Apart for the virtual, signage is often one of the first things a consumer notices about a business. In the same way a salesman can make a bad first impression and lose potential sales, bad signage can do the same. Poorly designed, unprofessional-looking signs can make a would-be customer walk or drive right on by any given location without giving it a second thought. Well, they may have a second thought… “Remember when we drove by that terrible sign for that one place?” No business wants any person thinking that type of thing about their company. Sometimes a design may be stunning but the message the sign is trying to convey is confusing or overbearing, or both. This can also turn a potential customer into just another passerby. This is why effective signage is important for any business, large or small, with a physical location.
So what makes an effective sign? It comes down to return on investment, right? So, the most effective sign would be the sign that brings the most return. With that being said, let’s look at some things to consider when looking for signage to be as effective as possible.
Cost & Quality
The first thing to consider is production cost and quality. Not every sign has to be expensive, but depending on the application, one should be open to spending whatever it takes to get the right sign for the job. There are various factors to consider when deciding on the type of signage that would be best. Will the sign be for interior or exterior use? This question plays an important role in choosing the right materials to maximize the lifespan of the sign. The other important thing to note about quality production, aside from longevity, is that consumers are drawn to the look of quality and professionalism. If a company isn’t concerned enough about their image to have decent signage, what does that tell the general public about that company?
When choosing the right design for a sign, it’s important, yet again, to consider application. Are you branding your building or just promoting a sales event? Although the basis of a design will vary slightly from application to application, there are some fundamentals to keep in mind. Make your message clear. Keep it simple. Use color wisely. Yes, there are those who step out of the box and break all of the rules, however, those who do that know the risk, but also know how to implement the rest of their marketing strategy in a way that compliments their out-of-the-ordinary signage.
Lastly, where will the signage be placed? Once again, application is to be considered. Storefront signage obviously goes on a storefront, but where is the majority of traffic coming from? If sidewalk foot traffic is the main money-maker, some well designed window lettering may be all that is needed. However, if you’re trying to draw people off of a busy road or street into a shopping plaza, you’d obviously be in need for more than some simple vinyl letters. When it comes to signage from sales events and promotions, the same basic rules apply. Can people see the sign? Can people read the sign? Is it clear as to what you’re offering and what they need to do?
These are some fundamental elements that anyone looking for signage should consider. By taking the time to analyze the true purpose of a sign and taking the above points into consideration, you’re sure to find the perfect, most effective signage for your business.
Dan Webb works as an inhouse marketing associate for SignSite, a global provider of custom signage. Through working in the sign industry, he’s seen how important it is for small businesses to have quality signage as well as a great online experience for their customers.