With the holidays just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to plan for incorporating them into your business signage. If you’re looking for ways to display holiday cheer in and around your location, your existing signs are a natural option. But just what can you do to deck them out for the season? Let’s break down your signage decor in two ways. We’ll explore tangible/3D decor ideas. Then, we’ll look into visual/2D or intangible decor.
Tangible and 3D decor
This is the decor you’ll actually be able to hold and touch—and it will take up space. Granted, it won’t necessarily take up very much space, but it will take up space nonetheless.
A prime example? Planting whimsical snowmen figures by the monument sign at your office’s entrance. That will certainly take up space, and if your work involves children (e.g. dentist’s office, school, library, etc.) it will be a fun way to get their attention. Another option is to place a wreath near your business sign on your building’s facade, as you see in the second photo here.
On top and wound around
Monument signs, post and panel signs, and pylon signs are all candidates for garlands or greenery. Twining holiday-themed items around your posts or poles is one way to go. And don’t forget you can add lights, too. Even lights alone could have a striking effect—especially when the evening darkness falls sooner thanks to daylight savings time.
Small signs and indoor signs
These ideas also hold true for smaller signs, whether indoors or out. Additionally, if you’re working with indoor signs, you can feel free to use decor items that might not hold up outside.
Cozy plaid ribbons can be tied around desktop signs or A-frame signs. And they can also be tied into bows and applied to wall plaques. Image a hallway full of offices—each office’s occupant identified by the plaque outside their door. Now image what a striking appearance you could achieve down the hall by placing a festive plaid bow on each plaque.
Intangible and 2D decor
Now it’s time for the second type of holiday decor that your signs can sport—holiday-themed visuals. Unlike draping garlands over your monument signs or affixing wreaths to your pylons, deploying intangible decor and 2D decor will consist of items that are less touchable.
This could include selecting holiday-themed graphics for your billboard. Or, it could look like changing your sign messaging or LED display. But it could also mean selecting add-ons to your already existing physical signage—like sprawling holiday chalk paintings across your cafe’s menu board.
Your LED display changes will be mostly intangible. You can see them, but you can’t really touch them. Theoretically, you could actually reach out and touch your menu board chalk paint (why would you though?). So, we’ll concede that that’s tangible. But unlike garlands and wreaths, it’s 2D visual decor.
Time off for the holidays
Of course, you may also need to rope in some special holiday signage to let your clients and customers know that you’re closed or are only working special hours. After all, you’ll likely be taking some time off this season. But there’s no reason your “out of the office” signs have to be boring or spiritless. Instead, infuse them with humor and cheer.
Use humor or a play on words
It’s the perfect time for your company signs to display a sense of humor. That is, if humor is appropriate in your line of work (it isn’t in every industry, of course). For instance, you could paste a cheery sign in your office’s front window (or on your door). It could say, “We will resume our awesome work after the holidays are past.” And you may even want to leave the date on which clients can expect you back in the office.
If you’re a bank, or otherwise in the financial services industry, a laughable statement could be, “We’re not Scrooge—we close for the holidays.” A changeable message sign or LED display is a perfect place for more wordplay or humor. Try something like, “Closed until ___ [insert date] so our team can be Home for the Holidays.”
Beyond the building
Another fun idea is to get temporary signs for your business’s branded vehicles. You might opt for magnets or explore some other temporary solution with your sign specialist. It’s a creative way to extend the festivity beyond the four walls of your physical location.
Match your decor with your company
Keep in mind you may be able to match your holiday decor with the colors of your logo or other elements of your company. Even more importantly, you’ll want to ensure that the image your decor projects matches with your company image.
Choosing whimsical decor may be appropriate for certain companies. But it’s doubtful that all companies should go that route. If you run a funeral home, for instance, you may need to select holiday decorations that are subdued and classic.
Talk it out
Don’t stick with just our ideas. Ask co-workers and employees for ideas to get everyone thinking creatively. Plus, you can always ask your sign specialist if they can recommend any sign types that would be easy to personalize for the holidays.
Winter is slowly approaching. The temperatures are gradually dropping, and the conditions are becoming harsher. These changes can take a toll on everything in the environment, which includes your outdoor signage too.
Many types of signs are at an increased risk of damage caused by frost, wind, and snow. Now is the perfect time to start implementing protective measures.
Because we know how important signage is for any business, we are going to show you how you can protect your signs in cold and harsh weather.
The risks of cold and harsh weather
As you know, winter in the Northern hemisphere can be a bit rough. Depending on where you live, you have to contend with all kinds of conditions like snow, sleet, and wind.
For example, here in Michigan, winter storms are not uncommon, which can even include real blizzards. The 2019-2020 winter is expected to come with an “arctic cold.” On average, it is about 27 °F. But the temperatures can drop lower.
Sounds chilly, right? Let’s look at the specific conditions you need to be concerned about.
