Outdoor Business Signs – The Do’s and Don’ts
Joe’s looking for a restaurant he’s never been to. His car’s navigation system tells him that his destination is around half a mile away. He tries to slow down, but gets nervous because of the cars backing up behind him. The signs of different stores and restaurants pass by like a blur. If he misses the restaurant sign, he could lose a lot of time trying to retrace it.
Now if you were the owner of this restaurant wouldn’t you be unhappy with the idea of losing prospective customers just because they can’t find you? Wouldn’t you want to make their life easier and help them find your business easily?
This is why you need effective outdoor business signage.
Having a sign outside your establishment is a start, but what is really important is the nature of the sign. In a sea of hoardings, placards and business signs, what do you do to make your sign stand out and hard to miss?
Legibility: Make sure that your sign is easy to read. Choose a good font, but don’t select one just because it looks pretty, it needs to be readable in just a quick glance.
Visibility: The position of your business sign is very important. The height should be just right, not too high and neither too low. The size of your business sign should be appropriate. Too small a sign can get easily missed, while too large a sign can become difficult to read quickly.
Placement: Is your business accessible only from a street? If so, see to it that the sign is placed at the right distance from passing cars or pedestrians. Also, be aware that there are local laws that specify where business signs can and cannot be placed. The size of the sign, the height at which it is mounted are factors that are sometimes governed by local rules and regulations. You don’t want to go through all that trouble only to be fined by your local council! So do the research.
Attractiveness: Don’t make your sign too simple or boring. Use colors that would appeal to your customers. Your sign should also build on your brand’s visual identity. To achieve this, you should choose a material that supports your desired size, colors, etc. Metal is a good choice because it allows you to use pretty much any color or type of paint you can think of.
Information: What should a sign do? It should tell your customers what your business is before they even walk in. People should take one look at your outdoor sign and know everything they need to know. While it will display the name of your establishment, the sign can also contain information about what you offer conveyed through added symbols or additional text.
For instance, you could put in the working hours of your business. Follow standard conventions based on the type of business you own, such as a cross symbol for medical establishments.
Tagline: If you want to include a tagline with your business name, don’t make it too long. People usually just glance at shop signs while walking or driving past. There’s a chance they won’t read the whole sign. Symbols or catchy words might be a better option.
Durability: Since your business sign will be displayed outdoors it has to be durable. Choose materials that are long-lasting and don’t chip, crack or break easily. Using cheaper materials can cost you dearly as you will have to replace your sign more frequently. A shabby looking business sign will reflect poorly on the establishment, and no one wants that, right?
Your outdoor business sign should be able to endure harsh weather conditions. Come rain, sun or snow, the sign should be able to weather any storm without fading or losing its shape. Different types of metal depending on the kind of weather your area has, are usually your best bet when it comes to durability.
Night-time visibility: A sign that will be used outdoors should also be legible at night. This applies even more to businesses that continue to run after the sun’s gone down. You could put lighting around the sign, use reflective paint or put spotlights, anything that makes it easy to read at night. You could also use LED lights since they work well for night-time visibility.
Your outdoor business sign is a part of your establishment’s branding and marketing and is often the first impression for your customers. Making the right design choices can help boost your business.