When writing or painting on solid substrates, establishing guidelines is really important for a straight composition. Personally, I like to make as few impermanent marks as possible, and do as little as measuring as is necessary. There's a thousand different techniques we use to make guidelines, but I wanted to share with you, how I use thin MT Washi tape, specifically for signs.
1- I like to do a few sketches for concepts, but for composition, I find it easiest to work up spacing a measuring using a design program. It's easier to estimate your margins and center line. This is also the best technique for text heavy productions like wedding vows, dinner menus, stories, etc. You can make an exact map for your composition this way.
2- I use MT thin washi tape to establish guidelines that are easily removed and don't make any unnecessary marks. You can find it online.
3- I use a white pencil to write out the script and ensure the composition is accurate.
4- After removing the tape, you can go back and refine your sketch. This white pencil is easily removed with a damp cloth.
This technique is really quick and really effective for larger surface areas as well. I like the laser slide rule, but cant use it on thicker materials. This tape peels off with ease and doesn't leave any residue. The only con really is that you use a bit of tape. The tape is pictured here.
Let me know if you try this technique, and some tips of your own for making guidelines. I hope this was helpful to add to your library of resources.
Talk to you later friends!