Weather conditions to watch out for:
- Fog: It is basically a cloud that is floating at ground level. Typically, the phenomenon is more common when the seasons turn, especially when autumn changes to winter. Significantly it can cause moisture build-up.
- Rain: Once again, the main problem with rain is moisture. It can seep in between the parts and panels of a sign. If the metal isn’t protected, it can rust. Unfortunately, it can also damage the quality of an image.
- Snow: There are two critical ways in which these frosty flakes can cause trouble. First, snow is pretty heavy, so it can weigh down your signs. Second, when it melts, it can leave your products wet and damp.
- Cold: Lower temperatures also pose a risk to signs. Extreme drops and increases in temperature are especially hazardous. Materials like plastics can crack if they heat up or cool too quickly.
- Ice and frost: Like snow, ice and frost can cause trouble in several ways. They can cause mechanical or physical damage to the boards and scratch the surface. Clearly, the cold that accompanies it is also an issue, not to mention the moisture.
Tips for protecting different kinds of signs
All of these conditions put your outdoor signs at risk. The more they are exposed to the elements, the bigger the potential problems.
Luckily, there are various steps you can take to keep them safe.
Due to variations in structure and material, the weather can affect different signs in different ways. That’s why we will cover some of the common sign types and how you can protect each one.
On the whole, banners are one of the most popular sign types. They are incredibly cheap, versatile, flexible, customizable, and easy to find. In general, they are one of those products that work as well inside as they do outside.
However, some harsh weather conditions might be too much to withstand. These signs are lightweight and cover a large surface area. Hence, banners take tremendous strain from any wind.
If not tied down securely, they can fly away. Or in some cases, the wind can rip them apart.
To prevent this, we recommend that you try some of these measures:
- Did you hang the banner over a street or corridor? In this case, only use heavyweight material and consider using steel cables to tie it down.
- Try to install the signs against a solid surface. In general, this will help to reduce the exposure to wind.
- If you did secure it against a flat surface, make sure it is sitting as tightly to it as possible. You can mount it with grommets and pull it tight to make sure there is as little space as possible for air to enter.
- Consider using bungee cords instead of rope to hang the banners. The material is slightly elastic, so it has a bit of stretch in high winds.
- Interweave the rope or cord through more than one grommet.
- Regularly check the lines and tighten them if necessary. Higher tensions mean less movement and less chance of ripping.
Electronic signs are brilliant inventions. These products have improved visibility and viewing distances during the night and day. But they are very vulnerable to harsh weather.
Moisture from rain, fog, and snow can affect the way they work. And temperature fluctuations can cause havoc to their hardware. On top of this, any conditions that apply force to the surface pose a risk.
Therefore, to protect your electronic signs, you should take the following steps:
- Check that your sign company used hardware that’s appropriate for outdoor use.
- Inspect and regularly maintain all of your digital signage. Pay extra attention to the seals and make sure there aren’t any spaces between their parts where moisture can seep in.
- LED’s for outdoor signs usually work optimally at a temperature between 59°F and 77 °F. The temperatures usually drop below that during winter. So ask your sign company if they have any heating or heat maintenance solutions.
- Overall, the most effective solution is to build or buy weather-resistant enclosures for your electronic signs. It should have a tight seal, good ventilation, heating systems, and consist of rust-resistant materials.
- Securely mount the sign so that it won’t be carried off by the wind. Aside from this, you don’t want any smaller parts to break off, either.
- Another critical step in thermal management is using suitable insulation. You can pack foam insulation into the sides and back of the enclosure to help to keep the heat in.
Metal panel signs
Another staple of the industry is metal panel signs. Businesses use them for a variety of purposes, from advertising to giving directions. Once again, they are relatively expensive and durable. Yet they aren’t immune to damage from harsh weather conditions.
Here are some strategies that you can try:
- Choose the right material. Aluminum and stainless steel are particularly weatherproof. Both of these are rust-resistant, so they should work well in areas where there is frequent rain and snow.
- If you use other metals like iron or bronze, you must coat it with a waterproof sealant that will prevent corrosion.
- You need to weld the panels together correctly. They should sit tightly so that they won’t be pulled apart. Plus, you should seal the connection so that it won’t rust.
- Typically, it works best to use a single metal panel.
Nowadays, businesses usually rely on metal, acrylic, and other fabricated materials for their signage. But there is nothing wrong with wood signs. You can still work wonders with these. However, they are often less resistant than some of the “newer” contenders.
You need to take several steps to keep them safe.
First, you should seal the wood with a laminate or water repellent. Usually, it’s safer to go with more than one coat.
Second, you can attach plastic or metal caps to the edges of the signs. The trim will keep water from seeping in and prevent the wood from warping and swelling. Aside from this, it can be useful for protecting the sign in storms with debris flying around.
Third, you have to remove rot, mold, or mildew as soon as it appears. Inspect your sign every few weeks or after a few days when there has been heavy snowfall or rain.
