Some businesses like real estate depend heavily on word-of-mouth advertising. Current or previous clients tell their friends and family members about the business, and those friends and family members turn into new clients. Thanks to these referrals offered by satisfied customers, the business grows and expands with the assistance of the very people it serves.
But what if your marketing strategy as a real estate agent is to capitalize on word of mouth referrals while also generating some leads of your own? Well, if that’s the case, then you might be looking to explore signage options to generate interest in your services. While word-of-mouth referrals may “talk you up” verbally, you want your signage to “talk you up” with visuals and text.
So let’s explore how you can create great real estate signs to help connect you with the people who need your real estate services.
1 – Time well
Time is a consideration when aiming to use your signs in the most effective way possible. For instance, try to leave your signs up for as long as appropriate. Additionally, install your signs in advance when necessary. For instance, in the case of an open house, you might want to get your signs out there before the actual open house date.
Another thing to remember—use your “under contract,” “pending,” and “sold” riders strategically so the community can get an idea of how effectively you work.
2 – Place your signs thoughtfully
Naturally, your signs look better in an aesthetically-pleasing environment. To the best of your ability, make sure that the yard your sign is placed in is well-maintained. For better or for worse, people will associate your sign with the yard they see it in. So make sure it gives a good impression.
3 – Leverage directional signs (several of them)
A directional sign pointing to the property you have for sale could be just as important as the for-sale sign itself. So be sure to have several directional signs leading to the property you’re selling.
4 – Remember your image is only as good as the quality of your graphics
Now, here’s a tip that you’ve heard us offer on the blog before. And it bears repeating because it’s important. You need high-quality graphics and designs if you want to end up with a high-quality sign. Poor visual design could drag down your sign even if the quality of your sign’s materials is top-notch.
Thus, if you’re not good at design yourself, consider hiring someone who is. Find someone who is good at mixing colors and fonts and at balancing the different sign elements. Your sign specialist may even be able to help with this.
5 – Keep it relatable
As a real estate agent, you’re in the personal service business. So try to foster a personal connection with people. A good photo may help with this. You’ll want to project an image of friendliness, professionalism, or whatever qualities your target client is looking for.
6 – Give an action step
Make sure that you clearly outline the action you want your target client to take. Are they supposed to call you and ask for a free home valuation? Or should they mail you for a free consultation? Should they text you to chat about the local market? Whatever it is you want viewers to do, make it obvious.
7 – Provide a way to get in touch
Just as you want to provide an action step, you also want to be sure that you’ve given your target market a way to take that action step. That’s basic, right? If they’re supposed to email you, provide an easy-to-remember email address. If they’re supposed to call, make that phone number easy to see.
8 – Use the channels your ideal client prefers
You also want your “way to get in touch” to be tailored to your ideal client. For instance, working with Millennials might call for being available via Facebook Messenger. Other people might prefer texting. And some people might like to reach you via email or phone messages. Try to discover what channels of communication your target market is likely to prefer. Then, make that communication method available on your signage.
9 – Promote specialization
You can even use your signage to set yourself apart from the competition. Certainly, that could include your design and visual appeal. But it could also include what you say about yourself. For instance, do you specialize and have plenty of experience in selling high-dollar value properties? Or maybe you have quite the record of successfully buying and selling manufactured homes. Whatever it is, considering getting the message out via your real estate signage.
10 – Be memorable. Be brand-oriented.
Craft your real estate signage to be visually and verbally memorable. If you have a slogan, consider putting it on your sign. Use the same terminology across your branding so that the community learns to recognize you and what you stand for.
If you’re using a photo of yourself or a logo or other graphic, use the same one (or a combination of the same ones) across your advertising and marketing channels. And this could even apply to your online channels as well as your physical marketing channels.
Plan for success
Get your real estate signage off to a great start by planning in advance. Don’t cobble something together at the last minute. Instead, prepare yourself by learning about your signage options. And give yourself enough time to get the job done right. Get started with The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Creating Your Own Unique Signage. Then take a look at How Your Business Can Take Advantage Of The Different Sign Types.
Golf tournaments have long been a highly effective fundraising tool for organizations of all kinds. People are always eager to take part in the fun at one of these events. Besides this, it can be an excellent marketing opportunity for the sponsors and the host alike.
No matter your budget, signage is a crucial part of making an impact at these events. Golf signs are a staple and were clearly named specifically for this.
In this article, we will show you the clever uses for these products. And of course, give you some tips on how to create a unique look and design.
The “tee” on golf tournaments and signage
During spring and summer, hundreds of businesses, corporations, and organizations host corporate golf tournaments. You and your clients will get to have some fun in the sun while you:
- Build relationships with your customers and suppliers
- Raise funds for a charitable cause
- Advertise your business and build brand recognition
If you want to keep things simple, you can host the event in a traditional tournament format. But you can add extra fun to the day by including some custom games or scoring to the mix.
Golf tournaments might not work for all businesses and organizations. Overall, they usually work best for the following:
- Community-based organizations
- Charitable foundations like NPO’s and NGO’s
- Firms with a B2B component
- Organizations whose target market are middle-income individuals
This is because we often associate golf tournaments with attempts to raise money for good causes.
For this, you typically want to attract participants who have the time to partake and the willingness to spend money without necessarily getting a product or service in return. Remember that in many ways, this is not a typical business event.
If you already have strong ties with other companies through B2B sales, for instance, it can be much easier to attract sponsors.
Take a look here if you want to find out more about golf tournaments.
What are golf signs:
Usually, golf signs have a pretty simple format. Most sign-making companies build them from sheets of printed coroplast or other corrugated plastic. Thanks to this unique material, they are super lightweight and cheap to boot. So you can commission a whole range of signage for the event.
However, for a larger budget, you could ask your sign company for their custom options, like constructing them from wood or other pricier materials.
