Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Visual Arms Race

In order to catch the attention of people in the store, we are requested to make signs that are as bright and "arresting" as possible. This is the sign that I made for the section that features gluten-free and new items. It's about 40" x 30". I tried to make something as noticeable as possible and I hope it works. The store environment is packed with visual stimuli, not just signs but colorful packaging and built-up infrastructure. In order to compete with the other visual stimuli, signs have to be louder, brighter, and if possible larger than the background signage. Big letters on neon-fluorescent background! Shiny reflective metallics! Flashing lights! When these are in the environment, any additional sign has to be louder, brighter, and more eye-catching than those it is next to, leading to a "visual arms race" which can be exhausting to a more sensitive viewer.  

The ultimate test of a store sign, of course, is how much of the product it sells. If gluten free and new items fly off the shelves, then my sign is a success. If they are not bought in sufficient numbers, it's back to the drawing board.

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