The key to creating a great business sign is ask sign makers in your area about which qualities make a good sign. Opinions will vary, of course, but a handful of bright nuggets will shine through. Next, a tour of the business community will help in seeing the signs that attract attention and say something of value. Looking through the yellow pages is also a valuable resource for judging sign quality. Some yellow page ads stand out while others don’t.
In general, seven different factors stand out in creating a great business sign:
1. Can the sign be easily seen? A sign that’s invisible is a sign with no message. The right size is important. Colors and words are certainly important, but the size of the sign must be seen by motorists and pedestrians. It should be noticeable from a distance. A dark color on a bright background is seen more easily than the reverse. Thus, when lettering a sign, black letters against a white backdrop are better than white letters on black.
2. Fonts are important. Designers of signs will recommend that lettering should not exceed two colors. By selecting two different fonts that are complimentary, the name will stand out better. For example, the name of the business could be one font, while the product or service offered could be the second font that compliments the first.
3. Make space. Don’t clutter up a sign with a jumble of letters. Letters, like people, need a bit of breathing space. Complexity can cause confusion. Be brief. Give the letters space, so they can relay the message and give it impact. Conciseness can convey a bold message.
4. Design with image in mind. The business sign should convey an image that’s appropriate to and proper for that business. A harsh design can drive away customers, while a sign that’s too subtle may not attract customers. The design of a sign can be a tricky matter, and a good deal of thought and reflection should be expended to get it right.
5. Balance the colors. Businesses are starting to use photographs or paintings as a background on a sign. This can be tricky because the wash of colors could drown the message. A single color can be a great backdrop for a message. Bright colors attract eyes, but going overboard can obliterate the message. Balance must be achieved, and it’s a good idea to hire an artist to find that balance.
6. To be or not to be. Slogans and mottoes are great branding tools. Get it right, and people remember. They associate slogans with certain businesses and will instantly know that business when that slogan is aired. Keep it simple. Offer a benefit. Placing a business slogan on a sign can brand a business in a customer’s mind.
7. Is glossy gauche? Not if it’s done right. Gloss in a sign can attract the eye and focus the mind. The expense is a bit more, but it can attract more customers.
An entrepreneur has to roll the dice and see what works. Business signage is a reasonably inexpensive way to experiment and gamble a few dollars to attract customers. If one sign doesn’t work, another option exists. Set a budget for signage, and get feedback from business compatriots and customers.