Most golf signs are easy to use and install. Some will have thin metal frames and legs which you can pop into the green. Others are freestanding and have an a-frame.
10 Clever uses for golf signs
Unfortunately, it’s easy for us to get stuck in patterns and habits. Many business owners and advertisers might only think of a few basic uses for golf signs. However, there is actually a long list of ways that you can successfully use these signs.
Generally, you are only limited by your creativity and ability to implement your ideas.
All in all, you can use signs at the event for a couple of key goals:
Here are ten interesting and specific ways that you can use golf signs for your event.
1 – Hole sponsors
First off, we recommend that you commission golf signs for your hole-sponsor signage. The purpose of this is to recognize them for their contribution. Usually, this will be part of your agreement for their help.
Through this, you are both thanking them and creating an opportunity to advertise their business.
Above all, you want these signs to show off your sponsors. So you need to include elements of their branding. But they should also give information that’s specific to the event.
2- Other sponsors
For a big event, you will likely get endorsements for specific features of the day. For example, you can ask someone to sponsor the lunch, breakfasts, and snacks.
All of these contributors also need to be thanked and recognized.
3 – Directional signage
Have you thought about the ways people will move around the course?
Golf signs can help you solve this problem. You can design a whole range of signs to direct attendants around the event. At the least, you need to point out the restrooms and other facilities.
However, you probably also want them to know where to find the registration table, the dining area, meeting points, and so on.
4 – Pre-event activities
On top of this, you need to create signs for all your pre-event activities. So to be clear, this will be all the proceedings before the main tournament starts. You can use golf signs for advertising features of the event as well as to help organize the activities.
A few popular options are:
- Opening ceremony
- Putting contests
5 – On-course events
Similarly, you need signs for the on-course activities. Why not use golf signs for this too? You need to inform the participants about all the contests, the prizes, and the rules. These events are all about maximizing the fun but also reaching your funding and advertising goals.
- Hole-in-one challenges
- Longest drive contests
- Closest to pin
6 – Rules for the day
Another clever use for golf signs is to print the rules of the event on them.
Whenever you host a large event, you will need to establish some ground rules. This is necessary to keep everyone safe and establish some order. In the end, this will improve the experience for all the attendants.
Luckily, because they are cheap and easy to make, you can produce more of them than you would be able to otherwise.
7 – Parking
Hopefully, your event will be packed. You probably want to attract as many customers as you can. However, this will come with some logistical issues. One of these is how to sort out the parking.
You need to get everyone to stop their cars in the allocated spots and not block each other in.
Golf signs can be an excellent low-cost solution for this. Among other things you can use them to:
- Point out where visitors can park
- Allocate spaces for suppliers, staff, and vendors
- Block out spots for VIP’s, like sponsors
- Show where no one is allowed to park
- Mark wheelchair parking
Plus, best of all, the signage will fit in perfectly with the rest of the event’s aesthetic.
8 – Caution and warnings
The best golf courses are often in unique environments. Because of this, they could have some unusual obstacles or require different precautionary measures. Besides this, you may also need temporary warnings for the event.
Once again, this can be the perfect use for your golf signs. Here are examples where you could use them to warn participants:
- Animals on the range
- Houses close to the course
- Parking areas
- Low flying aircraft
Check out this warning for lions on a golf course in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
9 – Top player updates
Much of the fundraising potential of a golf tournament depends on healthy competition. You want the players to hit as well as they can so that the sponsors can payout. So how do you encourage this?
Creating hype is usually great for competition. And this is where your golf signs can come in handy.
You can use the boards to give updates about the top scores and scores at the different holes. To do this, you can design them with an empty line to write or post updates. It will keep the excitement and competitiveness going.
10 – Welcome signs
Last but not least, you can always use golf signs to welcome guests to the tournament. Any event planner worth their salt can tell you that this is crucial. It’s a great way to greet all the visitors and sponsors and to kick off the day.
You should put them at the entrance to the golf course, the driveway, the registration tent, or the parking lot. In other words, wherever they will have the most impact on the site.
Tips for designing golf signs
Generally, these boards aren’t known for being flashy, nor should they be. Instead, the design should be uncomplicated and accessible. In this, their content needs to reflect their purpose. You should aim for a simple yet attractive look.
We’ve broken down the key aspects of this below.
Design an experience
Throughout the business world, more and more people are recognizing the importance of creating an experience for your clients. It’s not just about the pictures on your ad or so on anymore.
If you want your business to draw in the crowds in today’s market, customer experience should be your focus.
So ask yourself, what do you want the event to be like for your customers? And how can your golf signs help?
First, you don’t want to overwhelm guests and visitors with too much information, too many graphics, and a kaleidoscope of color. For most people, this will detract from the feel of the day.
Second, by including helpful information in your designs, you can help the event run more smoothly.
Besides these two, the tone of the signs can affect people’s moods. For example, they can be friendly, humorous, or playful.
Blend into the landscape
One popular idea for golf signs is to create them to fit in perfectly with their environment. You can work in elements like the colors green and blue. Or else you can use graphics that suit the theme, for example, pictures of grass.
If done well, this can make your sign aesthetically pleasing and can even add to the look and feel of the day.
But there can be some significant downsides. If the sign blends in too well, no one will see it! Or at least fewer people than would have otherwise. So you have to strike a balance.
Essentially, you want it to reflect the nature of the event. Yet it should still catch the eye. Therefore, it’s all about balance.
A pop of color
Overall, a critical design challenge is always how to make your sign stand out. A tried and tested method for this is to add some color to your palette.
For this specific purpose, you want to choose a shade that will contrast to the blue and green of your surroundings. Therefore, white is usually the best choice for background color. It will be visible in every season.
Pops of bright colors like red and yellow are also good choices for golf signs. You want just enough to draw the eye.
