As a business owner, you know some business concepts are timeless. For instance, playing fair and providing quality products or services are tried & true ones. But, as the world changes, things like technology, transportation, and communication can change, the lay of the land in the business world changes with them. The advent of the internet age has opened a myriad of new channels for businesses to spread their messages. And that means, you’ll certainly have new questions to ask and answer for your company—questions like can you use emoji in marketing?
Business for the 21st century
Certainly, a business owner wouldn’t have asked that 100 years ago. Naturally, you have plenty of other questions, too. For instance, you may be wondering how often is too often to reach out to customers on social media or via email. Additionally, you could be mulling over whether you need to be on social media at all. Or you might simply be considering which modern media and technologies your company should choose.
Today, let’s set aside most of your other Cyber Age questions and zero in on emoji in marketing. Why? It’s simple—July 17th is World Emoji Day. So it’s a perfect time to address these remarkably popular little visuals. 😍🎉🙌
Emoji vs emoticon
Some may use the terms emoji and emoticon interchangeably. But, here today, we’re talking about those little pictures you’ll find on your texting keyboard and elsewhere. Don’t get us wrong we’re not knocking emoticons — the punctuation “faces” used to express emotion. (Like the : ) emoticon or the ; ) emoticon). We’re just not talking about them today.
Can I use emoji in marketing?
Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk masterminding your business strategy for the next year (or two or five). You’re brainstorming ways to appeal to your customers and clients, and emoji is on the table. You use them all the time in personal communication, maybe even while you’re talking to co-workers or clients. But you’re wondering if you can use emoji for other purposes, too.
Can you use emoji in marketing? 🤔 Of course, you can! 😊 Maybe you even should. And if you do, you’ll be joining the ranks of other companies, even big ones, who are doing it.
From Hilton Hotels to Ford Motor Company to Chick-Fil-A, you’ll find emojis in the social media feeds of major companies. If they’re doing it, you can too. Even Walmart gets in on the emoji action, too. And The Royal Family uses emojis on Instagram and Twitter. Which tells us something about the social acceptability of using the graphics on social media.
Can I use an emoji in my logo?
Aside from emoji in marketing, you may also be wondering about using them in a logo. This is a great question. If emoji are good for your business, then the more the better, right? Perhaps you think a logo emoji would be the perfect way to craft a whimsical, fun-loving company image.
You might be tempted to find the nearest emoji and send it off to your graphic designer. After all, we’re used to having them near at hand and using them at will. But before you use one in your logo, you need to look into your legal obligations. The blog at LizerbramLaw.com addresses some relevant content in their article Are Emoji Protected by Copyright?
If your company already has an attorney, check with them first. If not, it may be time to consult one before finalizing your logo. (Or even before designing it, depending on the stage you’re in). On the other hand, your logo’s graphic designer may also be a source of information on the topic.
Market with your company, your medium, & your clients in mind
Crafting great marketing media for your company or organization could certainly include emojis. Naturally, you want to take what your group does into account and harness emoji (or not) accordingly. Remember that you can have too much of a good thing.
Additionally, emoji in marketing might be great for some businesses, but unnecessary for others. If you’re a food truck or a local cafe crafting social media posts, emojis might be just the thing. For a funeral home creating marketing emails, emoji could appear tasteless.
More than emoji in marketing
Of course, emoji in marketing is just one part of the marketing picture. There are other things to consider, too. To get you started, check out The Importance Of Brand Awareness To The Success Of Your Business. Also, try 5 Of The Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Promotional Materials.
One of the vital uses of signs is to mark your business. You want to catch people’s eye, to stand out. And to draw them into your storefront or offices. LED channel letters can be a brilliant tool to make this happen. These signs are perfect signs for presenting your name to the world.
Read this article to find out more about channel letters and how you can customize them. We are going to look at different examples to get you inspired.
Why choose channel letters?
So what exactly are channel letters?
They are a type of building signs that you can use outdoors. People use them for all kinds of businesses, from restaurants to offices.
Manufacturers build them with metal sign backers and an acrylic sign face. They are three dimensional and are typically lit with LED bulbs.
The best part of these signs is that you can pretty much customize them as much as you want. You can decide on the color, shape, size font, and more for the letters.
Generally, companies design them to be front lit. This means that the illumination comes from the face of the sign and shines through the letters. But this isn’t your only option. You could also choose reverse channel letters or have them backlit.
All of these options will have different effects. But their main goal remains the same, to get you noticed.
Benefits of LED channel letters
In the past, sign companies might have used a variety of bulbs for their products like neon tubes. But now most of them primarily rely on LED lighting. This is what they usually use for channel letters too.
Here are the key advantages of choosing LED channel letters for your building signs:
- Impact: It’s all about making a statement. A well-designed channel letter will help get you noticed. But even more importantly it can make it more memorable as well.
- Visibility: Another crucial factor is that they can be far more visible than other signs. The lights mean that you can see it better even at night and from a distance.
- Energy efficiency: Do you want to go green? If being environmentally friendly is a primary concern for you, then LED’s are the way to go. They can use up to 75% less energy compared to other bulbs.
- Durability: Manufacturers typically use aluminum to make their channel letters. Thanks to this, they are pretty sturdy and can withstand a lot of punishment. This can save you from costly repairs.
- Longevity: Because they are durable, they can last a long time too. You probably won’t need to replace the bulbs as often. So they are quite cost-efficient. Besides this LED bulbs can last as long as ten years.
- Bright and bold: One thing that distinguishes these letters are how brilliant they are. They can produce quite the shine and can be very colorful too.
- Customization: Don’t forget the range of customization options that are open to you.
Guide to customizing LED channel letters
Customization is all about making the best out of the sign. You need to personalize it to fit your business’ unique needs. But also to suit your brand’s identity.
The core of this is to think carefully about the design of your signage. You could do this yourself. But the modern market is too competitive. Getting some help and input from an expert might be just what you need to give you that edge.
A pro tip is to ask your sign company whether they offer any creative services.
A few of the essential factors to consider in sign design are:
- Lighting effects
These are the main elements through which you can customize your channel letters. You can personalize each of these individual factors to create the perfect whole.
Now, let’s look at all of these principles in more detail with examples, of course.
1 – Shapely
First of all, we need to consider how you can use shapes in customizing your signage. Traditionally, channel letters were single separate letters that were put together to spell out the specific words that you want.
This is still an excellent choice for building signs and is undoubtedly the most common kind out there.
However, not everyone has the same requirements. For example, your business’ name could double up like your logo, so it needs to be shaped a certain way. And if you always use it that way it might not make sense to do it differently specifically for your name sign.
Luckily, modern technology gives you alternatives to the standard format.
Nowadays, your sign company should be able to help you with a lit sign capsule. They are basically oversized channel letters in custom shapes.
So when you hear channel letters, don’t think you are limited to typical letter shaped signs.
2 – Too big?
No matter what sign you want, you always need to consider the size carefully. Two key terms here are visibility and legibility.
First, you need to make sure that people will be able to see the sign. Secondly, they need to be able to read the words on the channel letters too.
You need to work out what the view distance for your sign is. In other words, from how far away should the audience be able to look at the sign.
Besides this, your specific size needs are probably going to depend on the space available to you and local regulations about signage.
For all these reasons, calculating the size is a crucial part of designing your own custom channel letters. You will have to give this information to the sign company that you’re planning to hire.
To do this correctly, figure out exactly how long you want each side of the sign to be.
Remember that when it comes to channel letters, you need to consider how thick the sign is going to be. Because they are three dimensional, you should keep in mind that people will be able to see parts of it from different directions.
This can also influence what effect you create with the lighting.
3 – Font
Another critical factor in customizing your own channel letter is to pick a font. Some companies will have lists of fonts that are available from which you choose. But it won’t always work this way.
In other cases, you will need to or want to use a unique font. Typography forms a core part of creating a brand’s visual identity.
