Advertising is, of course, a very common endeavor. With businesses small and large on every street corner and smartphones in every pocket, we encounter advertising often—even constantly. But not all advertising is created equal. Likely, you know this from personal experience as a consumer. Some companies have dull or even repulsive ads; other companies show creativity in advertising.
Creativity in advertising: who do you want to be like?
When it comes to creativity in advertising, what kind of company do you want to imitate—the boring type or the engaging type? Is it even a question? If you’re looking to position your products and services as the newest and best solution to your consumers’ problems, chances are you’d love some creative advertising ideas.
Draw inspiration from others
You may be a small business owner. But you’re also a consumer of goods and services yourself. And that puts you in a great position to gather a store of ideas you can put to work on your own company. Keep your eyes out for advertising that really jumps out at you—the kind that almost convinces you to make an impulse buy or to subscribe to a service you probably don’t need.
If you keep these great examples from slipping by unnoticed, you can actually analyze them. Be prepared to find them anywhere. It could be your own neighborhood or the area where you’re vacationing or even your social media feed. Once you’ve noted it (and maybe even saved it if you don’t have time when you encounter it), you can dwell on it and extract useful information.
Try to identify what it was that made it so appealing? Did the color and design play a large role? Was the ad copy fun to read or unique in some way? Maybe it was surprising in some way and grabbed your attention because of that startle factor.
Make their day!
Giving things away is a fun way to get consumers knowledgeable and invested in your company. And if you make it something useful for recipients that’s even better. Branded pens are ubiquitous, so we’re not necessarily suggesting those (though you can use branded pens if you want). But find an item that’s somehow representative of what your company does and get your key information on it.
Find other ways to give something to your target customers while at the same time getting something for yourself (their attention). If you’re a minor league baseball team and you give away free tickets to a few select winners, you may actually be getting your information out along the way to a lot more than just those few people.
Okay, we need to take a minute here to acknowledge that humor can backfire. So, you should absolutely tread thoughtfully here. However, who doesn’t like the feelings of happiness that accompany a good laugh?
If you can provide a laugh for your customers while at the same time communicating your offerings, hopefully, they’ll remember you in a positive way. A great example of this is the companies that crack business-related jokes or puns on their changeable message signs. (But don’t get carried away, a bad pun can be corny).
Turn it into a fun event
Let’s say you want customers to know about a new product or service you just started offering. Naturally, you can simply post on social media about it and hope that viewers will be convinced they should take a closer look.
But why be normal when you can do something outside-the-box? Instead of a run-of-the-mill social media post, announce a challenge like a scavenger hunt. This Virginia business got the community involved in a fun activity and promoted their company at the same time.
Upgrade your visuals
If you’re stuck in the dark ages with your print advertising, it’s definitely time to revamp. Unless your business type calls for you to project a traditionalist image (and some businesses may), why not break outside your box with creativity in advertising?
For companies with a lighthearted mission, try humorous, simple, minimalistic, or colorful ads. Snag people’s attention first. Then, ensure that your ad copy rewards them for taking the time to focus on you. Don’t be boring, be fascinating. Don’t be long-winded, be succinct.
Try new venues
Yes, you may have established channels of communication. Or, if you’re just getting starting, there may be channels that companies in your industry are just expected to use. Well, try something different!
Ask yourself where your ideal customer spends time. Maybe it’s a physical location or a place on the internet. Then, brainstorm the best methods for getting your information to that location. Maybe you’ll even discover free places to advertise that will reach the “right” customers directly.
For instance, if you’re trying to advertise your college’s foreign language club, hanging a poster on the message board of a local coffee shop could be a better idea than taking out an ad in the student newspaper. (Especially if no one even reads that newspaper).
Expand into new media
Let’s say you’re stuck in the stone age of advertisement. You do have a couple of social media accounts for your business, but you’ve never really used them. What better time than now to set up a social media strategy and reach out to people via the internet? And don’t do it alone, learn from books, articles, or podcasts to get you started in this field. Check out Sprout Social’s The complete guide to social media for small business.
Infuse all advertisements with quality
Look at it this way. You may already have established that advertising is important for your business or organization. (Why else would you want to know about creativity in advertising?) So while you’re at it, learn to do it well. Devour all the free information available via print and online media, and if you’re using a sign, check out 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.
