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Thread: Importance of Dominance

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Importance of Dominance

    When we view a sign, the first time, our eye automatically goes to the center of interest. That's the dominant area. A good example of how this basic rule is violated is when there are several lines of copy, all the same size. Not only is it visually boring but the message is confused.

    There are lots of ways to achieve this design element. Size and or color lead they way. Bigger isn't always the answer. For example, a large white panel with a small logo or copy located in the dead center can achieve the power of dominance through the use of negative space. The blank spaces, between lines of copy, or around it can be as powerful as huge letters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_...nce.2Femphasis

    I often see signs designed without understanding positive and negative space management. One of the most powerful logo's using negative space is APPLE. This comes under the rubric of "Less is more". There are also times when a color can be more important than larger copy. So size doesn't always guarantee dominance.

    The topic heading should be the first consideration. If you're selling shoes or flowers, etc. that should take preference over anything else. It's amazing how often your eye isn't directed to topic heading. There's lots of power in understanding dominance.

  2. #2
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    canton, ohio
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    When I was studying design back the 60s and 70s A name that kept coming up as Joseph Selame he did that Mr. donut design. I think he said a logo should be able to be recognized at quarter-inch. I very seldom have been able to do that but everything he did was that good. He had a lot of other ideas too. I just tried to remember the signs I like and why I like them why I don't like them try to implement the good things I have seen into the work
    www.signmakers.biz
    http://tuliplogo.com/logo_knowhow.html




  3. #3
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    Default

    I agree a study in design pays dividends. Without a firm understanding of the rules a person is without a measuring stick for improvement. For example, when I'm looking over a new challenging concept that's giving me fits, it's a quick trip to back the fundamentals. Without those guidelines it's difficult for a person to evaluate their own work. Forums like this would be of more valuel if there were seasoned artists giving helpful criticism.

    We often see good suggestions like which materials to use or what router bits work best. Mechanical questions of feeds and speeds are often posted but it seems the topic of Design are off limits. One of the primary reasons is a lack of creative experience and design background. That shouldn't slow anyone down but it requires making the effort.

    Running a sign business dedicated to dimensional work has special challenges. One of those is helping the customers appreciate the advantages. A good set of samples and photo's will go a long way.

    Joe
    Last edited by joe; 03-23-2015 at 02:13 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
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    LaGrange GA
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    Thanks for the post Joe. I read the sign section of this forum daily. I am not a designer, but work with outside design companies every day. In my business now a days I find the only way I can compete is to NOT play roll of the artist. I run a one guy sign shop in my small town at the moment. I do a lot of wholesale printing and cutting. Ship stuff anywhere. The other companies send me print and cut ready files. Sign production is my strong point, and that's where I'm headed.

    You are so right about Dominance. So many vehicle wraps are such a piece of garbage.....imo

    What I mean is all the money spent by the customer to wrap the vehicle, but the design didn't hit the target. The two pics I show are my two latest wraps. The box truck was done a year ago and the van was just the past weekend. In both cases I was the print,lam,install guy. They brought the design to me.

    I enjoy printing and cutting designs of the true artists like yourself, couldn't do it without you.

    PS. My shop sign sure does suck don't it? Lol

    Dave
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    Nov 2008
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    canton, ohio
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    http://www.signmakers.biz/#!logo-des...printing/c1fu7

    Here is what I put on our website about sign design. Our problem is getting customer to value design and time to do it. I look at it as a evolutionary process that requires their participation because design is so very subjective. The design work is complete when they are satisfied but we lead them so they do not make bad decisions if possible. We try to get deposit for sign before we start and we don't let them spin us around. There are so many types of signs on our site. It becomes a selling tool if I am on phone with them and they can get on our site I can guide them to sign types etc

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    It's a cool principle, Joe.
    Way, way back I can remember being taught that all flat media should be considered as "quartered".
    The top left corner is the brain's natural area of interest, for whatever reason.
    Now, that doesn't mean that that's where you want to jam all the stuff you want someone to see, but it's where you can assume an eye will begin when it looks at any piece.
    So I always try to keep the most important part as my focal point, and begin it somewhere in that upper left quadrant.

    It doesn't matter how much of my intended focal point is in that quadrant, just that it starts there.
    For instance, If I had a rectangular sign, and maybe the name of the company, I'd sneak that word up from center and try to pull it to the left if possible.
    Then I use that asymmetry to work to my advantage, creating larger fields for "not so important" stuff.

    It's much simpler in practice than in words, but David's Sign Express sign is a perfect example of getting too much of the focal point in that quarter.
    Through scale and a little movement, that sign could be just as simple, as well as elegant and pleasing to the eye.
    Years of photography really help a person see what the eye wants to see. Practice softens pictures.
    That part is difficult to explain, but it's also very simple in practice.

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