More tips and tricks
Now we can look at some additional tricks that you can use with different kinds of signs and materials.
Commission high-quality signage
The better the quality of your sign, the better it will be able to withstand wear and tear and the ravages of harsh weather. Therefore, if you don’t want to replace signage frequently, make sure you hire a good sign company.
Moreover, you need to choose materials and designs that are appropriate for the outdoors. There is a reason why fabricators recommend specific products for outdoors use. You can’t always the same signs in the interior and exterior of your business.
Replace old products
Everything has an expected lifetime. You can take protective measures to prolong their usefulness. But eventually, you’ll have to get new. If you don’t want the boards to look worn out and shabby be sure to replace your sign once it is nearing its end.
Overall, you can reduce the risk of damage if you use several measures at once. While this may take more time and effort up front, it is a sensible decision in the long-run. There are a variety of weather conditions that can cause problems, and different strategies are needed for each.
Focus on the mounting
No matter what type of sign you are dealing with, you should make sure to mount it securely. The weight of frost, ice, and snow can distort structures, loosening or breaking parts off. Overall, wind can affect signage in much the same way.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to the way you install your signage.
Poles are one of the most durable ways to mount signs. Attach your board to more than one leg for extra security.
Preferably, you should choose metal for the material. Carbon steel is a fantastic choice as it can withstand floods, as well as hurricane-and-tornado force winds.
Besides this, it’s a good idea to fix the base of the structure in cement or concrete.
Prevent water build-up
This strategy is particularly essential whenever snow or ice is beginning to melt. The water can damage many materials, and the added weight can also become too much. In some cases, it can even wear away at the support structures for the sign.
Regularly clear away any water from depressions on the product. And consider installing a cover like an awning over it if the problem becomes excessive.
Preventing water build-up is vital in the case of freestanding signs or products that you install on the ground like monument signs. To do this, you should place them on well-draining soil. Or even dig a trench around them to direct the water.
On the move
Admittedly sometimes, the best solution is to take the sign away. Usually, this is the only guaranteed way to protect your posters from harsh weather. You can store the boards at night when the temperature drops or when a storm starts picking up.
If this sounds like the right plan for you, consider investing mainly in freestanding and mobile signs like A-frame sidewalk signs. Alternatively, you can install some wheels to the frame of the sign so you can roll it inside.
Aside from protecting the products, you can benefit from being able to relocate it as you see fit.
Above all, don’t wait until it’s too late. Without a doubt, it’s better if you could implement preventative measures before the harsh weather strikes. Once the damage is done, you might only be able to slow its progress.
Use the environment
Last but not least, you want to use the features of the environment to your advantage. By doing this, you will be working smarter, not harder. You can exploit existing cover without needing to construct any additional structures.
For example, keep your eye out for:
- Surrounding buildings
Try to put your signs in spots that are less exposed but still visible.
Stay ahead of the game
The cold and harsh winter weather can cause significant damage to unprotected outdoor signs. This isn’t the only challenge. It can also make it trickier to install new signs.
However, business rarely stands still. Therefore, you should consider reaching out to expert hands to help you keep your signage in tip-top shape year-round.
But it’s not all bad news. The festive season is also on its way. This means that there are fun and merry times ahead. Plus, new opportunities for you to promote and grow your company. So check out: how to make your signage seasonal without spending a lot of money.
Most of us are more likely to associate Michigan winters with colorful and joyful Christmas gift wrapping. However, it’s also important to consider your car wrap under these extreme weather conditions.
With temperatures as low as 3 degrees or under and up to 9 inches of snow, Michigan winters are certainly tough on us – and our cars.
A vinyl wrap is a great way to protect your car’s paint job or as branding/advertisement for your business. However, a vinyl that’s not well cared for can have the opposite effect.
To get the most out of your wrap and to give it the longest lifespan possible, you should follow some common-sense steps to protect it during winter.
How long do car wraps last in Michigan?
Generally, a car wrap lasts anywhere from 5 to 7 years. It depends on the quality of the wrap as well as how well you take care of it. Since winter conditions, like cold and snow, don’t have much effect on a car wrap, your wrap should have the maximum lifespan if you care for it well.
How to keep your car wrap fresh through the Michigan winter
Store your car inside whenever possible
Your car’s wrap is its first line of defense against the elements. That also means your wrap is the first thing that gets worn down. Try to limit your car’s exposure to only when you’re actually driving.
While the cold of snow in itself shouldn’t do much harm to a high-quality vinyl wrap, it can indirectly make wrap care much harder. If there are already small tears in your wrap, the snow can also go underneath and interfere with its adhesion.
Prevention is better than cure, as they say.
Be gentle when clearing snow from your car
No matter how hard you try, chances are your car will get snowed under at least once. Although it’s considered a normal way to clear off snow, almost all wrap professionals will warn you against using scrapers. In fact, scraping, in general, is a no-no, no matter what you use.
