Hand lettered, angled and curved text: Which way? How much? How far? Good question. Most of us take text for granted. We see it nearly everyday of our lives starting from a very young age. Its purpose, of course, is universal.
Text allows societies to transmit information and share knowledge. Without it? Chaos. Although, there is a certain amount of chaos, due to the sheer variety of text images worldwide. For now, and for the purpose of making signs, we’ll focus on English and the artistic treatments found in our culture.
Enter: The Sign Makers!
Sign makers have perfected artistic text. Specifically, we’ve done this by adding dimension, flourishes, faux finishes, and creative alternatives. However, the industry’s most significant contribution is form. This means the shape of the text block and its direction. Furthermore, with the advent of computer graphics software, new, creative uses have flourished.
In spite of the technology, hand-lettering skills have held their own. These applications run from plain to fancy, including hand-carved gold leaf. And, when combined with computer-assisted designs, the results are often spectacular.
A logical, predictable pattern
But, which way? How much? How far? When we consider using angled text on a sign, we make sure that it always angles ‘uphill’ (with the right side higher than the left). It simply looks better, and ninety-nine percent of angled text finishes upwards. See how this works in the Horsetooth Spirits & Marketplace graphic.
Next, curved text should follow a logical, predictable pattern. It should curve no more than twice for impact as shown in the Annie & Willey residence sign graphic, above.
As sign designers, our challenge is to fit text into the available space and in the most appealing and effective way possible. Even though most signs use horizontal text – since it’s the most readable and designed to be written in horizontal lines – the world is overloaded with it. So, every now and then, we’ve found that angled or curved text elements can catch people’s attention, simply because they’re different.
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