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Drawing with chalk: Best techniques for chalkboard signs

Drawing with chalk: Best techniques for chalkboard signs

Chalkboard signs are a charming and effective way to relay a message to your clientele, but of course, a plain blackboard won't speak for itself. Someone has to design these sidewalk signs, and some designs are more effective than others. Whether you're going for an intricate illustration or simple lettering, there are some tricks you should know.

Keep it simple
The most important aspect to consider when designing and creating a chalkboard sign is to keep the design simple. It is always better to err on the side of boring than to create something too complex that might be difficult to read.

If you are going to add small pictures and drawings to the sign to accent your lettering, be sure the symbols are clear. If a passerby stops to try and figure out what exactly that strange shape is, you'll be getting attention, but the wrong kind. Leave enough space between images and letters, and make sure all typography is large and clear first and foremost. The easiest signs to read have large letters and are evenly spaced on the board.

Consider contrast
When drawing on a blackboard, the lightest colors will stand out the most. However, you will want to use more than one color in order to make an eye-catching sign. If you choose to use a dark color like blue or purple, consider adding white accents to the letters to help them pop out against the background. Outlining lettering in white can also achieve this.

Because white and other light colors stand out the most, you can use them to highlight particularly important information on the sign. For example, write "SALE" in large yellow letters, then write the items that are going on sale in a darker color.

Experiment with materials
Plain old chalk is probably the cheapest material you can use, and there are different sizes and widths of chalk to give the letters a different look. However, if your chalk is constantly getting smudged, you might want to switch to chalk markers. These are just as washable as chalk, but glide on smoothly and have an opaque, matte finish that will look like chalk. They also create a much cleaner look on a chalkboard.