The Designer’s Notebook

What Side Are Your Signs On?

Today I saw some street signs (handwritten, no less) advertising an event at a hotel. A sale, actually – someone had taken the time to rent a convention room, and set up a clearance for their products. Sounds good. An Industrious, clever and hard working type of idea. So what notable about that?

The signs were on a 3 lane (4 – if you count the left turn lane) road, and all required the viewer to turn ← left. Great. Good Idea, call to action, and done within budget (that’s the handwritten part).

The moral of this story is all the hard work our intrepid advertiser went through is lost on one detail

The catch here is, our industrious advertiser put the signs on the far right → side of the road, giving potential clients about 100m to California Lane change across all four lanes into the turning lane.

The moral of this story, is all the hard work our intrepid advertiser went through to rent the hotel, set up and prepare his bank account for an inflow of revenue is lost on one detail: people in the right lane have no hope of turning left. So if you are telling people to do something, make sure your sign is on the right side of the road!

So applying this to graphic design, you could ensure your direct mail was sent to postal codes that match your demographic, or make sure you have the right colour brochures when you go to a trade show specific to men or women. It just takes a moment to ensure your worthwhile efforts aren’t wasted on missed details.

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