You know what they say. Change is the only constant. It can be hard to keep up with everything. And in the process of life of your businesses signs might fall along the wayside.
Depending on the specifics, a sign can last quite a while. You can benefit from a well-made sign for years to come before you need to replace it.
But damage and age aren’t the only reasons to make changes to your signage. Read on for our guide to things you need to update on your signs as soon as you can.
When is it time to update your signs?
Before we look at the updates you should make, we will help you find out when is the right time to make those changes.
Over the years, it is obvious that your business will change. It can be as small as a new office number or as significant as a new address or name. You need to update your signs to reflect these details to make sure you don’t lose out on any potential sales.
New brand identity
More likely than not, your company will grow and evolve. Because of this, your brand’s identity will probably change too. Your signs should reflect this. Consistency is a critical part of effective branding.
Your brand includes the following features:
- Business name
More than five years old
Even if nothing else is wrong, you might still want to update your signage. It can be helpful to use some kind of standard, like saying that you will change them after five years. The advertising industry and the general market is continually changing, and you want to stay ahead of the curve.
It will help you to get rid out outdated elements and also help you to keep up with current trends and styles.
After a few years, the sign will look a bit worn down and faded as well.
Not attracting customers
Overall, the primary goal of promotional signage is to gain new business. You want to increase your profits by increasing sales of your products or services. That’s why you have to make some changes if they are no longer serving this purpose.
It can happen if the signage becomes outdated, or perhaps it wasn’t impactful from the start.
Wear and tear
Signs are the face of your business. They are the first thing that most potential customers will see about your company. Therefore, as a direct representation of your business, you must keep it in tip-top shape. Or else it can reflect poorly on your business.
So if your signage has been damaged and even vandalized, it is time to replace it. And this is the perfect opportunity to make any necessary updates.
How should you update your signs?
The burning question for most businesses is probably, do you have to replace the entire sign?
If this is necessary, it will clearly require additional expenses, time, and effort. The answer will depend on the type of sign and the updates you need to make. It also depends on the condition of the signage.
You will probably need to replace it in the following cases completely:
- There has been severe damage to the product. Due to vandalism, weather, or age, parts of the sign might have torn off or broken off. Or the design of it might no longer be visible or legible.
- The updates that you need to make should last long term. They aren’t only for a short term events like a sale.
- You have rebranded your business, so you need to make extensive cosmetic changes.
- Your sign is not the type of sign which has parts that can be replaced. It is all or nothing.
If you are lucky, you don’t need to replace the entire sign. There are a few possible alternatives to this.
Some signs are made with panels that you can replace. For example, sign companies often make monument signs with slots into which you can slide new sections.
Another product that you can easily update is magnetic signs. This might not be the ideal solution, but you can put new magnet strips onto the board over the outdated sections, For example, this is an excellent option for restaurants that regularly change their menu.
One short term solution for making updates on your signage is to use stickers and decals. It won’t last long and probably won’t look as attractive. This can work well for once-off changes like advertising a sale. And it can be a good temporary fix until you can replace the entire sign.
Overall, the most flexible type of sign is digital signs. There are far fewer limits to making changes. You can usually update them with less effort and lower costs. So if you will need to make regular updates, we recommend looking into digital signage.
Without further ado, here are some of the updates you should consider making right away.
1. Outdated elements
What was in style five years ago, usually isn’t anymore today.
That’s why it can be a great idea to check over your designs every few years to see how it is holding up.
You also need to make sure that elements of your signs haven’t become cliched. Unfortunately, some features like fonts might become so overused that they lose all their impact.
2. New products or services
One of the things that often changes are the products or services that companies offer. It can be an excellent idea to change your signage to reflect this. These updates will be particularly impactful if the new item is high in demand.
Of course, this will also be an essential update for a business like a restaurant that might seasonally change most of their offerings.
3. Trading information
This next update is critical. No one can see into the future. So you might not have foreseen the upcoming changes to your business when you created your signs.
Two of the most common changes are to your trading hours or address. In both these cases, outdated information can directly cost you business. Therefore, you have to update this as soon as possible.
You can even create some hype for the changes like a new location by announcing them on your signs before they happen.
