June '22

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6 4 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 2 G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G S I G N D E S I G N we dene as the "role of the sign." If it doesn't have a job to do, it's most likely just a graphic. Question it for yourself: Does the de- sign's content have the job to inform, restrict, direct, instruct, protect, dene, explain, warn, advise, suggest, imply, convince, motivate, slow down, speed up, line up, go here, go there, or other- wise tell you where, when, how or why to do whatever? And it all must be conveyed in three seconds or less. Well then, if any of those apply, it's a sign. Graphic design (as a skill set) has the one luxury that sets it apart from signage, and that relates to the distance it's viewed from and the amount of time the viewer has to study it, explore it and absorb all of the facts and emotions that it's supposed to translate. For example, a magazine ad that the graphic designer has to design where a lot of information and key details need to be conveyed to the reader or viewer. e graphic artist must work to t all the shapes, logos, ideas, and bodies of text into a smooth, flowing, visually- pleasing-to-the-eye presentation, which will be absorbed from a device that is held at arm's length, or viewed from only a couple of feet away. e luxury of time and the fairly con- sistent viewing distances is what separates graphic design theory from sign design theory. It may contain sign-worthy infor- mation, and it may also have a job to do, but if it's viewed while it's being held, or looked at from a distance less than 18" away, it's most likely falls into the graphic design barrel. Graphic design has its own set of core design disciplines and its own set of rules to follow for ow and contrast so that the message is conveyed to the viewer (who is usually doing more reading than view- ing). Why is that? Because not only are we considering the distance from which it is viewed, we are also analyzing the time in which the viewer has to read all of the information, view the graphics, watch for cars, dogs and stray cats, kids in the back screaming all the while you must nd, read and absorb the message that's posted on that sign you just passed. Phew, that's a lot to get across to a viewer, and that is why great graphic design is so vital and such an important skill set to implement for those items viewed at arm's length for longer than three seconds. THE THREE-SECOND RULE OF OUTDOOR ADVERTISING How well an idea is condensed into the fewest words possible is the secret to outdoor advertising — add in graph- ics that convey the mood, feeling and intangible benets of owning, having, driving or eating that succulent lobster tail with hot drawn butter. When you have successfully placed your viewer in your restaurant, sitting in front of that ain a in a rain n i ti a a o to pror t or or ti it a on onr i ti o a anin in or an inorationa in NOTICE: No shoes, no shirt, no service!

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