Effective Business Signage: 6 Factors

What’s the first thing that prospective customers see when they approach your business?

Your signage tells them where you are, draws their attention and attracts them into your business (or possibly drives them away). Summing up your business brand for the world to see, your business signage creates that all-important first impression. How can you ensure it’s a good one? Whether you’re developing signage for a new business, or updating signage for an existing business, here are some things to consider.

1. What are the constraints affecting signage in your area? Your city’s local zoning ordinances will typically govern the type of signage a business can have. For instance, there may be restrictions on the size of a sign, how it can be lighted and even the colors used. Your business location (such as a strip center, mall or downtown pedestrian area) may have its own restrictions. For instance, in one shopping center near my home, all businesses’ signs have to use the same font and a limited palette of colors to create a more uniform look.

2. What do you want to include in your sign? Your sign is a 24/7 branding tool, so ideally, you want to include your business logo and use your business’s color palette so that your signage harmonizes with the other visual aspects of your brand. However, if you have a complex logo or can’t use it for other reasons (such as zoning restrictions), try to at least use fonts and colors that tie in with your brand.

3. Think practical. We’ve all seen examples of the business whose store sign is in a beautiful script that looks pretty, but is impossible to read—especially if you’re whizzing by in a car going 45 miles an hour. Always remember that the purpose of your sign is 1) to help customers find you and 2) to get prospects to notice you. A hard-to-read sign might attract attention of prospects with time on their hands (“What’s that say?”), but it will only frustrate customers trying to find you. Make sure your business signage is large enough, contrasting enough and the font clear enough to be easily readable from across the street, across the parking lot or wherever else your customers may be coming from.

4. Consider placement. Where your signage is placed has a big effect, too. A sign that’s easy to read when lit at night may be hard to see in the bright light of day, when there’s a lot of glare or when the sun hits it from a certain direction. Before investing in a permanent sign, try testing a banner with the same colors, fonts and font sizes in different places on your building. You may discover that you need signs on two sides of your building; that tall trucks parked nearby block the view of your sign; or that a neighbor’s awning obstructs it from the street. Best to learn this now before you spend money on permanent installation.

5. Investigate additional signage options. Talk to your property landlord about options for additional signage to help attract more attention to your business. For instance, if your business is far off the street in the back of a big shopping center or office park, it may be impossible for customers to see from the road. In this case, see if the center will consider putting up directional signs at the center entrances listing which businesses are where. Strengthen your case by getting other businesses to ask for the same thing.

6. Keep it up. Once your sign is up, spend the time and money to maintain it. Replace burned-out bulbs promptly and keep it clean. Nothing turns prospective customers off like a broken or partially burned-out sign. It tells people you don’t care—and when they see that, they won’t care to do business with you.
A great first impression!

A professional sign is a good investment for business.

A professionally designed sign is the most effective and the least expensive way to market a small business. Signs are always on the job, marketing your business 24/7, 365 days a year!

People often judge a business by the way a sign looks and the content displayed on the signage. Maintaining name awareness and image is very important.

Studies have consistently shown that a professionally designed sign and the visibility of the sign can be expected to result in a direct increase of sales for small business.

For many retail businesses that exist and survive on small profit margins, signage can mean difference between survival and failure, or between profit and loss.

We live in a mobile society. According to the United States Census Bureau 18% of households relocate each year. A professionally designed sign helps to consistently market to potentially new customers.

Maximize your marketing potential with electronic LED digital displays

The ability of a vivid high-impact digital display will help your business inform, direct, motivate, and reach potential customers on a daily basis 365 days a year!

A study done by the U.S. Small Business Administration; A LED Display has the potential of increasing your sales from 5% to 150%.

For helpful information on signage and ideas how to elevate your business…

We encourage you to visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website SBA.GOV

Bart Stubblefield is the project manager for the signage conversion of one of Weyerhaeuser’s newly acqured businesses. The acquisition includes over 100 businesses worldwide.

Bart has done an excellent job in managing the program and working with site employees and corporate management.

It has been a pleasure working with Bart. He not only presents himself very well professionally, but equally as well personally.

-Carol Nelson
Weyerhaeuser Program Manager