A note on branding
More likely than not, a variety of companies will be represented at your golf tournament. One of the crucial parts of acknowledging them is through signage. As we’ve said, this is typically part of the deal with sponsorship for these events.
That’s why you need to have all the branding on point. Your audience needs to be able to identify the different businesses involved correctly.
To do this, you should use unique elements of their corporate identity like the following:
- Color palette
- Motto or tagline
These are the basics of visual branding.
Golf themed content
Golf themed content on a golf sign at a golf event might sound like overkill. But it works. Most of the participants are there because they love the sport. The additional references won’t bother them.
Instead, you can use them to contribute to and emphasize the spirit of the day.
Don’t complicate things too much. It can be as easy as including a golf ball or club in the design. Or you can use relevant jargon and jokes.
Another good idea is to design the sign in the shape of a golf ball.
Create a positive experience
You will find it helpful to think of the golf tournament as a holistic experience. All the tiny details will contribute to the success of the day. Therefore, your golf signs can have a significant impact on the atmosphere and need to be designed with care.
But this isn’t the only corporate bash where these products can be useful. Nor are they the only type of sign you can use. For more inspiration, take a peek at a portfolio of clever outdoor event signage ideas and creating & designing the perfect event registration signage.
You don’t have to be a genius or a specialist to know that the field of communications is a rapidly changing one. We use forms of communication today that didn’t even exist in our grandparents’ era (or our own parents’ earlier lives, for that matter).
Yes, the way that we communicate is often subject to trends—cultural elements that experience dramatic shifts in popularity over time. So, let’s take a look at changes that may affect digital signage and explore ways you can tap into these changes for your business, nonprofit, or organization.
1 – “Smarter” signage
There’s a lot of talk these days about artificial intelligence (AI). But exactly what artificial intelligence is—that’s not always well understood. When it comes to digital signage, artificial intelligence may have a role to play.
However, it’s important to realize that this does not mean you should anticipate human-like digital billboards that are equipped to take over the world. No, not all. If you’re thinking full-size cutout signs are going to evolve into humanoid robots and take over the world, then we can see why you might panic. But that’s not actually what we’re talking about.
Instead, we’re talking about what Lamasa Tech meant when they wrote, “AI will decide whether certain content should be shown to a specific customer after analysing many databases and indicators. It will analyse a person’s goal when he or she is in front of the screen and determine the appropriate advertisement for that particular moment.”
And we also find the same idea in this statement from Digital Signage Today, “Luckily better analytics are now on the way thanks to new technologies like AI. Deployers can now use AI to analyze historical customer data to deliver more effective, personalized content.”
Pull those two ideas together and what you do you get? The idea of leveraging computing power to help spread the right message at the right time. In other words—let computers do what computers do best to help signs do what signs do best. Head over to Digital Signage Today to learn 4 ways AI is transforming digital signage.
Tap into it
If this is the wave of the future, then you surely want to be a part of it, right? However, you might be wondering how to go about taking AI-inspired action for your own digital signage. Here are a few ideas.
- Educate yourself – Learn all you can about artificial intelligence and how it may relate to your business or organization.
- Talk with others – Begin polling others in your industry for advice and ideas about using artificial intelligence. Are they tapping into it already for their business or organization? If so, how are they using it and what kind of results are they seeing?
- Consult the experts – Talking with experts in the field could get you started on an effective partnership—you know your business and experts know theirs. Find a way to combine these two deep wells of knowledge to take your business to the next level.
In this vein, you can always think of hiring a consultant. But if money is tight, consider reaching out to a local university to learn if a partnership is a possibility. The school may have information technology students who would be happy to use your real-world business as part of their final project—a win for both of you.
2 – Better-looking signage
Now, let’s pivot and look at a trend that isn’t necessarily backed up by external data. Instead, it’s a personal perspective on what we think should be a trend in digital signage. Will it grow in popularity? We certainly hope so!
Why do so many digital signs look B-grade? Sure, you’ve seen them as you pass by schools, churches, fire stations, and business. Signs that are simply lackluster or visually unappealing. We can call it the “scourge of ugly digital signs.”
So just what are we talking about here? Well, for one thing, digital signs with garish colors can sometimes look less-than. Otherworldly turquoise on a flaming yellow background—not the greatest idea. Radiant ruby and glowing evergreen—those colors may be a little more appropriate for a holiday display than for year-round digital messages.
Of course, dead pixels are another culprit. So are fonts and sizes of text that are difficult to read. And, certainly, another bad strategy is digitizing any marketing image—text, photos, or a combination—that was poorly designed to begin with. Let’s face it, not all visuals are created equal. And there can be a vast chasm between “good enough” marketing visuals and stellar ones.
Tap into the power of well-designed signage
Begin your journey toward a top-level brand image by using only the best visuals to represent your company, nonprofit, or organization. Here are several ways to get started.
Ask yourself what you want people to think about your company, not just now but also five years from now. If you want to be viewed as professional, expert, and trustworthy, craft your signage with those values in mind.
Sure, some signs are cheaper than others. But remember that in most industries, you get what you pay for.
Get expert assistance
Experts can weigh in on more than sign construction and installation. Some even offer design services. Ask to see any expert’s portfolio so you know if partnership will be a good fit.
The internet offers a vast array of resources for learning about how you can best reach your customers. Try out free classes about marketing, advertising, and graphic design. Plus, read all you can. And watch videos too. Take a look at our Tips & Tricks To Designing Eye Catching Business Signs and browse 10 Professional Sign Fonts + The Meanings Behind Them.
Digital signs are one of the newest kids on the block. If you start looking into advertising, you will hear about these products everywhere. And for good reasons. These boards highlight many of the best features of signage.
Whenever you’re making any type of sign, you must weigh the pros and cons and decide what works for you. So before you start creating, read below for the most important benefits of using digital signage for your business.
