How Long Do You Spend Designing a Sign?

Three sign designers provide varying responses.
Joe Diaz's rendering of a sign in CorelDRAW.

We asked the three designers interviewed for the sign design/software feature in our July issue how long it takes them to design a sign: Pablo Guerrero of Amigo Arts (Monroe, WA), Joe Diaz of Diaz Sign Art (Pontiac, IL) and Hannah Hunter of Signarama Salt Lake City. Their responses are an online-only component of the article.

Pablo Guerrero, owner and chief designer, Amigo Arts

Ours are a little unique. Sometimes if it is budget-driven project I almost feel guilty, like I didn’t spend enough time on it. It feels like I can design sometimes in 10 minutes – sometimes less. Sometimes I get the idea designed in my head before I even get pencil to paper, and by the time I’m laying it out on my computer, I feel like it’s already been revised and I’m just drawing a final.

But when it’s a crazy custom project, sometimes I feel like it takes way longer than it should. Since I am the builder and the designer, I feel like I’m building the sign in my head while designing it, which is good and bad. That is what takes our process a little longer.

Plus, with our renderings, I like to take them to a point where I want the client to show everyone. I love it when I get to meet with clients and they are showing all their co-workers and talking about how cool this idea is. It really fuels us to deliver an awesome product. We love telling the client’s story through our design.

Joe Diaz, part-owner and creative director, Diaz Sign Art

I guess it depends on the sign. We do such a wide range of work here. It takes minutes to design something similar to a "no parking" sign, but days – if not more – to layout an elaborate mural or glass piece. So I'd say an hour or two on average.

Hannah Hunter, graphic designer, Signarama Salt Lake City

Since we are a custom shop and each job is completely unique these times do vary. I usually will have a same day turnaround for all projects.

Easy jobs: Customer provided art for cut vinyl, banners, prints etc. with proofs – 5 minutes +/-

Easy jobs: Creating or recreating art for vinyl, banners, prints etc. with proofs – 10 minutes +/-

Medium jobs: Customer provided art for channel letters, monuments, cabinets with proofs – 10 minutes +/-

Medium jobs: Creating or recreating art for channel letters, monuments, cabinets) with proofs - 20 minutes +/-

Large jobs: Customer provided art for 200-plus ADA apartment/property full sign package with proofs – 30 minutes +/-

Large jobs: Creating or recreating art for 200-plus ADA apartment/property full sign package with proofs – 60 minutes +/-

Recreating a logo (depending on how complex it is) – 20 minutes +/-

Creating a new logo with 3-6 options – 60 minutes +/-


Look for the full sign design/software feature soon on signsofthetimes.com.

Signs of the Times September 2019

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