We see tons of different signs every day on our way to work, but how many of them do we remember at the end of the day? How many times were you passing by a sign for months, without even paying attention to it or reading what it says? Probably a lot. Now, if you are a business owner reading this, then you probably realized that your sign should not be one of those that no one pays attention to. But how to achieve that?
Let’s start again. You are going to work, and you are passing by a ton of signs. You have looked at maybe five of them, why? What drew your attention? Was it the size, shape, or color? Were you able to read the message on the sign? And what about those you didn’t even notice, what was their problem? Too small? Faded colors? And just like that, you have collected all the information you need. Now let’s organize that into six key steps and tips you need to follow in order to have a sign that stands out.
Choose Your Colors Wisely
When someone sees your business sign for the first time, they don’t really know much about your business. And your sign will probably give them only brief and essential information. Colors are there to set the mood, represent your brand’s visual identity and draw attention. Your sign needs to leave a good first impression, and colors can help you with that. Choose colors that correspond to your business. If you are selling tools or jeans, then we guess pink should not be your number one choice.
You can rely on color psychology to find out what meanings and associations are related to each color; perhaps that will help you find your ideal tone. In the best-case scenario, you will use two colors. Everything more than that is usually too colorful, creates visual noise, and it does not look that good in terms of design. The color of the background should be some off-white or pale shade so that the main message and the logo can stand out. Do not forget to add a layer of protective custom powder coating to seal everything.
Your Sign Doesn’t Need to be Rectangular
Out of all possible shapes, most people decide to play it safe and opt for rectangular. This is ok; there is nothing wrong with rectangular signs, the shape is excellent for messages, and it makes everything look compact. But the fact that there are not many signs in different shapes gives you a chance to try it and see how your sign will stand out. Because if there is a circle in the sea of rectangular, of course, you are going to spot a circle because it breaks the pattern.
Square and rectangular shapes are usually associated with stability, something that is reliable, trustworthy. On the other hand, a circle is the symbol of harmony, and the triangle refers to power. And those are just the basic shapes. You can create a custom one for your sign. Explore different shapes from oval, geometric, or rely on metal signs made from steel to make people stop and stare.
How to Increase the Readability
If you are driving, you do not have a lot of time to read every sign and pay special attention to details, right? That is why you have to display only the bare essentials on your sign. Company name, contact info, message or special offer, location, and that is it. Avoid too long sentences, introductions, complicated wording, literally anything can be said in 10 to 15 words if you use them wisely. You can play with fonts, but do not use too curvy ones because no one will be able to read them. Prioritize things; not everything has to be written in the same size, but everything has to be readable from a distance. So not too small, nor too big.
How to Pick the Right Material for Your Sign
The material can also contribute a lot to the story about your business, but it also depends a lot on the sign’s place, because some materials are not suitable for outdoor conditions. Although glass is really elegant and excellent for combining with other materials such as metal, it is not so great for outdoors. Wood can stand the test of time if you protect it thoroughly with additional lacquer coats. The same is with iron, rain, and humidity can cause rust, so you have to clean and maintain it regularly, etc.
Location is essential for many reasons, but it is hard to tell where the best spot is. Is it somewhere near your business so people who are passing by will know and spontaneously decide to drop by and purchase something? Or a bit further, so that those who live and work outside your neighborhood know what business they have nearby? Perhaps having a sign on two or more locations is the best solution, if affordable. Your sign can be made in different sizes, depending on the locations. Also, if it is a busy street, there are probably a lot of other signs displayed, so pay attention to the place and height.
“Boring” signs are often overlooked, even though they may carry an important message or a great deal. That is why your sign needs to have that element of surprise, something that will pop and grab the attention the second someone sees it. It can be anything from 3D lettering, which is the most simple and effective solution to some quirky design solutions. Sometimes you have to do something risky or unpredicted because it will give you much better feedback than a bland sign. Illuminations or digital signs are other great solutions.
The Bottom Line
Depending on the type of your business, you should customize these recommendations and adjust them in such a way to get the most out of your business sign. Investing in business signs is more than that. It is a one-time investment in a “free” advertising tool that is going to continuously bring you new customers, for a long period of time. So our final advice would be to invest in a good designer, who will know how to style everything and make it look good.
Laura Baird is the daughter of a crafty artist who is an illustrator. During her childhood, she loved watching her father crafting custom metal signs and sculptures. As she grew up with love and passion for custom signages Laura likes sharing her techniques by writing some blogs on how to come up with better signages and how it helps businesses in building brands.