Instead, opt for something like a snow brush. It’s almost just as effective as a scraper but much easier on your wrap (and paint job). If your car got snowed on, clear it as soon as possible, before it turns into a crusty ice layer. Soft snow is much easier and safer to get off.
Wash your car regularly
Like most states with heavy winter snow, Michigan roads are treated with de-icing chemicals. Chemicals like sodium-, magnesium-, or calcium chloride and calcium magnesium- and potassium acetate are used to stop a layer of ice from forming or to break up an existing layer. These chemicals are sometimes referred to as, or are ingredients, of road salt.
While they’re very effective at de-icing roads, unfortunately, they can also get kicked up and stick to your vehicle wrap. They can then slowly start to erode your wrap and spoil your car’s finish.
You should aim to wash your car every other week to get rid of them. Washing your car or finding a car wash that’s open in winter might be tough, but it’s a must for winter wrap care.
Fix any tears or holes ASAP
Even tiny tears or holes in your wrap can snowball into bigger troubles over time, on top of looking bad. For one, small tears will inevitably get larger with time until they are fixed.
Secondly, snow, dust, grime, or other particles can work its way in between the wrap and the car. This can increase the rate of your wrap’s deterioration. Even worse, the wrap can trap the particles causing them to slowly wearing away your car’s finish.
Can you install a wrap during winter?
Although it’s possible to DIY car wrap your vehicle, we don’t recommend it. For one, it’s a very tricky process and you need to get it 100% right. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with ugly air pockets or creases and there’s a good chance you’ll have to get a new wrap.
In winter, it’s even trickier because car wraps don’t apply well in cold weather. If you let a professional do it (which you should) you should make sure they have proper facilities. They should be able to keep their workshop to a minimum temperature of around 50-70 degrees.
If the temperature goes below this, the wrap won’t be as pliable and the adhesive won’t have the same sticking power. This can lead to it becoming brittle and a much shorter lifespan.
Take care of your wrap and it will take care of you
As you can see, winter car wrap care isn’t rocket science. In fact, you probably already take some of these steps as general winter car care. Hopefully, this information just enforces why you should take care during this trying time and make these tips a habit.
If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a car wrap that stays looking better for longer and protects your finish along the way.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a significant landmark in the fight for equal access for people with disabilities. It helps to improve the lives of millions of Americans every single day and has inspired other countries and international activists to follow suit. Business owners are responsible for making sure that their company and its assets are compliant with the relevant standards and regulations. Here is our guide to help you understand the accessible signage guidelines and implement them in your designs.
The lowdown on accessible signage guidelines
The history of the struggle for equality for individuals with disabilities is a fascinating one.
On 12 March 1990, disability rights activists descended on Washington. They demanded the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which would give equal rights to people with disabilities.
The critical event of the day was called the Capitol Crawl, when 60 activists abandoned their wheelchairs and mobility devices. They then began crawling the 83 stone steps up to the U.S. Capitol Building.
Now, the protest is celebrated as a critical contribution that helped to push President George H.W. Bush to sign the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The ADA standards outline regulations about the construction of buildings and the designs for signs too.
These include measures like constructing accessible parking, entrances, paths of travel and restrooms, and signs that allow people with disabilities to access spaces independently and safely.
Why should I make my signs accessible?
We can only truly see the world through our own eyes. Unfortunately, this means that people without disabilities may overlook accessibility as they don’t need it themselves. They may also be unaware of the challenges facing individuals with disabilities.
It’s important to understand that there are severe consequences if you don’t make sure that you are compliant with accessible signage guidelines.
First, compliance is a legal requirement. The ADA is a federal law. However, you should be aware that your state or municipality might have additional regulations regarding accessibility. If you do not comply, you could be saddled with a hefty fine and be required to become compliant.
Second, by making your signs compliant, you are making them accessible to a much wider audience. You might be losing existing and potential new customers all the time and not even know it because they have difficulty using your services.
Lastly, if your signs are not accessible, you could be alienating some of your staff. This can have detrimental effects on their mental health and also on their job performance and productivity.
As a result, staying ADA compliant will both help your community and be beneficial for your business.
Which signs must be accessible?
ADA signs are necessary for all the areas of your business that the employees or your staff have access to.
In general, signs that need to be compliant should include but aren’t limited to the following:
- All directional signs such as ones pointing to your reception.
- Signage that you use to identify permanently dedicated rooms that will not change function, such as a restroom, lunchroom, storage room, conference room, restroom, or closet.
- All informational signs like “Employees Only.”
- Signs highlighting the location of building floors, stairwells, and all exit levels.
- Restroom signs.
- The different types of overhead signs like “Stairs.”
Design tips for accessible signs
Reading the entire American Disabilities Act can be quite challenging. So to help you out, here are some tips on complying with the main accessible signage guidelines.
You’ll notice that many of these standards are centered around assisting people with visual impairments to understand your signs.
These regulations apply for interior and exterior signage.
