For business owners, effective signage is extremely important. If you think about a brand that you love and consider which of their marketing tools is most recognizable, their signs are probably one of the first things that come to mind. Just about everyone who sees those iconic golden arches knows that there is a McDonald’s nearby, and most people can spot a Starbucks sign from a mile away.
Signage is a physical manifestation of a brand, and it is something that nearly every business utilizes to some extent. Even if you are in the beginning stages of launching a small business, investing time and money into your signage is a great way to help build brand awareness and draw customers into your place of business. As your company grows, your signage can become symbolic of the products or services you provide.
Unfortunately, getting signage right isn’t always easy. When it comes to creating and placing your business signage, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Keep reading to learn more about some important dos and don’ts.
DO: Work with a Professional Designer
Unless you have design knowledge and experience, trying to design your own signage is likely to end in disaster or, at the very least, serious disappointment. Making a “good” sign isn’t as easy as putting your business name and logo up on a piece of poster board. Good design is based on several things, and, if you are not familiar with the elements of design, your efforts to create your own signage will likely fall flat.
Hiring a professional designer to create your signage comes at a cost, but doing so is well worth the investment. When properly designed, your signs will benefit your business in numerous ways. If they are poorly designed, however, they could end up doing more harm than good.
DON’T: Hang Your Signs Incorrectly
Once you have your completed signs in hand, you need to be careful about how you hang them. It’s crucial to use fasteners and/or adhesives that are appropriate for the job for several reasons. For starters, you need to use ones that are designed to hold the weight of the sign. You also need to choose fasteners and adhesives that are made for use where you plan on displaying your signs. Adhesives that are meant to be used indoors, for example, won’t hold up on outdoor signage. They’ll likely fail as soon as it rains, or they may break down when exposed to sunlight.
Using the right fasteners or adhesives ensures the safety of people who may walk under them. Doing so also protects your signs from damage by preventing them from falling. Many business owners mistakenly think of the fasteners they use to hang their signage as an afterthought, but they should be one of your primary concerns. You need durable fasteners and adhesives that you can trust for the job of holding up your signs.
DO: Put Your Signs Somewhere Visible
This seems like common sense, but it’s amazing how many business owners place signs in areas where people are not likely to see them. Your outdoor sign should be placed directly above the main entryway, but it shouldn’t be positioned too high up. If your storefront is tucked away in an area that is somewhat hidden, place a sign that points toward your business in a more conspicuous area. Think about drivers as well. If you want people to notice your business when they are driving past in their cars, try to place your signs at roughly the same height as regular road signs. And make sure they aren’t obstructed by anything when viewed from the street.
Be mindful when placing indoor signs, too. Signs that advertise specials and promotions, for example, should be located near the products that are currently on offer. If you are a service provider with a storefront, promotional materials should be prominently displayed in your front windows and near the register. When trying to decide where to put your signs, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Consider the shopping experience from their point of view, and think about where you would find it useful to see signs. Place your signs in those areas, and you’ll likely be fine.
DON’T: Be Generic
Sure, anyone can go online and use a template to create a sign. Plenty of people do it every day. While this option is a simple and cost-effective means of getting the job done, it won’t do much to help you make an impression. People see generic signs every day, so it’s unlikely that a sign that is similar to everyone else’s is really going to grab their attention.
When you use a template or an online sign design tool, it is nearly impossible to create something that is 100% original. Templates and tools are typically based on stock images and relay on algorithms that are simply incapable of any sort of real creativity.
If you choose to use a template or design tool, your business could lose out on money simply because your signage is too similar to that of your competitors. When it comes to grabbing peoples’ attention, creativity and originality are key!
Signage should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. If you want your efforts to pay off, though, you need to be careful when creating and placing your business signs. Far too many business owners make simple mistakes that end up costing them big. When designing and placing your signs, keep the dos and don’ts above in mind to ensure that your business signage is effective and beneficial.