What does your Business Sign say about your Business?

If you're running a business with physical premises, it's essential that you have a great piece of signage to mark your location and attract people into your place of business. But what constitutes a great sign and what does it say about your business?

In this article, I want to look at why it's so important to get the right business sign and the huge importance of creating that great first impression.


The importance of the First Impression

We might like to imagine that we are balanced, objective consumers who are influenced by only careful considerations of all the information at hand... but the reality is that we are all completely swayed by first impressions. Research from the The BrandSpark / Better Homes and Gardens American Shopper Study found that, when it comes to signage, customers aged between 18-24 are likely to be immediately persuaded about the quality of a business by the quality of its graphics.

Furthermore, nearly a third of consumers are tempted to visit a business based upon the quality of its signage. A third of American consumers also agreed that they made a judgement call as to whether they would feel an affinity with a business, based on whether or not they liked its outdoor physical signage. Suddenly the importance of that rectangular shape above your door starts to become clearer.


Getting your signage right

So you know that your business signage is vital to attracting customers, getting them through the door and driving conversions, so how do you get your signage right? From sign design through to your choice of materials, everything must be carefully considered for the best result.


Material Choice

Make sure you invest in quality signage materials that are robust, look great and will give a professional finish. Use a signage provider who will measure up a site visit, consider lighting and access and cost in professional fitting as well as production. Some signage producers will also include signage design via an in-house professional signage design team alongside their production capabilities, so look for an all-rounder who can take care of the end to end process.
If you aren't sure which type of material to use for your sign, ask for advice. Vinyls, composites and acrylics are all great choices. Consider lighting too so that your sign will be visible when it's dark. Also, spend your budget on quality permanent signage rather than using a temporary sign for your permanent premises.


Signage Design

Elements to consider include contrast of colour, brightness and sizing. Only use the minimum of words and choose a font that is clear and simple to read. Remember that your sign should be in line with your branding and logo to create a seamless visual presentation of your business across all of your marketing channels and visual assets. Don't make the mistake of trying to cram in lots of information; your business name, a graphic and your essential contact details should be sufficient. Remember, your signage is literally just a quality, branded signpost - not a piece of marketing collateral.

If you don't have a great business logo, then invest in rebranding before you begin commissioning new signs. Remember, your logo needs to be clear, compelling, distinctive and easy to replicate across a range of print and digital media, at different resolutions and at different sizes.

Colour is also key as customers make assumptions about a brand based on elements. These include colour, with red being bold and assertive, for example, and pink being soft and nurturing.


Working with a Graphic Designer

A professional sign designer will be able to advise on colours and perceptions of branding using their knowledge of visual communication to translate the vision and values of your brand into a powerful visual which communicates what you need to say about your brand in an immediate way that will resonate with your target audience.
Your designer will consider the following factors

  • Colours
  • Size
  • Visuals
  • Font
  • Style
All these factors combine to ensure that your logo speaks to your audience, represents your business and looks individual and distinctive.

Your designer will also ensure that your logo is produced in a professional way that can be replicated across all kinds of materials, with whiteout and mono versions alongside colourway logos. This is vital because a logo that isn't produced using professional design software will not be able to be printed properly across large materials in particular, such as physical signage. The time and financial investment are well worth it in terms of your long-term ROI.
Invest in great business signage and reap the benefits, ranging from perceptions of quality from passing traffic, an uptick in visitors through to better brand recognition, ultimately leading to stronger conversions and sales.
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