Your business will probably already have a preferred font that you use in your brand. Or if you don’t, now might be the ideal time to decide on one.
If you do have a particular font, it’s a good idea to use it for your building signs, like channel letters. Consistent fonts will help your audience recognize your brand.
Overall, the font you choose needs to fit your business. It’s vital for creating the right feel and experience for your business. And it plays a role in attracting customers.
For example, you don’t necessarily want to choose a serious and professional looking font for a frozen yogurt store. Instead, you want a font that is fun and inviting or perhaps even playful. But a more professional and elegant font can be excellent for an attorney’s office.
Read this article for more information on choosing the right font for your business’ visual identity.
4 – Color me
Now let’s get more colorful. Like with any other type of sign, color is an essential element. It’s such a crucial part of our visual perceptions that you need to take it into account.
One reason why LED channel letters are so popular is the bright colors that you can select. Just take a look at the neon green in the example.
Best of all, you don’t have to pick just one! You can practically make your channel letters a rainbow of color. Blue, purple, green, red, you name it.
The color in LED channel letters can come from several sources. First, companies can make the sign housing from colored plastics or other materials. Second, they can use all kinds of colored LED bulbs to light up your sign.
Yet again, if you have already figured out your brand’s visual identity, this should be reflected in the colors you choose. If your customers know that your primary colors are blue and white, stick with it.
A pro tip is to look at the surroundings and walls of your storefront and to choose a color that will stand out well against the background.
5 – Graphics
Yet again we come to the question of what more you can do with channel letters?
With innovations like lit sign cases, you can add graphics to your signage too. This can be an excellent way for you to add some color and life to your storefront. Carefully chosen and drawn graphics can contribute to attracting new customers.
And if you have a well-known logo, you could potentially add it onto your channel letters as well.
Although, you should remember that you don’t necessarily want to make the picture too elaborate and detailed. It can overwhelm your customers and at a certain point, make it more difficult to comprehend from a distance.
For the most part, simplicity is king.
6 – Lay of the land
This point is more relevant for business owners who have a lot to say with their channel letters. These are cases where you might have more than word in your name or even if you want to add a short slogan or abbreviation.
So, you have to figure out how to achieve this with little space and still make it look neat and professional.
You can solve this problem with some good layout design practices.
One of the most straightforward solutions is to stack the words in a hierarchy.
To do this, you need to figure out what your main heading and sub-heading are going to be. The title is the most important word or words and should be on top. It should also be larger than the sub-heading to distinguish it.
There are a few formulas like this you could follow, but this is a tried and tested pattern.
But in essence, it’s all about balance, striking that right mix between being making it uncomplicated and exciting.
7 – Light up the night
The thing that really makes channel letters stand out is the LED lighting. They will literally make your sign shine. You can’t go wrong with illumination if you want your sign to catch people’s eye and to be more visible even at night.
Generally, standard channel letters are front lit. Most of the times, they are an excellent option for you if you want the sign to be lit evenly throughout.
But this might not always be the look you are going for. As we’ve said, you can also choose backlighting where the sign is illuminated from behind. With this type of lighting, you can create a halo effect around the letters.
Many business owners love to use this to create the perfect atmosphere for their business. For example, it can work brilliantly for restaurants and bars.
Are you looking for something different? All you need to do is think out of the box. Take a look at the example above where red LED’s were placed channel letters without a front face to create an old school effect.
Be sure to ask your sign company about the different customization options that they offer for lighting effects.
8 – Mounting
Last but not least, we need to talk about mounting. This is another possibly crucial but easily overlooked part of customizing channel letters.
Your two primary options are direct mounting and raceway mounting. Which you choose will depend on building regulations, lighting effects, and the overall picture you want to paint.
Directly mounted letters are flush to the wall. All the wiring and fixtures need to be built into the surface of the building. With this, you can create a clean and neat look. However, local building regulations often prohibit this.
In raceway mounting, the manufacturers attach the letters to an aluminum box that houses all the wiring. This housing is then attached to the surface of the building. It is an excellent alternative if you want to create some depth with your sign.
On top of this, it’s the best option if you want to backlight. It is vital to helping you get that halo effect.
Customizing your LED channel letters is all about tailoring it to suit your business. You want it to match your style. But also draw in crowds.
Before making the final decisions about the right outdoor signage for your business, read our complete guide to building signs. It covers information about the dimensions, design, and installation of these products.
Social media is part of nearly everyone’s life. Often, it’s used for personal reasons—like when individuals connect with friends, family, and acquaintances. But it also has tremendous potential for businesses, too. And many businesses have tapped into the power of social media to strengthen their brand, cultivate customer relationships, and more.
Soaring social media
“In the most recently measured period, 79 percent of U.S. Americans had a social media profile,” according to Statista. So, it’s likely that some (or even many) of your business’s customers & clients have a social media profile.
Of course, they won’t all be using the same platforms necessarily. But then again, neither will you. But with social media such a popular venue currently, we thought we’d celebrate Social Media Day with you. That’s why we’re offering eight tips to get the most out of your signs and reuse them on social media.
1 – Begin with the end in mind
Granted, this phrase isn’t our own. But it’s applicable to your sign pursuits. If you know you want to reuse signs or put them to double use, then begin with that idea on the table. This way, you can form all your plans with this multipurpose perspective. Thus, putting designs or graphics to alternative uses will be intentional—not an afterthought.
2 – Work horizontally
Here we want you to envision tangible marketing/advertising media—the kind you can touch. Imagine all your “signs” spread out on a table, from brochures to yard signs to light boxes to channel letters to billboards. (Okay, we know you can’t spread a billboard out on a table, but bear with the image for a moment).
Think of all these marketing and branding materials as being on the same playing field. However, the key point is that you can share graphics among these signs. For instance, the graphics that appear on your billboard can be refashioned for use (in a smaller form) as a countertop lightbox.
Additionally, the visuals you’re using for the front of your trifold brochure may be tweaked and put to use for a vehicle wrap. They could even be used in cyberspace, though that’s a little less tangible. Graphics on physical signage could become website headers or social media cover photos. (Note that we still count this as a horizontal use of your sign—sharing it among all your different types of “signs.” However, it’s not the same as using your sign graphics “vertically” which we’re just about to dive into).
3 – Use dates cautiously
Dates on a sign can be useful, letting viewers know when they can expect an event. But they can also give the sign an expiration date, so to speak. If you want your signs to be usable as long as possible, consider creating a long-term sign that can have short-term add-ons as needed.
Then, when you have an upcoming event, you can supplement your sign with a plaque, magnet, sticker, banner, etc. with the date. Once, the event date has passed the initial sign is still useful—simply remove the add-on. Basically, this gives your sign a longer shelf life.
4 – Work vertically
Here we’re talking about taking already developed and finalized signs and using them again on a different media. For instance, once you have some amazing new vehicle wraps, it’s time to take photos and put them on social media. Obviously, your vehicle visuals are reaching customers on the highway. This way, they’ll also be reaching customers on their computers and cell phones—popping up before consumer’s eyes wherever they happen to be.
So, that’s what we mean by vertically. Instead of a tangible sign product that’s sharing graphics with other sign products, you have a derivative marketing tool. A photo of the product. If you already have social media accounts up and running, that’s a major place where this content can be featured. Alternatively, if you’re not active on social media, it may be time to dive into a social media platform that’s right for your company.
5 – Take stellar photos
When it comes to derivative marketing tools, make them good ones! Honestly, why post a picture of your sign that’s less than flattering? If you have a great sign, then it deserves a great photo.
For those who have no photography experience (and no desire to acquire any), consider working with a professional. Or, if a professional is out of budget, find an amateur or student looking to build their portfolio.
6 – Go for good lighting
Keep in mind that lighting has a tremendous impact on a photo. Some photos will need an abundance of bright, natural light. Others might need much less light (like a neon sign displayed at night). Time of day can also be important for photos.
