An effective business sign announces your presence in the marketplace, makes a commercial announcement, and creates a favorable overall impression. However, you need to find a way to stand out in the crowd as you are not the only advertiser. But before we share how to design the perfect business sign, we need to answer three fundamental questions.
Design the Perfect Business Sign: Three Core Questions
– Why Do I Need the Sign?
Are we announcing our location, or introducing a new product (or both). Perhaps we need signage for a business expo, or want to showcase a promotion. Maybe we just want to encourage brand awareness? The length of time the sign remains on display has a bearing on our quality and cost.
– What Is My Target Demographic?
The persona of our audience provides valuable input to the character of the sign. A baby boomer audience will appreciate large, clear fonts, while Gen Z prefers something funky on their phone. Knowing how to design the perfect business sign therefore depends on understanding the target’s mind at the time.
– Where Am I Going to Put the Sign?
Signs promoting memorable brands often display a famous logo without content, to remain uppermost in their public’s minds. However a smaller business trying to gain exposure relies on the words themselves to sell. Hence the distance of our sign from the audience dictates font / overall sign size, and therefore cost. Once we have our answers, we can begin to design the perfect business sign.
The Psychology of Color: How to Use It to Create a Killer Sign
Colors convey unspoken thoughts and emotions to our minds. However, their actual values depend on our culture and upbringing. In the West, for example white may be a symbol of purity, while for many Asian cultures it is the color of mourning for loved ones.
However conversations on Research Gate and the US National Library of Medicine confirm red and yellow are aggressive winning colors, while blue and green have more calming effects. It therefore follows that signs with dominant reds and yellows are more likely to attract attention. Think Kentucky Chicken, Coke, and McDonald’s for example.
The Compelling Factor: Contrast for Readability
Images and colors attract attention first, but killer content sells. A sign has one chance. When we design a perfect business sign we should choose a background and font colors that enable the message to shine through.
Common techniques include dark characters on light backgrounds, or the other way around. Contrasting colors can be dangerous. Up to 8% of women and men with Northern European ancestry cannot tell the difference between red and green.
A Handy Rule of Thumb for Font Right-Sizing
Clearly, we need larger fonts on signs viewed from a greater distance. Entrepreneur Magazine suggests increasing font height by one inch for every ten feet of viewing distance. This obviously reduces the amount of content in the available space.
We may design the perfect business sign, but it still has only one chance to gain the full attention of a particular person. Flowery fonts and busy backgrounds may look great on our desktops, but turn out a disaster on smartphones and the actual signs. The general rule of thumb is to keep it simple, and hold artists on tight reins.
Did You Ever Think the Best Business Sign Designer Could Be You?
A perfect sign expresses the personality of a business, and that’s its brand. Many businesspeople leave it to sign providers to come up with suggestions. They run the risk of getting something back that is run of the mill, and hence does not immediately compel action.
Did you know you could design your own custom signs with software freely available on the web? There are loads of templates and tips to get you started. You’ll never know if you could design the perfect business sign until you try. You no longer need web design or photoshop skills, and it could turn out to be great fun at the office.