Most useful tips for more effective signage

Your sign will do many things for your business, from creating the initial impression to providing the message to new and potential customers about your products and services. A sign does this through a combination of light, size, text, construction, placement and more. Keep these design tips in mind as you design an effective sign for your business.

  1. Make sure that your sign is conspicuous

Your message competes in a complex environment. A passer-by must be able to differentiate your sign from its surrounding environment.

  • Avoid obstructions.

Make certain the sign can be viewed without obstruction from any source. Drive past your business from all directions to help determine the most visible location for your sign.

  • Consider colours carefully.

Too many colours take away from the quick readability of the sign. Again, stay simple. Make sure colours are contrasting. Yellow on white is not readable, whereas black on white is very readable.

  • Consistent visual image.

Ideally, the design and the colours of your building should reinforce the design and colours of your sign (or vice versa). Colour is probably the easiest and most cost-effective device for this coordination of design for business identification.

  • Avoid clutter.

“White-space” is the surface area of a sign’s face that is left uncovered by either text or graphics. The proper amount of white space is just as important for quick readability as are graphics, text and colours. 30% to 40% of the sign’s face area should be left as white space for optimal readability.

  • Place it to be seen.

An attractive and well-designed sign will only be effective if it is placed in a location that optimizes its visibility to passers-by. Your goal should be to make the sign unavoidable to the passing viewer.

  • Appeal to impulse buyers.

Many owners mistakenly think of a sign as merely a device that identifies the business. What they fail to realize is that 55% of all retail sales are a result of impulse buys. People see, shop and buy. If a sign is ineffective, it can actually cost the business owner more in lost sales than the entire cost of a good sign.

  • Consistent visual image.

Ideally, the design and the colours of your building should reinforce the design and colours of your sign (or vice versa). Colour is probably the easiest and most cost-effective device for this coordination of design for business identification.

  • Keep it simple.

The proper design of your sign is critical to its effectiveness. Crowding the sign with too many words or lines of text makes it impossible to read from a distance. Use as few words as possible so your signage is legible. Fewer words are better, and three to five words are optimal for quick readability.

  1. Your sign is your handshake.

Your sign is your handshake with the buying public, and first impressions are lasting impressions. Your sign must project the image you want the public to have of you. People will judge the inside of your business by how it looks on the outside.