7 – Use photos that will integrate well with the rest of your content
The aesthetic you’re shooting for could differ depending on the social media platform you’re posting on. If this means you need to take more than one photo, do so. For instance, your Instagram account may cultivate a fresh, light appearance, precluding nighttime photos. Whatever you do, ensure that your photos fit cohesively with the rest of your content.
8 – Be open with your designer
Maybe your sign company is also doing the design. If so, let them know you’re planning to get extra use out of your sign graphics. That way, they can help you mastermind the looks for maximum impact.
Grow your sign smarts
Get ready to take your sign’s utility to a new level—making it do double duty for your business. But before you use your signs two (or more) ways, be sure you start the sign on a solid foundation. Take a look at 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design. Or read Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing.
Building signs are a great way to get your message to people before they even walk in the door. Whether it’s 3D letters, an illuminated sign box, or custom metal signs, building signs are an important way for your business to reach customers. Still, not all building signs are created equal. So we thought we’d bring you some exterior building signage examples—highlighting both the good and the bad.
Not all exterior building signage examples are repeat-worthy
Yes, you heard that right—the bad signs. We’re not going to take a pie-in-the-sky approach that makes it look like all companies nail their signs every time. In fact, there is such a thing as a sign fail. And when it comes to sign fails, here’s all we know—you don’t want it to be your company.
What not to do
That’s why you can afford to take a moment to learn what others have done wrong. Once you know what they’ve done that hasn’t worked out so well, you can avoid doing it yourself. So let’s start with a few building sign “don’ts.”
Don’t misspell critical words (or any words at all)
Not only should you be shooting for sign copy that’s going to be effective, but you should also be looking for quality. And that means you need to proofread. After all, you want your potential customers and clients to take you seriously. So you need to present your company as a place where people know what they’re doing.
Naturally, this includes spelling. A misspelled word is a painful thing to behold. You may think twice about sending your child to an education center that can’t spell correctly!
Or take your cue from the window signs at the car dealership in this photo from the Press-Enterprise. It looks like lending fraud isn’t the only problem this story highlights. Whether intentionally or not, we’re getting a front row seat to a very visible spelling error.
What the dealership wants to say is, “Bad Credit? You’re Approved!” What they actually say leaves a lot to be desired. Where is an apostrophe when you need one?
Don’t leave characters crooked
Whether it’s channel letters, dimensional letters, or address numbers, don’t affix them to your building in a topsy turvy way. Instead, ensure that they’re placed so they line up neatly—both with the building itself and with the other letters in the group.
Don’t fail to replace broken lighting
Many of us have seen this one before—a lineup of front-lit channel letters with one or more of them conspicuously not illuminated. Don’t let it happen to you. For one thing, it will look just plain broken (and who wants their business to project an image of brokenness?).
Second, it could turn your company into a completely different business. Like the Burlington Coat Factory that lost illumination for the o in Coat and became the “Burlington Cat Factory.” That one probably takes the cake for the fastest way for a business to change industries—from a clothing store to a pet store.
What to do
Now that we have the not-so-good exterior building signage examples out of the way, let’s take a look at the positive side. Time for a healthy dose of success and positivity. Here are some signs from which we can learn a few things worth imitating.
Do go big if you need to be seen
Teeny tiny letters are not going to help clients take an unplanned turn off a highway exit to visit your restaurant or grocery store. Obviously, visibility is important. Unless, of course, you’re actually trying to hide your business’ location so nobody can find you. Which you might do if you’re the Secret Service operating out of an unmarked building in Washington D.C. However, most likely you’re not the Secret Service, so we’ll assume you want your customers, clients, and community members to see you.
Depending on your situation, getting seen could call for going big—big letters, big logo, etc. However, don’t confuse big with wordy. Big signs could actually have very few words. For example, check out the sign Turner Sign Systems made for Uncle Julio’s. It’s succinct, very visible, and—may we say—big.
Do match your sign to the feeling you’re trying to create
Let’s have a thought experiment…Imagine for a moment that two groups with well-recognized logos are going to swap logos for the duration of their existence. Hmm, you think, that’s not a terrible idea. It could work.
Yes, it could work—until you learn which two entities and what two logos. So, here goes. Let’s say that the United States Marine Corps is going to switch logos with Walt Disney Pictures. Right—now it’s getting concerning. What’s wrong with that picture?
Well, the symbols that represent those two groups carry a lot of meaning. And if you tried to switch the two, you’d have what we could call a sign mismatch. (Not to mention a lot of armed and angry Marines and not few upset Disney fans).
Really, this is a great way to visualize the idea that you need a sign that “matches” your company. For instance, with a name like Smiling Moose Deli (see photo 1)—you need an imaginative, even whimsical sign. In the same way, when your building aesthetic says ‘classic’ or ‘old fashioned’ and you embrace timeless professionalism, then it’s time for a sign that evokes a classic feel.
Look, listen, & learn
As you select your own building signs, do your best to learn from these exterior building signage examples. Model your sign after those who have done well, and avoid the pitfalls of those whose signs didn’t quite cut it. But don’t stop there—keep learning about what you should do to craft great signage for your company. Take a look at The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works. Then, try 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.
As a business owner, you certainly want to make decisions in the best interest of your company. But sometimes, when you’re presented with a lot of options, making decisions could seem overwhelming.
And business signage is one area where there are plenty of options to choose from.
Since we don’t want all the options to be overwhelming and mind-boggling, today we’ll offer some basic sign definitions to help clear things up.
Interestingly, some signs could actually fit into more than one of these sign definitions at once. So, keep in mind as you read through that these aren’t necessarily hard fast lines or rules. To help you understand the purpose of each sign a little better, we’ve also included fictitious examples of how businesses and organizations might utilize them.
ADA signs / engraving
ADA signs are designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. And they may have visuals, writing, and/or Braille engraving. They could mark handicapped parking or wheelchair accessible entrances. And they could include high-visibility ADA compliant directional way-finding signs & braille room plaques.
Example: Sushi Spot, a newly-opened restaurant, needs a sign to highlight that there is a wheelchair accessible entrance to their building.
A flat yet flexible sign that is printed with a message to be hung on a surface like an interior or exterior wall (or a fence). Often made of vinyl. Can include words & graphics. May be made of mesh to allow air passage.
Example: Southside Karate Studio hopes to enroll the maximum number of students in their summer Karate4Kids class. So, they decide to print a banner for their building’s exterior. With stunning graphics, they promote their 6-week class, including its great pricing and sign-up date.
Customizable letters that are most commonly used on the exterior of a building outside a storefront, strip mall, public buildings & offices. Often channel letters are front lit, meaning the illumination comes from the front of the letter through the sign face. But they can also be backlit (halo) with the light coming from behind.
Example: Berryville Meat Market stays open late because a lot of their customers work from 9 AM to 5 PM. Since they’re open for business even after the sun goes down, they know they need signage that’s going to be visible in the dark. Thus, they’re selecting front lit, red letters that complement their gray logo and their red front entrance.
3D letters used indoors or outdoors as signage. See also channel letters.
Example: Dinotto manufactures artisan Greek yogurt. They ship worldwide from their 50,000 square-foot facility. Until now, they’ve had a bland sign at the end of the facility’s driveway. Now, they want halo-lit metallic dimensional letters on their building’s facade (which faces the highway).
Donor recognition walls
Walls that show appreciation for those who have contributed to an organization’s success. May list names of individual donors or even companies. Also, may be constructed with different materials like metal, plastic, and wood.
Example: A local community college almost closed its doors for good last year. However, individuals and businesses in the community rallied around it. And thanks to their generous support, the college raised all the money it needed. College administrators and board members want to set up a donor wall with separate tiles grouped according to how much individuals or entities contributed.
Designs and messages constructed on a floor (including floors of carpet, ceramic tile, or concrete). At Signarama, we construct them using heavy-duty floor laminate. Possible applications: tradeshows, grocery store aisles, gym floors, in-store retail promotions, hotel lobbies, casino carpeting, school hallways, sports arena steps, concrete warehouse floors, & sidewalks.
