We realize that not every customer can afford a custom 3-D sign. Instead of letting you walk away disappointed, we’ve got some easy tricks up our sleeves for giving a custom 3D look to flat panels that will remain within your budget and provide the same effect you’re look for…
Use a panel – Besides helping you manage the copy, a panel in a contrasting color can add a 3-D effect.
Add a shadow – Experiment a little—try a heavy outline with an in-shade on the lettering or a cast shadow beside it. Or, a pale pencil thin shadow on the main copy. There are a lot of cool shadow effects to play with. It can be on the lettering or on the panel or both.
Try a layer – Look for one element that could be cut out and applied to the main panel, like the logo graphic. Or create the look of layers on the whole sign by adding a layer behind the edges extending out a little.
Effects can help – Adding a convex effect to the primary copy or a chrome effect outline works well. Using a chrome or gold effect border on a panel does, too. Use these effects sparingly, though.
Have something in the background – A pale image in the background can make the lettering appear to be raised, or push the lettering toward the viewer. A fade, blend or texture can do the same thing.
Cut it to shape – Maybe an interesting panel design, or maybe just slice off something to get away from the standard 4-by-8 format. Or, maybe cut a 4-by-10 down to 3-by-10.
Keep the primary copy strong – This is true for any sign—flat, 3-D or on a vehicle—but it’s worth repeating. It’s the most important copy, so why not make it obvious that it’s important?