Fonts of Wisdom

Timeless design endures for a reason.
Counterintuitive color usage (such as a yellow sky) and type outlined in a tint lighter than its fill hue can create a bit of unexpected excitement. Making the most important text larger than the rest is a simple device often used to imply the information hierarchy. Using color to denote secondary information is a more subtle, but equally effective, technique.

I’ve always thought that product labels had more in common with signs than any other sub-genre of commercial design. Perusing grocery store aisles is akin to looking at a vast row of miniature billboards. Quick readability, prominent logo placement, eye-catching functionality and, of course, a sophisticated blend of newness and familiarity are all necessary elements of successful package labels (and successful signs). 

But what factors make the readability clear and quick? (hint: contrast) How can you make a logo prominent without merely making it huge? (spoiler: location) What design decisions can ensure your graphics are fresh and familiar at the same time? (tip: know your history

To expand on these questions, I’ve collected a few vintage produce labels that demonstrate some techniques a sign designer can employ to achieve these goals.

 

Signs of the Times January 2019

Digital Edition

Enhance your Signs of the Times reading experience by exploring our interactive digital edition. Receive it in your inbox by subscribing online.

Recent Articles

VIEW MORE
Photo courtesy Sopita Gvng

A Marvel(ous) Life

Signs of the Times Editor
Kornit Digital Launches the Atlas Direct-to-garment Printing Platform

Kornit Digital Launches the Atlas

Signs of the Times Editor
Principal LED

Principal LED Street Wrap Gen 2 Webinar

Signs of the Times Editor