Example: Fast Forward Fitness has constructed a gigantic complex with something for everyone in the community. They’re trying to combat their area’s lax attitude toward health & wellness. Thus, they created a 3-mile sidewalk that loops around and through their complex. And they used floor graphics to create colorful and motivating sidewalks with games exercisers can play as they walk.
Interior light boxes
3D signs with illumination on the inside and a message or logo on the exterior surface. May be rectangular, square, or circle.
Example: Elegance Salon incorporated their logo into an interior light box. Then, they placed it on their sign-in desk alongside a dish of free candies in salon-branded wrappers.
LED message centers
An electronic display that can be changed as desired. Not only can you personalize the words, but you may also be able to change how it’s displayed. For instance, the sign may display a message statically. Or it may present one message after another (slideshow). On the other hand, it may display words in succession (rolling messages).
Example: The Mount Terrence Volunteer Fire Department wants a way to communicate better with the community. They selected an LED message center so they can change their message according to their own and community needs. For their first week, it will announce: “We need firefighters—sign up today!” Then, next week, they’ll wish the very best to their local Little League team.
Signs placed in a building’s lobby or other interior areas. May display the company or organization’s name by placing it prominently on a wall. And may be constructed using plastic, metal, or foam dimensional letters.
Example: Taylor, Tarrantino, Payne, & Willis, Attorneys at Law have experienced 30% revenue growth year after year since their inception 15 years ago. As a result, they’re ready for an office upgrade. And they secured one of the first available suites in a brand new high rise building. They have a lot of freedom to design the new area. So, they’re choosing to use cursive bronze-finish letters spelling out the company’s name on the main lobby wall.
Meeting & event signs
Signs designed and constructed for a particular occasion. Thus, this could include many different types of signs. For instance, it could take any of the following forms: pop-up displays, directional signs for meeting spaces, bulletin board signs, crowd control/directional signs, easel foamcore or coroplast signs, full color banners, temporary wall graphics, custom dye sublimated table covers / throws, photo standups, feather flag banners, fundraising thermometer signs, floor graphics, outdoor directories, & custom scoreboards.
Example: The Fight Alzheimer’s Coalition of Thompson (FACT) is holding an informational & inspirational meeting for their own city and others nearby. Since their theme is Hang in & Help Out, they know they’ll need these words alongside graphics and other information. Consequently, they’re looking for printed yard signs, at least 5 full-color banners (to place around the area), and a pop-up display for their sign-in table.
Example: Charlotte’s Candy Treats has both a storefront and food truck. And that means that the company needs menu boards for both setups. So, for the food truck, they want a custom designed A-frame that they can easily put up at the beginning of the day. It won’t list all their options so they’ll have some painted signs on the truck itself. Then, they’ll need a sign (or several) on the wall behind the counter at their storefront. Plus, they want an A-frame sidewalk sign so when their signature cotton candy truffles are available, they can alert patrons.
Signs placed on or near the ground in an organization or company’s yard. These signs may be near the road or at the end of a driveway announcing the presence of a business, church, office park, or apartment complex. And they may be made of stone, brick, or wood (or at least appear to be). Actually, we recently dug into monument signs.
Example: Tarwood Pediatric Dentistry just opened in a leased office space. There is no existing signage at the road. But, of course, the business does want to be seen. So, they’re electing to use a monument sign constructed of a panel resting on and between gray, stacked stone.
Signs made of illuminated tubing. Sometimes, these are displayed in windows (think of the classic “Open” sign) or on walls. Also, they may be multicolored, a single color, or they may be a simple yellow or white light.
Example: A children’s bookstore wants to go beyond the classic illuminated “Open” sign in their front window. Instead, they’re having a neon sign constructed for them. It will be a brightly-colored outline of a child reading a book with the word “open” beneath. Whenever the store is open, the sign will be illuminated.
Point of purchase displays
Marketing materials and signs used to enhance products for sale in a retail environment. Generally located in the checkout area or other location where the purchase decision is made, these displays are meant to help increase unplanned purchases. Could include kiosks, end cap displays, checkout countersigns, and ceiling hanging signs.
Example: A roadside convenience store is trying to sell more locally-made products. Since there’s a small chocolate company in a nearby town, they’re beginning a partnership with them. Thus, they want a customized point of purchase display that gets the candy right by the checkout. That way, passing motorists who stop for a snack or a soda can’t help but see it.
Pole or pylon signs
Tall signs that may be supported by a pole or poles.
Example: A new shopping center is home to three apparel and accessories stores. Plus, there’s also a bookstore, four restaurants, and a petstore. A pylon sign at the edge of the parking lot ensures that drivers on nearby roads will be able to see what’s available in the center.
Post & panel signs
A message-containing surface placed between two posts. Often, they’re meant to be short term (as in real estate signs or construction & development sites). However, they can be manufactured out of durable materials to provide a long-lasting solution as well.
Safety signs & decals
Signs to improve or demonstrate the safety level of your facility. This could include caution signs, biohazard Signs, chemical hazard and identification signs, ANSI signs, danger signs, and more.
Example: Tracta Labs uses chemicals to manufacture consumer products like perfumes. But they have to make sure that chemicals that could be hazardous are stored properly and appropriately. Certainly, they want their entire environment to be safe. So, they need a sign company that can manufacture chemical hazard & identification signs for them.
Tradeshow displays & exhibits
Short-term or portable signage for use at business events. May include a pop-up display with a full back wall.
Example: GenTen Technologies relies on tradeshows and conventions to reach future clients and connect with current ones. And they’re highly-skilled (experts, actually) at what they do. Thus, they want their signage to reflect the quality of service they provide. That’s why not just any convention setup will do. Instead, they opt for a full back wall with their logo.
Signs that extend over the surface of a car, van, trailer, or food truck.
Example: Unplugged is a 24-hour plumbing service that promises to get your water and sewer problems fixed in a day. With five vehicles on their fleet, they’ve decided it’s time for some uniformity. So, they’re getting vehicle wraps for each one.
Wall murals & wraps
Signs designed to to be applied to wall surfaces. Can spread the message and artwork over the space of an entire wall or more with custom designed wallpaper vinyl.
Example: The Ruckville Public Library has recieved a grant to renovate their children’s area. So, they’re planning a full-wall mural depicting heroes from American history.
Signs alerting viewers which way to go to reach their destination. May appear outside a large complex of buildings or inside a multitenant building.
Example: The Wharton Memorial Hospital is a sprawling complex. Many times, patients express frustration at not being able to find the right building and office in time for their appointment. Thus, the hospital has designated a portion of next year’s budget to purchase wayfinding signs for seven key locations on the campus.
Example: Jack & Jill’s Gelateria sells delicious gelato. While they already have a sign above their entrance, they would like their hours posted on their plate glass window. Instead of using a paper or electronic sign, they choose window graphics with the appearance of etched glass. However, they’re grateful they can have the etched look for a very reasonable price tag.
Signs designed to be inserted in the ground. Usually, they’re made of a corrugated plastic called coroplast. And they’re often placed on metal prongs which can be stuck in the dirt of a lawn or other location.
Example: John Brandt isn’t very happy with what his city council members have been doing (or rather not doing). In fact, his neighbors are also disappointed. One of them suggests John run for a seat himself, and the others agree. So, John decides to do just that. Naturally, one of his strategies for reaching voters in the area is to plant yard signs all over the district.
Beyond sign definitions
Of course, there’s plenty of other relevant sign terminology we passed over in this article. So head over to Sign Terminology: Negative Space, Optimal Distance, Typography & More if you still have questions. And once you select what kind of sign you want, you can begin planning your sign content. Start with Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing. Then, take a look at The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works.
You can use signs for such a wide array of purposes from advertising to conveying safety information. However, no matter how you use these products, certain features are almost universal among all the types.
These are the crucial aspects that signage needs to make it a success. You can arrange these in a variety of ways to suit your sign’s specific purpose.