One of the critical requirements for ADA signs is to choose a suitable color palette. Using some color combinations can make it far more difficult to distinguish and understand the content of the board.
One reason that this happens is that the colors are too similar. Another is that shades that clash too much can blur. Besides this, some visual impairments like color blindness impact how people distinguish between colors.
Examples of “bad” combinations are red/green, purple/blue, orange/yellow, or two hues of any one color.
Therefore, you need to use contrasting colors on ADA signs. Typically, these types of palettes are best for any kind of sign.
You can use a color wheel to help you decide on the perfect combination by choosing complementary shades. These are pairs that sit opposite each other on the circle.
Of course, a quick and easy way to create contrast is to use light and dark colors. This will help distinguish between the different elements of the design. For example, the background can be a dark blue while the text and symbol are white.
Say no to glare
Another feature that is notorious for making signs challenging to understand is glare. This refers to the difficulty of seeing in the presence of bright light. In the case of signage, it usually happens when sunlight or artificial lighting is reflected off its surface.
To make your signs accessible, you need to ask your sign company to coat the surface with a non-glare finish. Remember that it has to cover both the background and the characters or other content.
The board might look less glossy and shiny. But at least it will be visible.
Also, be mindful of the position of the sun or artificial lights relative to the sign.
Working with text
For compliancy, your ADA signs must include braille as well as tactile (raised) letters.
The braille needs to be Grade 2, also known as shorthand braille. This system incorporates 189 contractions and short-form words. Because the braille is so condensed, it is ideal for the limited amount of space on signs.
The shapes of the dots need to rounded or domed. And they should be lower case except if the words are proper nouns, initials, acronyms, the first word of a sentence, or if the letters are part of a room number.
Besides this, you need to place the braille below the text with a 3/8 inch clearance on each side.
On the other hand, tactile lettering must be 1/32 inch raised capital letters.
Only the best fonts
Next, you have to choose the right typeface for your accessible signs. There is an ever-growing variety of beautiful and exciting fonts to choose from. However, there are a few specific guidelines that you need to follow to be compliant.
Thankfully, the regulations are relatively straightforward to apply:
- The font needs to be sans serif.
- All of the characters have to be uppercase.
- Don’t use styles that are oblique, italic, or too condensed. Neither should you use ones that are ornamental, script, or unusual.
- You should choose a typeface with characters where the width of the uppercase letter “O” is 55 percent minimum and 110 percent maximum of the height of the uppercase letter “I.”
- The text height has to be between ⅝ inch and 2 inches.
Overall, applying these standards will make the content of your designs more comfortable to read.
So, a few popular fonts that are ideal are:
- Franklin Gothic
- Arial Bold
- Avenir Medium
- Lucida Demibold
Use specific spacing
You’re not done with the text yet. Aside from the above, you should check that you use approved spacing protocols.
You should measure the distance between the two closest points of adjacent tactile characters. In short, the spacing between them should be a minimum of ⅛ inches. The guideline excludes word spaces.
On top of this, characters should be at least ⅜ inch away from borders or other decorative elements.
Symbols all the way
Symbols are fantastic tools in communication. You can use them to make any sign easier to understand.
Your ADA signs must contain the applicable ISA symbols and other relevant graphics. Which you need might depend on local requirements and those for your specific type of company.
However, everyone needs to use the following pictograms:
- Ear to symbolize the availability of an assistive listening device
- Phone symbol with sound waves for volume control phone
- A keyboard, representing a text telephone
Other recommended symbols are ones for:
- Different types of restrooms
- Stair accessibility
- Safety signs like ones for a fire extinguisher
You need to design the signs so that the pictograms sits alone on a 6-inch high background area. Provide text descriptions for signs with a symbol to label rooms or spaces. But signage with pictograms that provide additional information about a room don’t require text.
Place tactile text directly underneath the graphic and braille underneath that.
We all want to make our signs exciting and pleasing to the eye. But that shouldn’t always be your top priority. In terms of ADA signs, it is all about accessibility and sticking to regulations.
That’s why you want to be incredibly picky about the context of your signage. In this case, you should only include the content that is necessary. Usually, this will only include the tactile text, braille text, and the relevant symbols.
Perhaps, you could also incorporate a border around the edges to improve the overall visibility. But in most cases, that’s all.
So, in the end, your design is going to be clear and clutter-free.
You can save all the extras for your other signage. If you want to incorporate more personality, use a combination of compliant signs and others, which allow you to get creative while still providing equal access.
Get the installation right
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the design only refers to the content and appearance of the sign. The process applies to all the aspects of creating your signage. One of these is how they are mounted.
According to the ADA, there are specific requirements you need to use when installing accessible signage.
Usually, you need to place signs that identify rooms next to the relevant door. It should be mounted between 48 inches, measured from the bottom of the lowest raised character, and 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the highest, from the ground.
You can use these same height guidelines for most types of ADA signs unless the relevant regulations state otherwise.