1 – Plenty of content
Digital signs are fantastic tools for communication. You can use them to communicate with both your customers and staff effectively.
Standard printed signs hold a central position in promotional and other types of signage. However, they are generally limited to one static design that you choose to print on the surface. The same doesn’t hold for digital signs.
Their medium allows you to use content in a variety of formats. They include the following:
- Social media feeds
Sometimes you need more than just a static image to get your message across. You can say much more by combining the different formats.
All in all, digital signs are one of the most customizable products in the industry, although note that different ones have different capabilities.
2 – Grabbing attention
Overall, digital signs are brilliant tools to catch a potential customer’s eye. There is a sense of novelty that comes inherent in these products that people are drawn to.
Aside from this, the screens usually score very highly on visual appeal. The colors are often much more vibrant and bright than they would be on printed signs. So much so that you can’t help noticing.
Moreover, because you have so many choices when it comes to content and its format, you have plenty of ways to draw attention. Movement and animations can be particularly useful. Our eyes can quickly spot moving objects and changes in the environment.
These effects can help showcase the sign as a whole. On the other hand, you can also use it to highlight specific items. For example, you can use moving graphics to point to your star product.
3 – More environmentally friendly than ever
Do you want your business to be eco-friendly?
In this case, digital signs could be the way to go.
First, you can use these products to replace much of the paper communication in your business. Just one sheet of A4 paper requires 10 liters of water.
Second, thanks to continuous innovations, digital signs are becoming greener. LED’s are one of the biggest roleplayers. They are mostly more energy-efficient than compact fluorescent, or incandescent light sources, or LCD screens.
Third, many of the components in digital signs can be recycled if disposed of properly. Recyclable materials include glass, plastic, and electronics. Not only does this reduce waste, but it reduces the need to produce new materials.
Significantly, these aren’t the only ways digital signs can be environmentally friendly.
4 – Save on replacement costs
One downside of standard printed signs is that it can be very challenging and even impossible to make specific changes. Your hands will often be tied, particularly if you want it to look as good as before.
However, making changes is often unavoidable. There are some reasons why it’s critical to update your signs.
For example, here are a few factors that would necessitate alterations to your sign:
- Changes to your contact information
- Showcasing new products and services
- Faded graphics
These are details that can make or break a sign. Therefore, if you can’t change them, you’ll need to replace the entire sign eventually.
But this change can be significantly lessened with digital signs. While digital signs will still need to be replaced, this is usually only the case when they’ve been damaged, or the technology is too outdated.
In all other cases, you can make the changes by simply changing the design of your digital sign. Thanks to the use of software, you can upload new content for the board whenever you want.
Doing this will not only save you some money but probably some time and effort too. Depending on the type, you can update your digital signs in a matter of hours where in other cases, it can take weeks.
Another pro of this is that you can quickly analyze the success of your advertising strategies and adapt your signs accordingly.
Although digital signs often need quite a steep initial investment, they are often more cost-effective in the end.
5 – Control remotely
All types of digital signs need to be operated using some kind of software. This will allow you to perform a variety of actions, including uploading content, scheduling, and monitoring.
Luckily, due to the growth in digital signage, there’s a massive range of programs to choose from to suit your needs.
Nowadays, most software has some kind of cloud-based content management system. This feature is a real game-changer. It gives you the ability to remotely control a single or even an entire network of screens.
If you have several signs, you can keep the design consistent on each of them at the same time. Or show different content on each of them.
Overall, this can be super convenient and will help you save time, money, and effort.
6 – Daily scheduling
One of the key benefits of digital signs is that, in general, they are very versatile and flexible. As we’ve said, this can help you make annual or irregular updates. Aside from this, many businesses use these products to make much more regular changes.
You can change the content several times a day if you want to or even several times a minute. Thanks to this, you can display more content than you could with a standard sign and make it more relevant.
For example, a school can use one of their electronic boards to greet students and their parents in the morning and display drop off rules. Then in the afternoon, they can put up reminders for extramural events or schedule changes for the next day.
Furthermore, you don’t have to do this manually each time. If you use rule-based software, you can program the signs to change the content automatically at pre-programmed times.
7 – Time-sensitive content
Everyone loves signs with a seasonal message. However, most businesses simply can’t afford or go through the hassle needed to do this. Once again, digital signs stand out in this regard. They are the ideal products if you want to display time-sensitive content.
Besides seasonal greetings, there are many more reasons to take advantage of digital signs’ flexibility. Some of the crucial ones are:
- Limited sales or promotions
- Temporary changes to your operating hours
- New products or services
- Upcoming events
- Contextual content like congratulating your local sports team on a win
Typically, if you use this feature well, you can improve your business by keeping your message fresh, and clients and staff informed.
8 – Boost in sales
Digital signage has been shown to boost sales by up to 30 to 32%. Of course, an increase in sales results in a rise in profits, which is excellent for any business.
The impact can be further enhanced if you use them in-store or onsite. Marketers have found that these signs can be brilliant for encouraging impulse buys.
One way to do this is to draw customers’ attention to important messages, like promotions, while they are trying to make purchasing decisions. Significantly, 8 out of 10 impulse purchases are made in brick and mortar stores and most of these are at, or close to, checkout points.
Don’t forget that many of the other benefits of digital signs play into this aspect as well.
9 – Increased recall and retention rate
In some cases, you want signs to encourage clients to take immediate action. However, many times this won’t be your goal. Besides grabbing attention, you also want people to remember the sign and its content.
Digital signage can be extremely handy here. One study on electronic billboards showed that 83% of people recalled at least one ad they were shown after 30 days. On top of this, 65% of them could recall two ads, and 47% were able to recall three.
Therefore, it’s a good way to encourage new customers to visit your store later, to talk about your ad with their friends, or come back again. And much, much more.