Let’s look at six elements that you need to include on your signs. Together with this, we will cover a few more bonus tips for designing effective signage.
The primary purpose of any sign is to communicate information to its audience. This is what makes it such a powerful tool in the hands of any business owner.
But how do you get this message across?
Yes, images can convey certain messages. But oftentimes, not as clearly as you can with words. It is up to a certain amount of interpretation. Therefore, the meaning an image conveys can be pretty ambiguous.
This is where using text comes in. Here are several reasons why words can be the ideal solution:
First, writing can help you to achieve the goal of the specific sign. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to sell a particular product? Are you promoting a charity or cause? Use words when advertising something or describing something.
Second, you can use words to share crucial information about your business, like its name.
Third, you will often have to use text to communicate some terms and conditions or disclaimers.
The following are principles which you need to consider when it comes to text:
- Font: You need to choose the font carefully. Don’t choose one that is ornamental nor one that is too thin.
- Size: The text should be large enough that people will be able to read it from the relative distance.
- Amount: Keep it short and sweet. People are much more likely to read and remember a sign with fewer words.
- Complexity: Keep it simple. Go for clarity above anything else. Don’t use too many long and complicated words.
- Readability: All of these aspects boil down to how legible the words will be. There is no point to putting text on your size if people won’t be able to read it for any one of these reasons.
Even though, the script is the key to conveying specific information clearly and unambiguously don’t discount images. Big or small, graphics are still an essential element of signs. It’s no wonder that most signs, whatever their goal, feature graphics of some kind or other.
Images are clearly the main alternative to communicating a message without any words. They are often the element that takes up the most space of any feature on the sign.
One critical use of images in advertising is to create an emotional appeal. This is key if you are trying to persuade an audience to take a particular action. Photographs often work best in this regard.
Graphics not only make a sign more interesting to look at but can also make it more memorable. All of this can help you to achieve your specific goals.
Obviously, some signs are limited in what they can include on them like our channel letters. But for graphics specific promo merchandise, you can get creative.
Another way in which graphics are used on signs is through symbols. Symbols are a mark or character used as a conventional representation of an object, function, or process. So these are images whose meaning will be recognized by most people.
Therefore, they are most often used on safety and warning signs like exclamation marks and also on directional signs like with arrows.
Whatever image you go with, try to make it as impactful as possible. You probably only have one chance to catch a person’s attention.
A third critical element on most types of signs is some form of branding.
But what exactly are we talking about here?
Branding is a practice through which a business creates a design, symbol or name that is easily identifiable as theirs. This is essential to help the audience recognize the company or other venture to which it is relevant.
People usually won’t have time to read your entire sign. So it’s better to play smart and make sure that the significant parts, like who your company is, are noticeable.
Here are ways you can incorporate branding on a sign:
- Logo: If your company has a well-established logo this should feature somewhere on your signage.
- Name: Otherwise, you could print your venture’s name somewhere on it. It should be legible. You don’t have to use both if one would be enough to tell people whose sign it is.
- Colors: Does your brand have a specific color palette? If so, it can be a good idea to incorporate this on the sign.
- Motto: A tagline can make your business much more memorable as long as it is catchy. If it fits the purpose of the sign, you could incorporate it too.
The board doesn’t have to be covered with features of your brand, but it should be noticeable.
Remember that your brand identity will be more effective if it is consistent. For this reason, you should keep it recognizable across all your platforms.
However, this aspect isn’t necessary for all signage. For example, there is typically no reason for a safety sign to show off a brand. As a matter of fact, many informational and directional signs won’t need to be branded.
Few things in the world can have such a powerful effect on our minds as color can. It can be challenging to imagine signs without it. Even if you make your signage black and white, it is still an important feature to consider.
Color is a brilliant way to catch people’s attention. Bright and bold shades can help you make sure your sign stands out from its environment.
Additionally, you can use color to make small parts of the sign more visible. It can literally be the best highlighting tool. You can emphasize the most essential elements of the product by printing it in a different color or one that contrasts with its background.
Most of this boils down to creating the right aesthetic for your sign. You want to use the palette to your advantage to make it as appealing and impactful as possible.
Besides all of this, one of the most impactful uses of color is how you can employ it to affect your audience’s mood. You want to pick a palette that will evoke the right emotion and associations in people.
For instance, if you are making a sign to advertise a beach resort, you don’t want to coat it in red. Instead, use blue which can have a calming effect.
To use this effectively, you should learn as much as you can about the psychology of color.
5- Call to action
What is the point of designing and printing a sign if it doesn’t create the desired effect?
All types of signs are made to lead its audience to one action or another. Designers create advertisements to persuade people to buy a product or service from your company. These type of persuasive signs are probably the most flashy and exciting of all the signage products.
Not so differently, safety and warning signs are there to stop people from doing something that can harm them or others. And so forth.
No matter the sign, this is where the call to action comes in. This is any device which is used to prompt a response in the audience.
Nowadays, you will usually hear the term used to talk about digital sales and marketing. However, it is just as crucial in printed media.
A call to action should clearly tell the audience what you want them to do. It can be just a few words or a few sentences, but it should contain a verb of some kind. Words that you can use are:
These can work on both digital and printed signs.
Here are easy techniques you can use to make it more impactful:
- Create a sense of urgency. People are more likely to act if they feel they only have a short time to do so. That’s why limited offers and sales are so popular.
- Tell them what they will gain by taking action. Happiness? Excitement? Knowledge?
- You can make your call to action much more successful by using emotional appeal to persuade your audience.
For some inspiration, take a look at these brilliant examples of digital CTA’s. See for yourself just how effective they can be.
6- Interactive elements
Nowadays, another fantastic feature that you can include on your signage is interactive elements. These are devices that allow your audience to interact with the product physically. This adds a whole new level of depth to the experience.
Today, interactive features are one of the hottest tools in the industry. And for a good reason.
Research has shown that using them can lead to significant results. For example, the duration which a video holds your attention is increased by a whopping 47% when you add interactive elements.
What else do they bring to the table?
- They’re great at grabbing people’s attention. Besides this, it keeps your audience interested for longer.
- You don’t get much more memorable than interactive ads. The more time people spend with a sign, the more likely they are to recall it and your business later on.
- If you use them right, interactive elements can make your signage fabulously fun and exciting. Overall, this means that people are more likely to build positive associations with your brand.
- In digital products, you can use interactive features like a call to action. This can significantly boost responses to your ads.
Once again, this device can work wonders in both digital and printed signage.
You can make digital products interactive by adding links through buttons to creating virtual signs like banners. But this is only one potential application among many. The sky’s the limit to what you can do.
You also have more than one option when it comes to printed media. For example, an easy way you can implement this is to make signs that encourage people to take photos with it – like large frames. Another is to print QR codes on your sign that people can scan in order to find a link to your app.
Other tips to designing signs and their layout
But it’s not enough to simply throw all these elements together. Here are some pro tips on the design and layout of both your digital and physical signs:
- Save space: Don’t overwhelm your audience with new input. You really don’t have to fill every inch of your sign. Instead, stick to the essentials. Focus on making the critical message come across.
- Top to bottom and left to right: This is how we read, so it makes sense that the layout of your sign should match this style. Our eyes are trained to move this way. Therefore, you need to keep this in mind when planning the flow of the sign.
- Focal point: Successful signs usually have one primary central point. This can help you to grab people’s attention. Experts use lines to lead your eye to this center. On top of this, they use contrasting colors to highlight the point.
Intelligent design is becoming increasingly important in the modern world. The more saturated our environment’s become, the harder it can be to create a sign that will catch people’s eye. It’s all about putting the elements together to form a complete picture.
For more information read our article on the importance of good signage and the psychology behind how it works. And if you are having trouble choosing the right products perhaps take a look at the comprehensive guide to the different types of signs and their uses.
