The sign you choose for your business will become its identity, making it distinguishable in an increasingly competitive market. For the sign to express the character of your business and attract the viewer’s attention in an instant, it must be more than just an attractively designed logo and a witty slogan; a successful sign is an intricate blend of various elements like marketing, demographics, and visual appeal. What makes designing appealing signage more difficult is the fact that everyone is going somewhere, so your sign must be one that is instantly visible, recognizable, and understandable by people on the move.
Signage Makes A Great First Impression
First impressions are often hard to change, and your signage is the first contact prospective customers will have with your business. If it fails to captivate peoples’ attention, your venture is doomed to failure, regardless of how remarkable your products or services are. An investment in professional signage design, therefore, will go a long way in establishing a strong market presence for your business. Professional signage graphics designers understand the complexities of marketing and what it takes to captivate the attention of passersby, turning them into prospective customers.
All globally recognized chains began their journey as any other business in the market, with a focus on product quality, service, and cultivating a recognizable market presence through strategic marketing setting them apart from the competition. This is the kind of success your business can acquire if investment is made to cultivate an effective market presence from the time of its inception.
An effective sing must tell the onlooker about the core-purpose of your business and tell your story even before the customer steps into your establishment.
What Make A Good Business Sign?
How effective a sign is in introducing your business to customers depends largely on how visible, prominent, readable and understandable your sign is for people rushing to the bus stop or driving past. If it is appealing enough to captivate people’s attention, it is a job well done. The following elements are what a professional designer will keep in focus when crafting an effective sign for your business.
Placement Of The Sign
Where your establishment is located is also a major consideration when determining the placement of your sign. If you are located such that your customers will not be able to easily spot your sign from a distance, you could consider a different location for increased exposure. Leading researches inform that signs mounted perpendicular to the roadway enjoy the most visibility, and those mounted on buildings parallel to the roadway need to be a minimum of 70% bigger than those perpendicular in order capture a driver’s attention as they drive past. Any signs mounted by a major highway or road need to be appealing, with minimal written content; always assume that people driving past will not stop to read.
Size Of The Sign
Moving on, we will assume that your sign is visible enough to be spotted from a distance and focus on the size of written content to ensure that your message is readable.
Expert recommendation suggests that the letters on your sign should be at least an inch tall for every 25-feet of distance so that they can be easily read by people driving past. For instance, if our establishment is 300 feet from the main road, the letters on your sign should be at least 12 inches big in height. If your sign uses a font that is harder to read, the minimum size of the letters will have to be increased to make the content easily readable.
To determine how small your sign can be while being readable at the same time, consider that each letter will occupy one square foot. A sign that is 410 feet away with 18-letter content will need at least 25 square feet for the content alone and an additional 35%-40% of empty space to maximize clarity. This is the smallest size you should consider for a sign with no logos and clear readable text mounted perpendicular to the road at this distance.
However, a number of businesses will not be satisfied with a bland sign without graphics. The style of the letters, how easily recognizable the logos and designs are, the lighting method, and the composition of colors will all enhance the sign’s visibility even if the font used is not easy to read.
Height Of The Sign
Once you’ve determined the placement and the size of your sign, you need to consider at what height the signs needs to be mounted. The further away the sign is from the road, the higher it needs to be so that it is easily visible to people driving by. If your establishment is by a freeway, the sign needs to be high enough to be visible from a great distance but if you’re located in a business area it just needs to be high enough to not be obscured by moving and parked vehicles.
The length of written content on your sign will generally dictate its dimensions, but assuming that your sign meets the minimum size and height requirements mentioned above, and is mounted perpendicular to the road about 5 to 10 feet from the closest edge of public right-of-way, the bottom of the sign should be a at least 7 feet above the ground to avoid being obscured by dormant and moving vehicles.
Illumination Of The Sign
Another primary consideration once the size, placement, and height of the sign have been decided is the lighting. Proper focus on lighting will ensure that your sign is clearly visible day in and day out, at night time, and in all kinds of weather. A sign that is well-lit is easier to read by moving vehicles, providing round the clock advertisement for your business. Proper lighting on your sign will strengthen your business’s market presence as it will serve as a constant reminder to passersby even when you’re closed.
If you are considering lighting up your sign, you can employ one or a combination of three basic approaches: 1) lamps can be installed at the base of the sign and oriented to shine on its face, 2) lighting can be installed internally, shining through the face of the sign from the back illuminating it from within, 3) lighting elements like LEDs, neon tubing and exposed bulbs can be used to light up the sign as well. With modern advancements in technology, we now have the luxury of a vast array of economical, energy-efficient lighting fixtures that are easy to install and maintain.
It is advisable to match the lighting on your sign with the color scheme of your business establishment or that of your advertising and print media to give it a balanced and unified look. It is worth noting that not all lighting fixtures will display colors accurately, so if an accurate representation of your business’s colors is important, lighting fixtures with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) rating should be considered.
A well-lit sign must be luminous enough to stand its ground in the presence of other signs from other businesses around it, but not so bright that it becomes a nuisance. A number of cities in the US have moved to establish brightness limits for street signs, so make sure to check with local planning and development authorities before designing your sign to determine what those limits may be.