A Small Business Guide to Sign Design Best Practice

by Josh Biggs in Marketing on 24th July 2020

Although we live in a digital age, physical signage still proves to be a useful marketing tool. Well-designed physical signage yields a good return on investment for businesses, allowing them to engage their target audience at a local level which eventually increases conversions down the road. However, this is not always the case.

Physical signage can be quite costly, so poorly done sign design can cause you to lose revenue. As a small business, any amount of loss can be devastating. So how do you ensure that your signs are done the way they should be? Here are a few tips you should keep in mind. 

1. Hire a professional

If you have the budget, get a professional and reputable sign company to create the signage for you. This way you can be assured that it is visually compelling and that the colour schemes and other design elements work together to grab the attention of the passersby. After all, you are likely to be using your business sign for the long haul, and hiring a professional to do it is one way to avoid unnecessary errors. 

2. Go for a custom design

Don’t settle for a design that merely describes what your business is. Customize your sign design in a way that makes your business or product or service stand out with channel letter signs. This will help pique the interest of your prospective customers and help you establish your business’s presence.  

3. Design for your target market

Tailor the style of your signage according to the taste and preferences of your target market. Are you looking to appeal to mature audiences or a younger group?  It would be best to create an avatar of the customer you have in mind so you can adjust the typography, colour, and other elements of your sign design accordingly. 

4. Be mindful of where you’ll display your sign

The design of your sign should be in harmony with its intended location. Make sure the design elements such as shape and colour complement the area surrounding it. This should help make your sign more enticing and draw in more people to look at it. If you’re going to be flying a flag with an image of your sign on it, you’ll want to make sure to get some good quality commercial flagpole accessories to make sure that your flag will be able to withstand the elements and stay flying strong. 

5. Make sure to show it is aligned with your brand identity

People should be able to associate the sign with your brand so take note of this when coming up with your design. Otherwise, your signage wouldn’t register in the minds of your audience which will put all your design efforts in vain. 

6. Keep it unique

Try to make your signage as exclusive to your business as possible. Make sure it stands out among the sea of other signages around the area. You can even use lights to make the graphics pop out visible and make your signage visible even in the dark. 

7. Use materials that will stand the test of time

The material you use is just as important as the message it carries. See to it that they are of the best quality you can afford so that it wouldn’t break down easily. Using low-quality and cheap-looking materials might reflect badly on your business and cause you more trouble in the long run. 

8. Remember to include your business name

It might be easy to brush off the importance of putting your business name in your physical signage when the logo is already present. However, having both your business name and logo in the sign makes it easier for people to identify your brand. Just make sure both are legible even from a distance. 

9. Refrain from including too much information

Only include what is essential. When a sign is too wordy, you risk turning off the reader as it loses its visual appeal and becomes more of an eyesore. 

10. Mount it where it can be seen

No matter how well-designed a signage is, it wouldn’t be of use if it won’t be seen by the people passing by. Before installation, do an ocular on the site you intend to install it in. Check if anything will be blocking its way from various points of view. 

11.  Be consistent

Make sure your other signages—whether physical or digital, matches each other in terms of design. Graphic designer Melissa Moyle explained the importance of consistency in sign design in her interview with Signs.com. 

She said that although one can easily fall into the notion that each sign should be unique or that it is okay to use different design elements for different signages, this approach can be harmful to branding.  According to her, “Trying to make each sign unique makes a carnival of signage—not a cohesive brand.” 

So there you go, a quick list of tips that you can implement to help you come up with effective sign design for your small business. Applying these principles may appear tedious at first, but the benefits your business will get from doing so will be well worth it. 

Categories: Marketing