- 1). Cut out your traffic sign in an appropriate shape. For instance, if your sign is purely informational, a rectangle is the most appropriate. If, however, your sign contains a warning, then a diamond is the right choice. Round is used for railroad advance warnings while an "X" is used at the railroad crossing. A triangle pointing downward means yield while one pointing sideways (a pennant) means no passing. Pentagon-shaped signs are used in school zones and shield-shaped signs are typically used for route markers, such as highways. Some of these basic meanings could be applied more broadly to your use. For instance, if you want someone to pause a moment and contemplate whatever your sign is advertising, you might want a yield-sign shape.
Alternatively, you might intentionally use a particular shape, regardless of its associated meaning, especially if you want your sign to be more eye-catching. This could be the case for advertising. Likewise, a child might want to use a stop sign shape for a "No admittance" sign to his room.
- 2). Paint your sign a base color. Red is typically associated with stop and danger. Yellow is used for warnings. Blue is informational while brown indicates something historic. Green is associated with rest stops and orange with men at work. Other colors, like purple, have no association and could be used to mean whatever you choose. Decide which color best fits your sign's purpose.
- 3). Use black or reflective white lettering for any words or even symbols for your sign, because these options will generally show up better. If using words, make your statement as brief as possible. Choose your wording so that it is a command. Remember, a sign must get across the information as immediately as possible, so use strong, clear words.
If using symbols, use silhouettes, as they are easier to recognize from a distance. Keep your silhouette simple. A complex image will likely be unrecognizable. And if your sign is of the "No" or "Not allowed" variety, remember the universal for this is a circle with a slash across the silhouette.
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