Maybe you haven’t heard them called by this name “sign twirlers,” but you’ve sure seen them. Sign twirlers are the people who stand on the street corner and use a sign to garner attention for an area business. There are several different names for them, but “sign twirlers” help you out by providing a mental picture of what some of them do.
And note that we said it provides a mental picture of what some of them do. Of course, not all sign twirlers offer the same performance to passersby. In fact, sign twirling routines can range from nearly non-existent to stunning (and probably everything in between).
Do sign twirlers really increase sales?
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience a good ROI in your particular situation, a sign spinner can be worth it according to the director of Liberty Tax. On Marketplace.org Janet Nguyen writes, “Martha O’Gorman, Liberty Tax’s chief marketing officer, said that for every two hours a Liberty store has a waver outside, they typically get one customer.”
Below the surface
As with marketing and advertising generally, take time to determine what effect you hope to achieve when you begin a new campaign or program. Keep in mind that a sign spinner could have an effect that’s not immediately apparent. While some companies may be looking to increase walk-ins immediately, it’s possible that the advertising you do today may offer results tomorrow.
For instance, maybe your sign twirler won’t convince anyone to enter your pizza shop for today’s special. Still, it’s possible that passing drivers will remember your shop next time they’re hungry for pizza. And they may even think “That’s the place that always has great deals” based on what they saw on the street corner.
What colors should I use for my sign?
You’re going to put time, money, and effort behind your company’s sign. Understandably, you want to make a good investment which is why you may be wondering whether any colors are better than others.
Certain colors could affect viewers in different ways. As you choose your colors, you may enjoy gathering ideas from what some say about how different colors are perceived. Start by checking out The Logo Company’s infographic shared in Jeff Desjardin’s article about color choice. And is it any surprise that Cassel Promotions & Signs identifies yellow as a color that “Symbolizes alertness, cheerfulness, happiness, and warmth”?
On the other hand, keep in mind that Gregory Ciotti makes a good point on HelpScout.com as he points out that it’s not a definite science. He says, “Bottom line: There are no clear-cut guidelines for choosing your brand’s colors. “It depends” is a frustrating answer, but it’s the truth.”
Still, he doesn’t advocate ignoring the whole field. And if you’re interested gathering some color-related inspiration, Canva’s Build your brand: 20 unique and memorable color palettes to inspire you might help get you thinking creatively. Then, for more information on creating good signs, check out our Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing.
Do I need a sign?
While this one is pretty basic, you may be wondering if you need a sign for your business. Plus, you may be thinking If I do need a sign, why? If this is the direction your thoughts are taking you head over to our The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works.
Can I put my business sign anywhere I want?
Wondering about the limits on where you can place your company’s sign? It’s great that you’re thinking about this. Checking into sign placement do’s and don’ts before setting up a sign is a wise way to avoid trouble later. No, you can’t necessarily put your sign anywhere you want, as certain Detroit businesses can attest. While your sign company may be able to help you out with information here, be sure you also do your own due diligence.
Make an impression (and make it a good one)
As you create your own sign, you may find it useful to begin with the end in mind, as they say. If your sign is part of a broader advertising campaign, identify outcomes you hope to achieve. Then, you can design your sign to fit with those objectives.
Choose your sign company wisely
And don’t hesitate to learn from the wisdom of a good sign company. They may be able to help you with sign design in addition to construction. Plus, look for a company that will be responsive to your needs. And you can always ask to see successful projects they’ve already completed—that way, you’ll feel more confident about working with them.
One of the biggest challenges you will face when trying to get support for a cause is how to get the word out there. You need to plan a promotional campaign to get some exposure.
Signs can be invaluable in reaching this goal.
Well-thought-out elements can contribute to making a sign successful. And these have been used again and again to create brilliant products. You can study existing signs to learn from their strong points.
That’s why this article is all about looking at different signs and how you can use similar ones to promote your cause. This will include some signs done by us at Signarama.
Are you looking for an affordable and temporary solution to promote your cause?
You might need to look no further than coroplast yard signs. They are super low-cost. This means that you can buy and use more of them than of other types. You can also replace them when you need to communicate new information.
Here are some fantastic benefits of this signage:
- Durable: The coroplast material from which they are made means they are waterproof and quite durable.
- Eco-friendly: If you are promoting a cause, you are probably interested in making more conscientious decisions. Luckily, the corrugated polypropylene plastic of yard signs can be recycled. So you can get support for your campaign without harming the environment.
- Cheap: You can have them printed for as little as $0.65 per sign.
You only need to worry about finding a lawn or grassy area to put them on.
The specific boards in the picture stand out for several reasons. First, they use bright colors to catch people’s eye and the white border contributes to this even more by contrasting against the grass.
One of the principles they followed is to print the words in white on a colored background. This increases their readability.
You can use similar signs to gain exposure for your movement and advertise specifics like events.
Wall murals and wraps
One type of sign that can be really useful in promoting a cause is wall murals or wraps.
The example here shows how bright and attractive the can be which is very important in signage. And it shows how signs can include images and text. It’s vital to include both of these in promotional materials for any cause.
On top of this, it demonstrates that it can be used to cover entire walls. You can place it in any physical location that is involved with your movement. But places like shopping centers will often make space available to rent for this use.
One good thing is that they can easily be replaced. If you used wraps, you can remove it and paste new ones. With murals, you can paint over the old signs. So you can update them as your movement and campaign advances. Keep in mind that people are more likely to support causes which are making progress.
Many causes and campaigns have physical locations that act as a base of operations. If that includes you, you need to get some signs for this as well.
A fantastic option is to choose signage that can double up as promotional material as well as decor. Window graphics could fit this bill.
You want to use signage like this that is colorful. It not only catches your eye, but it is also visually appealing. Here, not only the background is bright, but it also includes images which help to show the purpose of the store.
On top of this, there is text too which gives additional information.
That is why it can work well for getting support for a cause. It can increase exposure, help educate, create appeal, and tell people how they can contribute.
A-frame sidewalk signs
Another way you can promote your cause is to use A-frame sidewalk signs like the one above. The board is used for advertising a venture, but it also has a call to action by providing a phone number. So you can use these to let people know how they can give their support.
One feature that the sample shows off is how to use more than one. You can use a few with different messages and place them in succession to communicate more information.
The following are some pros of using A-frame sidewalk signs in your campaign:
- Portability: One of their best features is that they are freestanding and can be moved around as you wish. You can take them wherever you need them most.
- Outdoors: They are usually manufactured to be used outside, so they are made to last and resist weather conditions like wind and rain.
- Indoors: But you can put them inside as well. They work great at events like the ones often used as part of charitable movements.
- Directional: Another possible use of these products is to point out directions. Again this can be vital at events.
- Affordable: They are relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
- Time: Time is such a valuable resource. Many signs like billboards need to be read at a glance. But because sidewalk signs are usually seen when people walk past, people often get more time to look at them and take in their message.
Their versatility and flexibility make them fantastic tools to gain exposure and support.
Vehicle graphics and wraps
If you want to gain support through exposure, there are few better options than vehicle graphics and wraps. What can be better than an ad that can literally move around?
You can cover the same ground with this one product as you would by using a large number of static signs. Therefore, you could save lots of money in the ned. This is generally crucial in any charitable cause or movement.
One look at the sample will show you how flexible they are. These wraps can be designed exactly as you want it to look using graphics, text and a combination of the two.
Sometimes the wraps will only cover a small part of the vehicle. But you can cover the whole car too like above.
A positive aspect of the example is how readable the text is. This is vital with a sign that moves around. Besides this, the writing is placed where it can be easily read on the side of the vehicle. It can be a great idea to put it on the back of a car as well.
Banners are a staple of the signage industry. You can see them almost anywhere. And no wonder! They are cost-effective but are still very successful.
The examplehere shows how simply they can be used to advertise a cause. Designers kept this specific one simple. This can work well for promoting a cause especially one that is well known or if you put them up at movement-related events.
However, you could print out much more information on them if you want, including contact, details, etc.