The deal with parking signs
Generally, the standards apply in more or less the same way to all types of signs. However, it is a different case altogether for accessible parking signs. These are signs that you usually mount outdoors to indicate ADA parking spaces.
Each one has to include the International Symbol of Accessibility, which is the wheelchair symbol. And you need to mount it a minimum of 60 inches from the floor so that your visitors can see it.
If you have spots that are dedicated for vans, you should incorporate the text “Van Accessible” into the design.
Asking the pros
There is much to be learned about making signs the right way. Besides ADA compliance, you need to worry about other factors, like the effectiveness of the sign as well. No wonder designing signage can be a daunting task.
Luckily there are experts out there who know all the ins and outs of the industry. Consult with them about the designs for all the signs you want to print. They can help make sure they are up to standard.
Many professional companies have ready-made options for you, as well. If you are in a hurry and just need to get a few basics signs, you could choose one from their collection.
Following these tips is the first step to making sure you are compliant with accessible signage guidelines. But as we’ve said, one of the most crucial is contacting your local sign making company and asking their advice. They can help you make your designs a reality.
This isn’t the only essential information that you need to know when creating signage for your business. If you want to know more, take a look at the restaurant owner’s guide to meeting safety requirements for signs and designing signs for colorblind viewers.
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
Indoor directional signs are a staple of most businesses. Whether you run an office park, a hospital, or a small hobby store, they can be incredibly useful to help customers find their way.
As with any sign, there is lots to learn if you want to use them effectively. We want you to love signs as much as we do, so here is our list of facts you didn’t know about indoor directional signage. It will cover the useful, interesting and everything in between.
What are indoor directional signs?
Before we dig into all the crazy facts, let’s get the basics out of the way.
Indoor directional signs are also called wayfinding signs. Companies use them to inform people and help them to navigate their way through their surroundings. Remember that this will help your staff too.
The larger the business and building, the more important these signs are as it will be more challenging to find anything.
So when are directions necessary?
There are some key spots that you should always point out like:
- Emergency exits
- Safety, first aid, or fire equipment
- Stair, escalators, and elevators
- Entrances and exits
- Reception or check-in desk
- Different departments in the business
- Main offices
- Dining area
- Client services
- Help desk
- Conference rooms
- Points of interest
Of course, different types of organizations will have different requirements. For example, a gym needs to give directions to the pool and sauna. So just ask yourself what areas are essential in your location and company.
In general, indoor directional signs are some of the most important indoor signs for any business.
1- Design of directional signs
Did you know that the design for wayfinding signs are different from that of any other?
Keep in mind that its purpose from that of other types. These aren’t the ‘celebrities’ of the signage world – the flashy and extravagant advertisements, and promotions.
By extension, well-designed directional signs can help promote and improve the reputation of your business. But that’s not the primary aim. You want to aid in navigation and the design should reflect this.
In this case, less is more. This is often a good principle with signs. However, it’s even more crucial with directional signage.
The directions on these signs should always be clear. You don’t want to obscure it with unnecessary details or even graphics.
Besides this, you want the boards to be noticeable. Yet they shouldn’t be distracting. Instead, they should fit in with the rest of the environment and complement the overarching theme or decor.
2 – Choose user-friendly language
The emphasis on simplicity should extend to the actual content of the signs. You want the text and the graphics to be easily understood.
There should be no ambiguity, misunderstandings, or guesswork involved. Confusion will defeat the purpose.
To do this, you should:
- Avoid any descriptive or flowery language
- Don’t give instructions – you can have additional signs for this in the relevant spots.
- Stick to one or two words. Only provide the name of the location like “main lobby.”
- Use symbols in conjunction with the text.
- Choose words that are easy to understand.
3 – Consistency is king
One of the critical principles of directional signs is consistency. Once again, this differs from many other types of signage.
The consistency involves the method you use to convey directions, the designs of the signs, the text formatting used. It’s a good idea also to keep the placement of the board more or less the same.
You should stick to this throughout your business, both inside and outside. The customers shouldn’t have to waste time figuring out what each sign is trying to say.
4 – Progressive disclosure
People often approach indoor directional signage in the wrong way. They often think of them in terms of a distinct and individual object. But directional boards are more than just signs. Wayfinding is a system.
Always think of directions as being a representation of the structure and organization of your business. In other words, they are part of a bigger whole.
Because of this, you should practice progressive disclosure. Simply put, this means that you should reveal information bit by bit. You don’t need to give all the information on one sign. This will leave your visitors confused by too many choices.
Instead, think of how you can guide them step-by-step. For example, put up a sign at the entrance to guide them to the reception. There you can place signs that give them directions to other parts of the building.
5 – All about the experience
Nowadays, customer experience has become a central part of business models and practices. And indoor directional signs can play an essential role in this.
You want to use this type of signage to help improve the experience of visiting your offices, store, or center.
