBook on his website. Sign design requires a graphic designer to know how to create a technical drawing called a mounting detail and even a ground sign installation page.

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