Banners are extremely versatile. The one in the picture was printed so that you can hang it horizontally. But this isn’t your only option. You can typically customize the size and orientation as you wish to suit your needs.
Manufacturers usually offer ones that need to be hung as above, but they could also provide free-standing ones.
The banners we looked at first are mostly used to gain exposure. But they can also be used to focus on conveying information.
People are more likely to support a cause when they understand what it’s all about. Well-designed banners can be a brilliant way to do this. Through education, you can get more exposure and persuade potential supporters.
The sign above shows how you can cleverly use them to bring a point across. You want to be careful not to overwhelm the audience with graphics. People are more likely to look at and read your sign when there are images included.
This means they’re more likely to remember the message too.
You will notice that even though this sign conveyed a lot of details, it still kept it short and straightforward. This is key in all types of signage.
Besides this, it obviously offers all the other benefits of banners like being affordable, flexible and customizable.
Golf is frequently called the greatest game. One way it lives up to its name is how often it is used to help promote and gain support for causes.
Through sponsored games, it is a brilliant way of gathering money and getting people involved.
But they won’t necessarily be useful if you don’t use signage and other features to make sure people know what it’s all about. So if you want to use golf in your campaign, it can be a good idea to invest in golf signs.
Thesigns here are made from coroplast which is inexpensive and weather resistant. They are printed and folded so that they are freestanding. You can also print out a range of different ones like these and can place them all around the course.
You can use them to advertise your sponsors and even point out who is sponsoring which hole. A great idea is to design a logo or something similar with the name of the cause and print it on all of these boards as in the example.
You don’t get much bigger than billboards. They are definitely statement pieces.
They are essentially large posters. Therefore, they are great at catching your audience’s attention. Besides this, they are often placed in spots where tonnes of people will see them regularly over roadways and so on.
As you can see with the example above, they provide a lot of room. You will be able to include loads of graphics and text. This is fantastic for promoting a cause. It can help to convince people to get involved by educating them. It should also give your contact details and actions they can take to provide support.
Like the sample, you can choose a font that is large enough to read from the ground. You should make sure that the text stands out from the background by using contrasting colors.
You can also learn from the use of photos on this board. On it is printed a picture of a woman, and her story is connected to the cause. Using emotional appeal is crucial in promoting a charitable cause.
Unfortunately, they are much more expensive than some of the other options. You usually have to rent advertisement space for them. They are on the high-end of adverts.
But, they are very durable and long lasting so they will keep on being of use.
You might feel that one sign isn’t enough. And there is no reason to limit yourself.
Marketing pros know how to use different platforms to achieve their goals. For maximum efficiency, you can even use them in the same location. Just check out thisexcellent use of floor graphics and wall graphics.
Placing printed materials on several surfaces in one spot can undoubtedly increase their overall impact. It’s rarer than only using one type, so it makes it much more memorable.
Another positive feature of this example is they used all the space available to their advantage by printing different graphics and text on each.
So if you want to not only gain exposure but make sure people don’t forget you might want to consider similar combos.
Learning from the past
All of these signs are great examples of how you can use these products to promote your cause. The different options can work better for specific locations and parts of your campaign.
These samples use a variety of principles to help make them more useful. Hopefully, they can inspire you by showing you how you can use them to get more support for your cause.
There is a lot of work that goes into making fantastic signs of any kinds. To help you make the most of it read our articles on mistakes when making promotional materials and the psychology behind good signage.
Marketing wouldn’t be what it is today without psychology. Psychologists played a crucial role in developing methods and theories about advertising that are still being used.
With the help of their work, ads have become much better at making an impact. This has been extremely useful in designing and making signs a success.
No matter what your objectives are, you can apply psychological principles to make sure you get your message across.
In this article, we are going to discuss the importance of good signage in any business or business venture. We are also going to cover the psychological principles you can use to make your signs even better.
The importance of good signage
Signs can be used for a variety of purposes. There are endless possibilities. But in essence, it all boils down to communicating a message, whatever that message might be.
Remember that effective signs are signs that can change people’s behavior.
To get to grips with the purpose of signs in your business, here is a breakdown of the most common types of signage:
- Persuasive: These are the typical advertisements. They are all about persuading and convincing people to become your customers. You want them to buy from you or hire your services etc.
- Information: One key role of signage is to convey essential info. Do you want to tell people about your trading hours? Or when your business was established? These products are your solution.
- Directional: You need some way to guide potential customers to and through your company. This is where these signs come in. You can use them to point out significant spots in the store or business complex.
- Safety and warning: It’s a legal requirement that companies and public areas have safety signs that warn people about potential hazards. OSHA has set out standards about when which warnings are necessary. They are often bright and even reflective to increase their visibility.
It’s hard to imagine a business without any signs at all. They are such essential components of the day to day running of a venture. Not to mention their critical role in advertising.
Choose your objective
So enough about how fantastic signs are.
You can’t make a sign if you don’t have a clear goal. It might sound obvious to some, but this should be the first step that you take.
Ask yourself what behavior you want to change in people?
Here are some helpful questions that you can ask yourself:
- Do you want them to buy a specific product or hire a particular service?
- Are you trying to attract people to your storefront?
- Do you want to increase your exposure?
- Are there critical messages that you need to convey?
- Are you planning on improving your reputation?
You might have answered yes to more than one of these questions. And that’s fine. You can have subgoals. However, there needs to be one overarching aim on which the signage is focused. Otherwise, you risk confusing and overwhelming the audience.
The importance of good signage can be seen in their ability to help you achieve all of these goals.
Once you have established your objective, you can use psychological principles to determine what the best way would be to use signs to achieve this.
A vital contribution that psychology has made to the field is in assisting advertisers in identifying their target market. This is the particular group at which the specific sign or advertisement is aimed.
These are the people that you want to reach and communicate this.
So, one of the first steps in designing signage is to figure out who they are. To do this, you should try your hand at audience profiling. You need to assess the general demographics of this audience.
The following are some of the vital statistics that you need to consider:
Basic data is essential to creating a more detailed profile of your customers that can also be called the buyer’s persona. Beyond this, you should consider what their interests are and what appeals to them. Most importantly, you need to find out what their needs are and how you can play a part in fulfilling them.
Psychological research methods like surveys can be invaluable for gleaning this information about your existing customers. If you want to expand your customer base, you can work out their audience profile first.
You need to use these details throughout the design process. It will play a role in every aspect including the type of sign that you choose to the graphics that you will use.
Nowadays, there are a bunch of specific tried and tested strategies that business uses throughout their marketing campaigns. They are typically based on consumer psychology. These are also applied in their signs.
Here are three of the most popular tactics that you can use in your signage
1- Emotional appeal
Advertisements which can elicit feelings from their audience are much more impactful. That is why experts try to use signs and other ads to market products based on the emotional value that it can have in their lives.
For example, can the product make them happy? Could it make people exhausted?
Your sign can through words or graphics portray how it could possibly change their experiences.
According to a recent study, there are four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted. There are more nuanced feelings that fall underneath each category. These groupings can be a great place to start.
Take a look at these examples of ads that use emotions to their advantage.
Businesses often want to use marketing materials to compete with their top competitors. But this cannot necessarily be directly addressed in their signs.
One way to do this though is to highlight what makes your brand different. Your signage can be a fantastic platform to show off these features. This could include new products, services, or elements of your customer experience
3- Addressing problems and doubts
A fundamental principle of marketing psychology is that there are several possible reasons why consumers might be reluctant to buy your products or services. Businesses need to be aware of this to develop solutions to these issues.
Try to think of possible hindrances, like cost. One way to address this is to use the wording or graphics on your signs to dispel these doubts.
It’s vital to remember that without careful design, signs are close to useless. Some people make the critical mistake of assuming that this is just about making their sign pretty. But this is not true.
One demonstration of this is the Stroop Effect. In this experiment, participants are shown the names of colors in the corresponding color. They are then asked to name the shade. Testers record how long this takes. The test is repeated, but the color doesn’t match the word.
