Awards & Engraving

February '20

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8 • A&E FEBRUARY 2020 Sara Thompson is the supervisor of the JDS Fabrication department. Thompson received her BA degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of South Dakota. She has been with the JDS Industries fabrication department for three years, taking on roles in laser operation, direct print, graphics coordinator, and new product testing I n today's world, you can't go anywhere without seeing a sign. In fact, they are so common that people don't realize how much they dictate our day-to-day lives. Signs help people navigate the roadways and large buildings and facilities. They help pinpoint our favorite stores and let us know when we have reached our destination. They let us know what the price of common com- modities are, or what the daily special is at our favorite restaurants. Signs are a visual representation of an idea or message that you are trying to com- municate to other individuals. It doesn't matter what materials the sign is made of as long as the message is there. In this article, we focus on small-format signs, best practices to make a sign concise and effective, and different production plat- forms that can be utilized in the awards and engraving industry to create a sign. You will follow three different signs tutorials — these will be signs that you might see outside of a door or in an entryway of a small business or home. The production platforms that we focus on are sublimation, laser engraving, and heat-transfer material, but first, let's discuss what makes an effective sign. TIPS TO GET STARTED When creating a sign for yourself or your customer, keep these tips in mind: 1. Have a clear message. Make sure you let your customer know what you do. Adding descriptive words under a logo or name can help with this. For example, if a company's name is John's Laser Engraving, you might want to include words underneath like "Per- sonal & Promotional Gifts." This gives the customer more information and a better idea of what the company does. 2. Choose a legible font style. When it comes to fonts, there are a lot of options. You might find a unique font that you love, but legibility is key. If the sign cannot be read at a quick glance, it becomes essentially ineffective. The number of fonts in a sign should be limited as well. Too many variations of fonts in a sign can create clutter and confusion. Try staying within the two-font range. 3. Last but not least, color combinations go a long way when trying to make Making Sense of Signage Techniques and tutorials to help you create small-format signs By Colin VanLint & Sara Thompson Colin VanLint is a Sign Specialist that started with JDS Industries in 2015. Colin graduated with a Bachelor of Art with an emphasis on Multimedia Design from Northern State Uni- versity in 2014 where he learned graphic design skills. While attending college, he worked as a computer and printer technician, acquiring years of troubleshooting and repair skills. Colin can be reached at For a quick tip on color palettes, check out this insight from Jennifer Foy, Unisub:

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