10 – Interactive solutions
Technology can open up whole new worlds of possibilities. This applies to digital signs as well. With them, you can get your creative juices flowing and build new experiences for your clients.
No doubt, one of the critical benefits of digital signage is that you could design them with interaction in mind.
People often enjoy using technology in-store, making for an interesting experience. Plus, you can delegate tasks to these boards and therefore help the flow of your business and relieve some of your staff’s workload.
For instance, you can use signage for:
- Self-service checkout
- Product information
- Gift card sales or refills
- Wayfinding systems
- Self-service applications
- Product locators
- Gift registries
- Checking prices
- Product requests and orders
- For queuing tickets
- Self-service check-in
- Customer service surveys
Ultimately you can use them to bring some of the convenience of online shopping to your office or storefront.
11 – Improved visibility
One potential drawback of standard printed signs is the extent of their visibility. Unfortunately, if you don’t illuminate them, they will only be readable during the day. Clearly, this means that you can lose out on a lot of exposure.
The amount of time you lose increases even more during winter, when the days are shorter.
Digital signs literally shine in this respect. Typically, manufacturers produce the screens with LCDs, LEDs, or plasma cells, which light up the display.
Therefore, you will be able to see the content more clearly throughout the night and day. Undoubtedly, this will improve the exposure of the sign and increase the chance of reaching potential clients.
Best of all, with high-quality software, you can control and regulate the brightness of the sign. You could even use sensors to adjust it based on current light conditions automatically.
For example, the lighter it is outside, the brighter you need to set the screen for optimal visibility and vice versa.
12 – Long lines, no problem
Did you know that one of the key ways businesses are using digital signs is lower perceived wait times?
We’re sure you’ve come across one of these screens at your local doctor’s office showing news headlines or the weather. This is no accident.
Long wait times are a big-no-no for many customers and can certainly cause you to lose business. Potential clients might simply walk out the door and take their business elsewhere.
In one survey, 69% of consumers said that long checkout lines were the most irritating part of shopping.
Unfortunately, queues are often unavoidable. That’s why it’s a great idea to provide a distraction while customers wait. By using digital signs, you can keep your customers occupied and happy while they stand in line. And in the end, the perceived wait time would have felt much shorter and have been a pleasant experience.
13 – Additional opportunities
There seems to be no end to the possibilities with digital signs. Generally, you have much more options to experiment with. One of these is that you can potentially use them to generate a bit of income from third-party advertisers.
In short, the third-party company pays you a fee to display their ads on your signs. The money can help cover the initial investment and running costs.
This arrangement usually works best in the following situations:
- Shopping center
- Office park
- Health center
You could even work with other small business owners to commission a shared sign dividing the costs. In this case, everybody usually wins.
Make signs work for you
Digital signs, and signs in general, can revolutionize the way you promote your business. These premium products, in particular, allow you much more freedom and possibilities and can be an incredibly powerful communication tool.
But even the best signs need great designs to be effective. That’s why it can be useful to check out how to create LED message signs that convey the right message as well as electronic signs for schools: a list of dos & don’ts.
Part of your holiday preparation may include creating holiday-themed signs for your business. But what if you’re feeling fresh out of inspiration? After all, knowing you want to do something and actually carrying through on the idea are two totally different things. Sometimes, you just need an extra boost of inspiring ideas to help you generate a good idea then execute that good idea. And that’s what we’re here for today—to show you some signs to motivate your own holiday sign additions.
#1 Wordplay on the window
If your office space or restaurant has plenty of windows facing the street, you may already know that these could be a prime spot to reach passersby. (And a side benefit to window signs is that you don’t have to remove them at the end of the day as you might with a sidewalk A-frame.)
Of course, window signs can reach your customers as they walk in your door. But they can also reach people who happen to be strolling past—and that could make for good advertising. An eye-catching sign might just turn a random jogger or passing driver into a customer or client. Even if they don’t divert their path into your shop today, they might return tomorrow or next week based on what they saw.
Check out what this Virginia coffee shop did to welcome the season. There’s so much to love about their cheery design. Not only is it whimsical and welcoming, it’s also humorous thanks to the play on words. If you can get your patrons laughing before they even come in the door, that has to be a good thing, right?
#2 Coziness and colors
And check out how the same coffee shop used bright colors and upbeat words to get their holiday cheer outside their shop’s four walls. Incidentally, this is actually a great example of reusing your signs on social media, too.
#3 Say it with lights
If you have the time, resources, and know-how, cheery holiday lights can actually do some of your speaking for you. Check out this sign at the Detroit zoo to see what we mean (photo 3 of 4). After all, if your sign needs to welcome people to a light display, what better way to go than to make your announcement with…more lights!
Try co-opting this idea for your own business needs. Be sure to connect with a specialist if necessary to make it happen. Holiday lights could make for showstopping signage on an exterior wall of a brick building. Or, if your facility has plenty of lawn space, setting up a sign made of lights in the middle of your grass might also be a great option.
#4 Let them know with Legos
It often makes sense to create a sign that’s specifically related to your area of specialty. So, if you’re a dentist, signage that incorporates a tooth is a natural idea. And if you’re a restaurant or coffee shop, somehow including food, dishes or cups in your signage is also reasonable.
But if you happen to have a very specific niche, then your holiday signage might just turn out to be as unique as unique can be. Case in point—LEGOLAND Florida’s Christmas Bricktackular. While Christmas countdown calendars are a normal part of holiday preparations for some, you have to admit that LEGOLAND’s version (photo 1) is one-of-a-kind.
When it comes to signage, it doesn’t get more unique than building it with Lego bricks. And while this may not work for every business, it surely teaches us to think outside the box. What unique elements of your own company could you use as a springboard for a holiday sign?