Try to imagine yourself in your audience’s shoes. Working out customer journeys can be a powerful tool. You can adapt it to all the aspects of your organization, including how they navigate through the physical space.
The aim of doing this should be to make any visit as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Creating a positive experience will encourage customers to come back and entice new ones to take a look.
6 – Start before they arrive
No doubt, we are living in the digital age. The way most of us live our lives has certainly changed.
It can be quite a challenge to keep up with customer’s expectations but exciting too.
One innovation that will help you keep up is using integrated wayfinding systems. In short, this involves giving your customers info about the space long before they arrive. You are, in a sense, helping them prepare for their visit.
Here are key ways you can do this:
- If they are coming for an appointment, SMS or email them information on where to go when they arrive.
- Create a wayfinding app for your business. It will work particularly well for larger organizations like colleges.
- Publish a directory on your website or social media.
A pro tip is to use similar language throughout this system.
7 – In the line of sight
Part of the design process means considering where and how you are going to place the signs.
Will they hang from the ceiling? Do you want to mount them on the wall?
The best spots for directional signs are usually at eye level or above it. Doing this will ensure maximum visibility. Make sure that it is in people’s natural line of sight. And that the text and graphics will be legible from their position.
Experts always test out the effectiveness of the design and placement before installing the real thing. Place some mock-ups around your building and see for yourself how well it works. Better yet, ask someone utterly new to the location to check it out for you.
8 – Universal semiotics
We all interpret and even use symbols every day. In a way, we all practice semiotics. We just don’t know it. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and how they affect behavior.
Symbols are a central part of how we communicate with other people through time and space. Facebook’s ‘like’ sign is a typical example of this. It is becoming harder and harder to find someone who doesn’t understand its meaning.
These graphics can make communication speedier and less ambiguous. That’s why you need to use some basic symbols on directional signs. Examples are ones for:
- First aid
- Wheelchair accessibility
In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to be accessible to as many people as possible. You want foreign-language speakers to at least understand the most rudimentary signs like those for a restroom.
9 – Signs of quality and professionalism
Never underestimate the impact of excellent signage. People take this pretty seriously. More or less, 68% of customers feel that signs reflect the quality of your business as well. So it plays a critical role in influencing their perceptions.
Indoor directional signs are crucial for this. They are a great way to show visitors that you really are professionals and that you have everything in order.
10 – ADA wayfinding signage
There is a mountain of knowledge facing new business owners. With so much information, it’s understandable that you miss out on some things. One mistake that many people make is not making sure their signs are ADA compliant.
According to the American Disabilities Act, all wayfinding signage must be designed in such a way as to be readable by those who have a vision impairment or possibly no vision whatsoever.
The exact requirements depend on your state, municipality, size, etc. Therefore, you should hire a sign making company that can advise you on the rules and regulations.
11 – Maps and directories
The majority of indoor directional signs are basically a nameplate with an arrow or something similar that indicates the direction. You might also give a brief info about the floor or room number. But this isn’t necessarily all you need.
In general, a map or directory of the whole building or organization is convenient. From personal experience, you probably know how much this can help you to orientate yourself.
These signs should be bigger and will obviously contain more information. However, you should still try to keep it simple. You shouldn’t need a special degree to follow them.
Luckily you won’t need as many as with the other types.
You should probably only need to mount a few in some strategic locations. Usually, you want to place one at the entrance, lobby, or reception. Excellent service means putting one in each stairwell and elevator.
Preferably, you should place at least one on each floor of a building.
12 – Give your location character
So far, directional signs can sound a bit boring. However, they don’t have to be. Not by a long stretch.
A well-designed directional sign adds to the appearance and atmosphere of your business.
Do you want customers to have a fun experience? Or do you instead want the air to be formal and elegant?
All the small details like directional signage can add to this experience. For example, a lot of companies play around with the signs right outside their restrooms. They use colors, graphics, and visual effects.
You have to find a balance between creative and interesting but still clearly legible.
13 – Visual pathways
One way to really make your directional signage stand out is by creating visual paths. By this, we mean that you can use graphics to lay out the route for your customers and staff. Wall and floor graphics can be an entertaining way to do this.
You can paint arrows on the wall or the floor. Some businesses use footprints to mark out the route. Or if your organization is pet-related like a veterinary clinic, you can use tiny paws instead.
Preferably, you should combine this with more conventional mounted wayfinding signs. And use these graphics to add a new dimension.
14 – Going digital
Did you know that digital wayfinding is on the rise?
All across the board, electronic signage is becoming more popular, and it is no different here. They can be incredibly beneficial and help you to modernize your systems.
These are just a few of the benefits of digital signs:
- You can use them to create interactive maps for your customers to use.
- They will fit perfectly into an integrated wayfinding system that includes mobile applications etc.
- The software makes it quick, cheap, and effortless to update the information without replacing the sign.
- If you want to, you can use the boards for advertising as well as give directions.
