I have been asked to design some advertising to print on tear-drop street signage similar to this:

tear-drop shaped street signage flags

My question is; are there things to keep in mind when designing for this medium as opposed to other more fixed signage? My guess is many of the considerations will be similar for other flag-type signage.

  • The flags are just examples of the type of signage from a google search - i.e. not my designs – JamesHenare Feb 14 '11 at 1:47
  • I would just like to mention that there is a difference between this kind of "flag" and flags in general: flagpole-flags are subject to wind to be read, and this is down-on-the-ground. – benteh Feb 22 '14 at 14:14

I'm assuming this will be on the street (as opposed to be sitting in front of a trade booth or inside mall display)? If this is something meant for the street remember that you'll get maybe half a second of attention from passing drivers (between sips of lattes and texting) so you'll want something that a) is simple and eye-catching (single word or easily identifiable logo) and b) is easy to read. The examples you gave are all printed sideways which means it would be tough to read or recognize text at 30 mph. Keep in mind that anything outdoors is also at the mercy of the elements - it looks like these things are built to bend in the wind so you'll want to keep that in mind - how does your artwork look tilted at 90 degrees?

If it's something for a trade booth or inside you probably have a little more time to grab users - maybe 3 whole seconds. I'd still aim for something simple - a sleek logo or one or two words that will make people stop and possibly enter the store / booth to learn more.

Standard stuff like an easily readable font (the third flag is a little tough to read and I don't know how easy it would be to read it while cruising down the road or walking down a mall thoroughfare) and good contrast (white text on a dark color background or a dark color on a light background) are always a good plan. These look like they're meant to be read from one side only - I would make sure that, if the fabric is at all translucent, your logo or text is readable in reverse (the human brain is pretty good at picking out standard words in reverse).

If the flag you're printing is taller than it is wider (as these are) you may want to consider running your text vertically instead of turning it sideways like the examples do. That way, people won't have to resist the urge to turn their head 90 degrees to read your text or company name.

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  • 2
    Good answer - although I'd argue that sideways text (that is, rotated as as above) is much easier to scan than vertical text (each letter stacked one above the other). – e100 Feb 14 '11 at 9:54

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