If you’re a storage facility or a fulfillment center, try creating a cheery sign on the exterior of a cardboard box. (Note, however, that if this sign will be exposed to the elements, you’ll definitely need to explore options that look like cardboard but are actually more durable.) Why not spread a cheery message across the exterior of your oversized box, tie a huge bow around it and display it by your company’s road sign or monument sign? It’s sure to turn heads.
Take it away!
With a little inspiration, it’s time to start brainstorming for your own spectacular holiday signs.
And don’t just stick to the ideas you found here. Tap into the deep knowledge you have of your business’s specialties and your target market. What could you do that would catch people’s eyes and also display a festive attitude? For more enjoyable inspiration, be sure to check out our 3 Fun Ways To Get Your Signs Ready For The Holidays.
Business owners have plenty of things to think about, and compliance with applicable regulations is one of them. Do they have the right permits? Are they reporting revenue correctly? And when it comes to compliance, companies and organizations also need to think about their signage—what is and isn’t allowed?
Today, we want to share some info to help you get informed and (we hope) enable you to be more compliant in the long run. Plus, we’ll talk about how to figure out what regulations apply to you in your locality.
1 – Building sign regulations
Here’s something that you want to know about. The exterior of your business is not always yours to do with as you wish. And it’s a great idea to get this down before you invest in building signage that’s unexpectedly prohibited. How do we know? Because the issue came up in Detroit in 2017.
Take it from the Detroit Free Press on the topic of signage spread across certain buildings: “…nearly all of these commercial wall signs from the likes of Apple, Shinola, Meijer, Fifth Third Bank and the Detroit Pistons will have to come down by Dec. 31 as the city cracks down on building owners who have been violating what was once a seldom-enforced ordinance against such advertising.”
Obviously, it’s better to know what is and isn’t allowed before you install signage than to discover it after you’ve already invested time and money into the arrangement.
2 – Rules that apply to awnings and sidewalks (or walkways)
It’s also important to know that the space outside your business, whether in the air or on the ground, is also not yours to dispose of at your pleasure. Just ask NYC businesses about the awnings issues that arose last year. Check it out from the Bklyner —Merchants Take Down Signs As Panic Over Fines Sweeps City. As they report, the sign-related ticket for one business weighed in at a hefty $6,000.
Sidewalk signs like A-frames aren’t necessarily allowed either. A-frames became a subject of interest in Chicago in 2018 according to Block Club Chicago. Alisa Hauser reported that one business owner was hit with a $450 fine for his A-frame. At the time, A-frames weren’t allowed outside businesses, although she reported the city’s aldermen were considering a change to that rule.
3 – Window sign rules— it’s a sign. Or is it?
A friendly piece of advice. What you call art, others may call a “sign” instead. And while a difference in terminology can sometimes be harmless, other times it can be vital. If you’re differing with the government on the definition of a sign, then that’s something you’ll need to give due attention to.
Case in point—a soon-to-be sushi restaurant in Massachusetts. This building’s window signs became a contested subject related to zoning regulations. Did the Chinese characters on the windows count as signs or as art? They were ruled to count as signs.
Plus, when it comes to window signs particularly, you should know that there may be restrictions on the percentage of the window your sign is allowed to take up. For instance, take the City of Phoenix as an example: “Window signs generally are prohibited if they exceed 30 percent of any window area or placed on glass doors.”
How can I discover the rules and regulations that apply to me?
Different localities could have different rules and regulations, so you’ll want to find out what applies to you in your particular location. Here are some ways to get started.
First, check with your sign company. As a specialist in the industry, they may be able to fill you in on the rules that will apply to you and to the type of sign you’re installing. They may also be able to point you toward the proper permitting agency to secure any necessary permissions.
Second, check with your local government. This is something you can do when you’re getting started. But it should also help later on when you simply want to keep abreast of any recent developments. If you’re not sure of the exact department to contact, call or drop by your locality’s administration office and tell them what you’re looking to find out. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Third, you may be able to find the answer to some of your questions online. In fact, you may even be able to discover the sign code for your area. Or you might find specific directions for the department to contact.
To make this easy, let’s just take Detroit as an example. Need to find out about sign regulations in the Motor City? You need the City of Detroit’s own website. That way, you can get the info straight from the government itself.
Or, if you have a technical mind and you just love to read long legal documents, check out the draft form of the proposed new sign ordinance. At 100+ plus pages, it’ll be a hefty read. On the other hand, you can also use the government’s website to learn more about sign permits.
Of course, not everyone lives in Detroit. But the basic principles we gave in this example should hold true. If the information is not available on the internet (and it may be, so you should check), give your local administration a call so they can point you in the right direction.
Keeping up with changes
Naturally, sign codes don’t stay the same forever. Though from a compliance perspective, it might be nice if they did. Just how can you keep up with the changes? Well, again, use the internet and your local government to help you out.
Scour, search, ask
For the nerdy folks among us, you may be able to keep up on your own if you know where to look. Scanning publicly-available meeting minutes for your locality’s governing body could give you a heads up when changes have been made. Also, calling the appropriate authorities is still a good idea if you can’t find the info you’re looking for online. And you may even want to call the authorities either way—just to be sure you’re not missing something. Check with your sign company, too, because they may know about changes before you do.
It’s the responsibility of business owners to check that their infrastructure is as accessible as possible. This includes your signage, as well. Unfortunately, people often overlook colorblindness when designing their signs.
By adapting your signage, you can make the products friendlier and eligible for a broader audience. In this article, we are going to answer all your questions and give you our tips for designing signs for colorblind viewers.
What is CVD?
Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) is the scientific term for colorblindness. Although we use the latter term more commonly, the former is a better description of the condition and how it works.
Trichromacy means that all three types of cones in your eyes are working correctly. People who see in this way are considered to have normal vision. In anomalous trichromacy, all the types can perceive light, but one is faulty, so it won’t perceive it as usual.