One problem, however, is that they can be expensive. This is one reason that you should use it in combination with other wayfinding signs.
The world of sign making and design can be a fascinating place. There are always innovations and facts to learn about like these about indoor directional signs.
Signage is all about the experience you want to create. The importance of this will only grow as the markets become more competitive. One way to make yourself stand out is to think outside the box and make signs that are both fun and creative.
As a legal specialist, you want your clients to trust your expertise and to feel comfortable with their experience with you. Naturally, the environment in which you work and meet with clients is one part of this package deal. So today, we thought it would be appropriate to explore some great signage for the inside of your law firm’s office space—or, more specifically, law firm lobby signs.
Likely, you want to make sure your clients’ experiences are good all-around. From their initial phone call or visit to their follow-ups with the attorney assigned to their case and all other parts of their interaction with you, you want to create a great experience. But you also want to make a great first impression. After all, you want potential clients’ to like their initial experience so much that they decide to stay with your practice.
If you’re looking to invest in a good sign for your law firm’s lobby as part of your first experience plans, read on. We’ll check out some examples to serve as inspiration for your own signage choices. But first, let’s run through a few things to keep in mind as you craft your law firm lobby signs.
Use color thoughtfully
Since you’re trying to project a professional image, the last thing you need is a garishly-colored sign that completely undermines your practice in the viewers’ eyes. Remember that different colors will likely have different effects on viewers (and this will probably even vary from viewer to viewer, too). For instance, orange and blue could be perceived as upbeat and punchy. And a silver and black combination could be more stately and reserved.
Exactly which colors you choose will depend on the company image you’re trying to craft. It’s a great idea to rope a graphic designer in at this stage, especially if no one in your company has experience with color and visuals. You can even check with your sign company—they may offer design services.
Ensure the sign is easily readable
You might choose a law firm lobby sign that consists of letters formed to be placed directly on the wall. Or you could select a sign that’s on a plate which will be affixed to the wall. Either way, ensure that there’s enough contrast between your sign and the wall behind it that your sign is easy to make out.
Place individual letters evenly
If your sign is going to consist of individual letters spelling out your name over the wall’s surface, be meticulous about placing the letters evenly. You can even get a level involved and perhaps mark the wall with light pencil markings. But, whatever you do, just be sure that your letters don’t form an uneven mess tipping and tilting across the wall. That is certainly not a professional option.
Samples of law firm lobby signs
Here are some signs that can help provide you with creative inspiration as you choose your own.
Good contrast on warm wood
Here’s an example of a law firm sign against a wooden wall. Check out how plenty of contrast between the sign and the wall behind it makes it easy to distinguish where one stops and the other begins.
Letters and a logo
We love how this law firm sign in the second photo here contains more than just words. A logo or similar image provides interest and even a little asymmetry—which in this case works beautifully.
Take inspiration from this fitness center lobby sign to consider crafting a metallic sign for your lobby. Metallic letters could lend an authentic look, and we love the appearance they create against the wood background.
Try extra depth
If you’re a new, energetic law firm trying to present a modern image, consider shaking things up a bit. One sign option that might help you do that—dimensional letters with a little more depth than you might usually see. Check out this lobby sign for inspiration. In addition to offering deep dimensional letters, it also provides a cheery pop of color which is something else to consider if it would mesh with your company’s image.
Law firm lobby signs can reach beyond your lobby
It’s a great idea to design a sign with your long term goals in mind. While they serve important functions in lobbies, law firm lobby signs can actually reach beyond the lobby, too. You can choose to create a lobby sign that will be a perfect backdrop for taking photos with clients after a large victory in court. Shared on social media, that signage is now doing double duty for your company. To find more ways to reuse your signage, check out our 8 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Signs & Reuse Them On Social Media
We hope all of you enjoyed your Halloween as much as we did!
Here at Signarama Detroit, this is one of our favorite times of the year. That’s why we made sure to celebrate October in epic style.
We kicked off with our spooky month-long signage specials. Our Spooktacular sales event included unbelievable deals like a 25% price reduction on yard signs and a $60 discount on our 3′ x 8′ banners, along with sales on our custom double-sided teardrop or feather flags.
But this was only the beginning. No Halloween is complete without some fiendish decorations. There were more chances for you to get in on more ghoulishly delightful activities. You got the opportunity to vote for your top picks in our employee pumpkin carving contest.
Our team really got into the spirit of things. Everyone had a wonderful time and spared no effort with their unique creations. There seemed to be no end to the creativity.
We weren’t done yet. Our team ended the holiday on a high note with our Halloween party and potluck. We enjoyed a real holiday feast. All of us got dressed up, and there were some genuinely memorable costumes. No one will forget our Production Manager Jimmy’s bold portrayal of Snow White.
After all this, it’s no surprise that we can’t wait until next year. Can you? At Signarama, we are already counting off the days – only twelve months to go. Until then, don’t forget to check in with us regularly to make sure you don’t miss out on any more festive fun!