Participants took much longer to complete the second test as the inconsistencies cause conflict in your mind. This is a fundamental way to show how important it is that the design matches the message.
In advertising, it’s vital for the audience to understand the message clearly and as quickly as possible. Every aspect of the sign needs to work together to tell your story.
Signage now dominates so much of our environment. The competition is fierce. Therefore you might need the help of professionals to make sure yours stands out.
Contemporary design principles are based mainly on psychological theories. Throughout this article, we will cover specific guidelines.
All about vision
You can almost say that as humans we are typically visual creatures. Sight is undoubtedly one of the senses that we rely on the most.
To state just one statistic as proof the addition of images can increase the view rate of content by an incredible 94%.
Graphics don’t only generate interest. Our brains tend to process visual information much faster. A single well-designed image could potentially convey much more info and much more quickly than a line of text would.
Another benefit of graphics is that they are in a sense universal. There are some images which can be understood by people across the world. That is why warnings often only employ symbols.
So depending on the purpose of your signage, visuals could be indispensable.
Informational, safety and directional signs will probably work better with functional images which portray an action or a bit of info.
You will probably get better results if you use suggestive graphics in persuasive boards. These are ones which can elicit strong feelings or associations.
In advertising try to use any visuals on your signs to help appeal to your audience and persuade them. For example, let’s say you want to convince customers that your product could make them happier. Use graphics that convey this, like people who are smiling or laughing.
You can’t talk about visuals without discussing color. There are hundreds of statistics that you can cite to demonstrate how vital this feature is. Though two primary ones are that the use of color can boost both sales and readership by up to 80%.
Therefore, this is a brilliant tool when creating signs of any kind. The following are a few guidelines to keep in mind when deciding on which colors to use:
- You don’t necessarily want it to clash, but the signs should contrast against the surroundings. This is necessary to make it stand out and get it noticed.
- Don’t use a single color or shade of color. This will just look monotonous and make it tricky to read and understand.
- The color of text should contrast against that of the background.
- The scheme should match or in some way reflect that of your companies branding.
- Various colors can have different effects on your emotional and mental state. For example, black can symbolize authority, elegance, seduction, and mystery.
One key point to remember is that there are usually rules and regulations which determine the colors of safety and warning signs.
Choose words wisely
Although visuals are essential, you shouldn’t forget about the text. It can be critical in conveying the central message of the signs. This is also a way to portray other necessary details like the contact details of the business and so on.
If you only remember one thing about the psychology of text in signage, it is to keep it simple. Don’t use too many words and be selective about the words that you do use. Overall, the message needs to be precise.
A pro tip is to focus on emotionally powerful words. They will make the sign more impactful and more memorable.
We have a bigger chance of noticing anything new or different in our environment. Psychologists have found that we are subject to habituation. This means that we stop noticing things that we see often.
This is one reason behind the success of new signs. Because of this, you might want to consider changing all your signage every few months or so. It will help you to keep the attention of your audience.
When you are in the design process, you should try to think of features that can make your sign unique and unusual.
Talk about new, technology has opened exciting avenues in the marketing and general signage industry. Traditional forms of advertising are static and are creating the impression of being broadcasted to the audience.
While these are brilliant platforms and still play a crucial role, it can be a great idea to give the new platforms a try.
Many of these products allow customers to interact with the signs such as ones that are adapted for touch screens. This can give your audience a measure of control over them which can increase the impact that they have in the end.
It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the importance of good signage. From pointing out directions to attracting new customers, they are often a central part of helping a business to reach success.
Use the above psychological principles to your advantage to make your signage more powerful.
As you can see, signs are all about their design. This is as true for all thetypes. So it’s essential that you get this right. At Signarama we offer professional design services to help you make the best of the product.
Learning from others who have done well promoting their business can be instructive. But, on the flip side, you can also learn from marketing ploys that just don’t cut it. One is a case of imitating what someone else has done right. And the other is a case of steering clearing of what others have done wrong. Save yourself time, money, and sanity by learning from the mistakes of others.
Today we offer some potential don’ts when creating promotional materials—things you may want to avoid as you promote your business. However, don’t forget that, to some degree, these judgments are relative. What may flop for one company, could be successfully carried out by another in some cases.
There aren’t always hard-fast rules. Be sure to deploy your own common sense and be forward-thinking. Keep in mind both your own thorough understanding of what you do as a company and of what your customers expect from you. That said, let’s dive into some scenarios you may want to steer clear of:
1 – To proofread or not to proofread—it’s not even a question
Enter a marketing firm that wants desperately to reach more clients in their local business district. They’ve set aside money in their advertising budget to rent a billboard to bring their message to nearby companies. The slogan?
Were reinventing businesses all over the city.
The problem? Well, if you were looking for a marketing company to help you reinvent your business, you would want it to help create top-tier marketing material, right? And top-quality marketing material shouldn’t have glaring spelling or grammatical errors. Thus, omitting the apostrophe in their first word doesn’t exactly paint a promising picture of the quality of their services.
The bottom line: Don’t forget to check (and maybe double check) your promotional materials.
2 – Not vetting for appropriateness
If you thought that think before you speak was advice that only children have to heed, you were wrong. The idea applies to marketers, too.
Imagine you’re the head of marketing at a medium-sized company in the foodservice industry. As such, you’re one busy manager and you don’t have time to tackle everything yourself. So you delegate promotional material creation to a star new hire who you recruited from halfway across the country. This talented individual comes up with what they think is a perfect slogan for a new product launch.
Turns out, coming from hundreds of miles away is a bit of a liability in this case. Their slogan contains language that has a very different meaning where you live from its meaning in your employee’s home state. At the end of the day, you never noticed it, but the community sure did.
The whole thing blows up and the company trends on social media—but not for a good reason. Innocent mistake? Yes. Innocuous outcome? Not so much.
3 – Cracking bad jokes
A popular hotel needs a billboard along a nearby highway. When he’s not at his hotel day job, the in-house “graphic designer” happens to be a savvy political strategist. He knows a lot about what’s going on in city politics. He designs a billboard that incorporates a joke about a recently contested city statute. It’s funny, and he and a co-worker laugh uproariously at the creation.
Two days later, it appears on three billboards. Some viewers don’t find it funny. Incidentally, neither do the designer’s managers who now have to deal with the community fallout. One way to try to prevent this kind of situation is to vet all promotional materials before they go out. In fact, the company could decide to mandate that multiple members of the company have an opportunity to weigh in before promotional materials are disseminated.
4 – Being vague on important details
Let’s say a local gift shop just came up with a snappy ad that simultaneously promotes their weekend craft festival and their shop as a whole. It’s already making viewers chuckle and smile. And people are definitely interested in checking the place out.
However, there’s one slight problem. The ad doesn’t mention when the fair is, where it is, or even how to get in touch with the company. While interested participants can do some legwork of their own to find out more, the company may have just shot itself in the foot. What if some potential participants decide that looking up more info is just too much work?
5 – Stabbing blindly at promotion
A manufacturing company has a “meeting of the minds” for upper management. They decide that the company needs to do more to market itself. So they choose to put more effort and money into promotion.
They elect to use a targeted mailing, a billboard, and a series of in-person visits to potential clients to try to market the company. Six months later, they discuss whether the work has had a positive impact. The chairman asks if they met their goals for the promotional campaign. The room is silent until someone is brave enough to ask “What were our goals?” Uh-oh.
If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, how will you know when and whether you reach it? Undirected promotion might seem great in the heat of enthusiasm, but what you really want is promotion that’s actually effective. And how will you know if it’s effective until you determine what effect you actually want to achieve?
Now that we’ve run through some scenarios you should try not to repeat, don’t forget that there is a flip side to this coin. Thus, take some time to learn about what you should and could do. If signs are in your promotional pipeline, check out our Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing. Then, head over to 3 Of The Most Creative Signs & Banners In And Around Detroit.