In short, CVD is the inability to distinguish between some colors and shades. Therefore, having the condition doesn’t mean that you can’t see any at all. Total color blindness is very rare. Instead, most people can identify some colors but not others.
In the case where only two cones can perceive light, it is called dichromacy. Overall, there are about 10,000 possible combinations.
Common types of CVD:
- Red-green color blindness: It’s the most prevalent condition. Reduced sensitivity to red lights is known as protanopia or protanomaly. And reduced sensitivity to green light is known as deuteranopia or deuteranomaly. In this case, it is difficult to distinguish between reds, greens, and oranges and cause blues and yellows to stand out.
- Blue-yellow color blindness: The condition is called tritanopia or tritanomaly and is incredibly rare. It alters the ability to distinguish some blues from greens and some yellows from violet.
- Total color blindness: Overall, this is the rarest type occurring in 1 out of 33,000 people. Experts refer to it as monochromacy or achromatopsia. People with this condition will see no color, only black and white.
Of course, there are many variations that fall under these types.
Typically, CVD is a hereditary (genetic) condition. So, people are born with it, and it’s passed down from their parents. However, acquired color vision defects can sometimes be caused by chronic illnesses, accidents, chemicals, or medications.
How can you test for colorblindness?
Unfortunately, color blindness can sometimes go undiagnosed for years and even decades. The first time people often pick up something is wrong is when children start school.
If someone is worried about their vision, they should go to see their local eye doctor. They can diagnose you by administering a basic test like the Ishihara Color Test. Or they can use more sophisticated and professional protocols and tests.
Benefits of designing accessible signage
Besides doing a good deed, what can you and your business gain from designing signs with colorblind viewers in mind?
- First, you can reach a much wider audience. More or less 8% of all men and 0.5% of all women have a form of CVD. The incidence rate is higher among Caucasians and Asians. It’s something to keep in mind when you are researching your target market.
- Secondly, your signs will be more legible for people with CVD. Otherwise, they might miss out on some of the details and information.
Don’t forget that this isn’t only about accommodating your existing and potential customers. By making your signage more friendly for people with CVD you might be helping some of your employees too. Following these tips will certainly make their lives easier.
Colorblind workers will find it much easier to do their work, and feeling included will be great for their mental health as well.
Tips for designing signs for CVD viewers
Now that you have all the basic information, you can start thinking about designing your signs for colorblind viewers. There are a variety of steps you can take or tricks you can try to make your signage more accommodating.
We are specifically looking at tips you can use for designing signs. However, you can use it for all your media like newsletters, flyers, business cards, and websites.
1 – Avoid certain color combinations
One of the easiest solutions you can try is to avoid some of the palettes that are often problematic. Doing this will be much more manageable if you are creating the designs from scratch.
In general, it’s safer to avoid the following combinations:
- Green and red
- Brown and green
- Blue and purple
- Green and blue
- Light green and yellow
- Blue and grey
- Green and grey
- Black and green
All of these combos can be a potential nightmare for colorblind viewers to view and make out.
2 – Try to focus on monochrome
Next, it can be handy to stick with monochrome palettes. These are combinations where you use various shades of one color instead of choosing multiple colors.
Overall, this is one of the safest bets you can make. Even people who are completely color blind should be able to make out most of the content of the sign depending on the precise shades and layout.
3 – Choose friendlier palettes
Just like there are combinations to avoid if you’re designing for people with CVD, there are ones that you can lean towards. Using these palettes can seriously help people who are color blind to understand and interpret your signage and other media.
A few combinations that are colorblind-friendly are the following:
- Red and blue
- Brown and blue
- Orange and blue
These can work well if you use them right next to each other.
But more likely than not, you will use more colors than this. If you are looking for a bigger palette, you might want to check out some that are made for this purpose. Here are 15 colorblind-friendly palettes that you might want to give a whirl.
4 – Stick with high contrast
Although they can’t always distinguish all the colors, people with CVD can still perceive contrast as well as differences in brightness, saturation, and hue. So you can use these features strategically to accommodate your audience.
Try to pick color combinations that are high in contrast. One way to do this is to use dark and light colors together. Or you can go with complementary shades.
Pro tip: Many people who have CVD report that they can distinguish better between bright colors than dim ones. The latter tends to blur into one another. Therefore, you should use them with care.
5 – Go with thicker lines
Unfortunately, there are features of a design that can make life even more challenging for people who are color blind.
Individuals with mild CVD can typically see some colors. However, only if there’s enough of it. Otherwise, the picture might become blurry and indistinct.
That’s why you want to make sure swatches of different shades are bold enough. First, you need to make sure that lines of color are thick. The principle applies to text too. Besides this, you should also make graphics wide and broad.
6 – Say it with symbols
Another way to improve the accessibility of your signs is to use more than one method to get your meaning across. Brilliant advice to follow is to use symbols as well as text and color to draw your audience’s attention.
They are great elements for catching people’s eye and help make your message clearer.
Try combining symbols with a few of our other tips to make them as legible as possible. For example, use bold images, choose friendly palettes, and play with contrast.
7 – Use patterns and textures
Clearly, one of the main goals is to help your viewers distinguish between different elements on a sign. So you should look for ways to make the separate parts more distinct.
Therefore, we recommend that you experiment with patterns and textures. Consider selecting different ones for different features. Doing this will increase the contrast.
But remember that patterns and textures can add noise to any design, so use them sparingly.
8 – Adapting challenging combinations
It’s preferable that you avoid the bad combos we discussed above. However, that’s not always possible. Imagine if blue and purple are essential parts of your branding or that red and green are the natural shades of the graphic or item that you want to portray.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a train smash. You can use multiple techniques, like including texture to keep the elements of the sign distinct.
Another possible solution is not to place them right next to each other or near each other.
