At Ortwein Sign, we rely on our expert team of designers to create and adapt designs for our clients so that their brands are represented well across their signage. This can mean they often have to create designs from scratch, including for small businesses without logos or original designs for them to use. This also entails for some clients adapting their existing branding to fit their signage needs, which could mean adapting the logo to a set of channel letters, adapting it for a neon sign, adapting their branding for a tenant panel, or many additional sign varieties. Sign designers are essential for a company such as ours, so we thought we’d take some time to breakdown the essentials of what is needed for a sign designer position.
Sign Designers Require Expert Design Skills
First and foremost graphic designers need to have expert design skills. This includes knowledge of not only the tools of the trade, such as CorelDraw or an Adobe Suite software such as Adobe InDesign, and it also includes also an understanding of color theory, design principles, tyopgraphy, and composition.
Typography is the understanding of how text, styles, and fonts can be used to present readable, engaging text. Sign designers need an understanding of typography to help our clients by creating designs that are effective and readable.
A brand is more than just a logo. Instead it should reflect the identity of a business, its mission, and its values. Branding is essential when conveying a business’s story and its purpose, and as such our designers must have this understanding to help design or adapt a company’s brand for their signage.
Our designers must be able to work inside and outside the box to develop creative designs that help our clients stand apart, while also ensuring the designs are effective at catchign the attention of those our clients are hoping to reach.
Attention to Detail
Though our designers work in tandem with our sales team and our project managers, attention to detail is essential at every level to ensure that there is an across the board understanding of what is required. Likewise attention to detail can help catch an issue on the design before it becomes one on the sign.
Though our design team will often work first and foremost with our sales team, and thus sales reps. may be a go-between, there are times when our graphic designers will need to meet with our clients. As such its essential they have expert communication skills to understand our clients needs, and to be able to convey their creative vision and ideas for our client.
Graphic designers now almost exclusively work on computers, and therefore its essential to have an understanding of the required software tools. In the signage industry, graphic designers also need an understanding of signage itself as well as the materials used to make signs. Without this knowledge, sign designs may look good on the page but in reality may be impractical if not impossible.
Project Management and Time Management
Though our project managers are overseeing the entire project for our team, it is still essential that our designers have excellent project management and time management skills. This ensures they effectively, and efficiently, complete each project as needed without missing key steps.
As important as attention to detail is for a sign designer, it’s also essential for sign designers to be excellent problem solvers as well. No matter how much we’d like to avoid problems they can arise, and it’s essential for our team at every level to be able to assess, analyze, and where possible solve said problems to their best capabilities.
Though design skills may be transferable, there are still specific sign design skills that our graphic designers should be aware of and understand.
To understand convention is to have the ability to break it where it is needed, and certaintly this is why its essential for our team to understand the fundamentals, and industry needs, but also to be able to adapt where it is needed for truly unique situations.
Sign designers again are an integral component of our business at Ortwein Sign, and undoubtedly at sign shops across the world. Their job requires a lot of knowledge and skills from technical to theoretical and everything in between. We are fortunate to have an incredible design team that goes above and beyond day in and day out for our clients.