9 – Be wary of conveying meaning
Colors are one of the crucial tools in any designer’s toolbox. Yes, you can use them to make your sign attractive, interesting, and eye-catching. But that’s not all.
You can also use colors to encourage emotional responses and reactions from your audience. On top of this, they’re an excellent way to convey information like a warning. Colorblind viewers might have trouble interpreting this.
Therefore, you might need to use additional signals to get your words across like text or symbols.
10 – Accommodate your employees
Once again, remember that this isn’t only about your clients. It’s about your employees as well. If you have any staff with CVD, your signs should accommodate them. And keep in mind that even if you don’t have anybody currently in your employ, you might hire someone with the condition in the future.
To accommodate them, you need to find out whether they are facing any problems and what these are. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does your employee need to use signage at work?
- What is the content of these signs?
- What, if any, limitations are your staff experiencing?
- How do these obstacles impact your employees?
- Do the limitations affect their job performance?
- Which specific tasks are challenging as a result?
- Are there steps you can take to accommodate them? And have you used all of the resources you can to implement them?
We highly recommend sitting down with your employees to ask them about their challenges and potential solutions. Besides this, you should consult them about the effect of any accommodations you’ve made.
There are a few businesses where this is more relevant than others. Just consider jobs where using or reading signs are a critical part of the job, for example, teaching, construction, and so on.
In some cases, this can be a matter of safety as well as job performance. This is especially true for businesses where employees need to use hazardous substances or chemicals. People often use signs in these contexts to give safety instructions and identify products.
11 – Using software
In addition to the other tips, try using software to your advantage.
Even with the best intentions and plenty of effort, you can still struggle to get the design right. Some programs allow you to see your sign as someone who is colorblind would.
For example, Adobe Photoshop has a built-in function that allows you to see it in this way.
To do this, you should go to View → Proof Setup → Color Blindness → Protanopia-type/Color Blindness — Deuteranopia-type. Once you have done this, you can turn it on and off by using Ctrl+Y on a PC and ⌘+Y key shortcut on a Mac.
Where can I get more information?
Your business can only benefit from designing more accessible signs. By making your signage more friendly for colorblind viewers, you can reach a wider audience. It can also be a point that makes your company stand out against competitors for new and existing customers.
It’s important to hire a professional sign making company to create the best signage possible. A good working relationship will help you improve your results. They can give you advice on designing signs that comply with the applicable regulations and safety requirements.
Without a doubt, we need signs year-round — signs to point us to our destinations, to direct us away from danger, or even just to show us which parking space we can use. If you’re realizing you or your company don’t have the right signage, then you might be casting about for the best specialist and signs to help you fix that. But you’re wondering if the upcoming winter months could pose any special challenges to your signage experience.
Great question and we applaud you for thinking ahead. We thought we’d dig into it a little today by addressing some things to keep in mind as you acquire signs during the winter.
1 – The ground may be frozen
Here’s something to think about whether you’re digging postholes for a post and panel sign or stabbing a yard sign into the turf. The ground in winter can be much harder (even rock-solid) depending on where you live. Granted, if you’re a Floridian, this probably isn’t going to pose much of a problem for you. But if you live in the Upper Midwest or New England, you better know it’s going to be a struggle or an impossibility to make much headway in the cold, hard ground.
For us Michiganders, of course, the ground will likely be cold and frozen. No sunny Florida winters (or temps) for us. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t put up signs in the winter. You don’t have to give up simply because we experience this season in all its cold, snowy glory.
2- You might be able to get a deal from your sign company
We agree with this suggestion from Home Advisor. Ordering a sign in the winter months might just be a good move. For your wallet, that is — and your schedule. When discussing the cost of buying signage, they had this to say: “A great tip is to order designs in the offseason during the winter because sign companies are typically busiest in the summer. Ordering during the winter may result in promotions and discounts on order as well as a shorter turnaround time.”
3 – The area could be slippery
This is something to keep in mind whether you’re installing a sign yourself or having your sign company do the installation. For yourself, you need to realize that there are some inherent hazards to outdoor work during the winter season. Snow and ice can make passageways slippery, and you may not always be able to see that the slick surface is dangerous. Be smart by using deicers where needed and wearing adequate outdoors gear (boots with good tread, for instance) when working on your sign.
Obviously, any weather-related hazards can also pose problems for the sign company working on your property. Again, you want to keep the area clear and safe for them with appropriate deicer at work. But you also want to be sure that your sign company is licensed and insured. Check with them to verify that they carry appropriate coverage for any slips, trips, or falls that occur in the course of their work.
4 – Your message may need to reflect the time of year
Likely this should go without saying, but you do want your signage to be seasonally appropriate. Of course, this is relatively easy with something like a changeable message sign or LCD display. Simply adjust the message as the seasons pass.
But if you have a less adaptable option, you’ll want to think ahead about what messages will and won’t be right for the season. For instance, maybe the dead of winter isn’t the best time for banner signs whose colors, fonts, and sentiments look beach-inspired.
5 – Your sign needs to account for winter weather
This is just something to think about before you dive in. If you’re working in a locality with plenty of snowfall each winter, try to account for that in your planning. Similarly, high winds or plenty of rain should also be factored in.
See what your specialist recommends as far as signage that won’t be constantly obscured by snowdrifts. Additionally, check how far away from roads and driveways you need to position your signage, You want them to be safe from snowplows and the snowbanks they create. Another factor could be choosing signage that won’t be damaged by exposure to deicers like rock salt or pickle brine.
Shoot for signs that are strong enough to stand in the face of whatever wind can reasonably be expected. And select materials that are prepared to hold up against rain or sleet.
Consult with the pros
For those with little experience selecting or installing signage, turning to a specialist is a great option. Some specialists can even help you in the design phase of your project. Be sure to find a specialist with good reviews and a company attitude that you’re comfortable with. Check out our What To Look For From A Sign Making Company + Questions To Ask