4. Be friendly and clear
In many ways, people have more access to your business than ever before. And your business should show that you are welcoming to everyone. Or, if you aren’t able to accommodate everyone, that should be clear as well – without being rude.
Check your signs for any unfriendly language or graphics.
If you cater to families and those with disabilities, say so. If your business (for example, a retirement facility) only serves senior citizens, make sure your signs say so clearly, but in a friendly manner.
5. Your contact information
In the super-competitive world of business, the smallest detail can cost you. One example is having outdated contact information on your signage. Customers are unlikely to follow up if they struggle to reach you.
So you must update your signs if any of your communication channels aren’t in use anymore.
But you should also make changes if you’ve added some new ones. For example, did you create a Facebook page? Does your business have a new online store?
There are more and more opportunities to communicate with existing and potential clients. And it can lead to a significant increase in business if you give them different ways to engage with you.
As we’ve said, one of the key reasons to update your signs is if you have updated your business’ visual brand identity. You need to keep your branding consistent across all your platforms.
Overall, it will make your company and your promotions much more memorable. And your customers will be able to recognize your signs at a glance.
In the end, your signs will usually be more attractive and eye-catching, thanks to the rebrand.
Remember that this needs to include all the aspects of your branding like the color scheme, logo, slogan, etc.
7. More languages
While English is the official language of the United States, it by no means has to be the only one that you use on your signage.
People speak more or less five hundred languages in the country. This is pretty extraordinary. Significantly, the second most spoken language is Spanish.
You might want to consider updating your signage if you cater to more than English-only speaking customers. This can be helpful, especially if most of your customers speak a different language. On top of this, you might want to try this out if your business is popular among tourists.
8. Stay current
Some days it seems that the world is changing at a rapidly increasing pace. It is all you can do to keep up. But it’s crucial for your business that you try to stay on track. This counts for your signs too.
One update you need to make involves smoking and vaping. Your business will probably have the appropriate signs to prevent smoking in certain areas. However, you may need to change them to refer to vaping and e-cigarettes specifically.
9. Correct spelling mistakes
Mistakes happen. The key is to address them by fixing it. In the case of signage, if you don’t, it is almost as if the mistake keeps on happening as every new person sees it. So you should update your signs to get rid of any grammatical or spelling errors.
It can happen to everyone. Even big corporations aren’t immune. Just take a look at these examples if you don’t believe us.
These mistakes can slip in at any stage of the process, brainstorming, design, or fabrication. That’s why you need to proofread the content of the signs every step along the way — next time double or even triple check to prevent issues.
10. The size
An essential part of the design is deciding on its size and dimensions. You have to make sure that it is large enough for people to see and read it.
You need to do some careful planning to get it right. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out the way you want it too.
Once the fabricators have made the sign and you have mounted it, you might find that it is just too small. The fault might lie with the font, the graphics, or the sign as a whole. You don’t want to lose out on advertising just because people can’t read it,
Pro tip: Print out the design in the right dimensions on paper. Test whether the size is suitable by holding it where you will place the sign.
Another crucial thing that you should think about updating is lighting.
First, the light bulbs might have faded, or some of them might no longer be working. Unfortunately, this will mean that your sign will be less visible. But it can also seriously detract from its overall appeal.
Secondly, you might want to change the type of illumination that you use. In the past, most fabricators made their products with neon tubing. However, now they mostly use LED bulbs. They are more energy-efficient and require less maintenance. So you might want to make the switch.
On the other hand, your signage might not have any illumination at all. In this case, you might want to add some lighting. It will not only help you attract more attention throughout the day and night but can help enhance its appearance too.
12. Highlight events or milestones
Special events and milestones like company anniversaries can offer you brilliant opportunities to promote your business. Therefore, you should consider including them as updates on your signage.
Showing off can help you draw in new customers but also boost your sales among existing ones.
Optimize your signage
The point of all these updates is to get the best out of your signs. You want them to be as effective as possible. They should help you get more business, not lose any.
That’s why you want to build and maintain a good working relationship with your signage company. Undoubtedly, they can help you keep your signage in tip-top shape.
For more advice on making the best out of a sign, check out these tips and tricks to creating the most effective signs for marketing.
Everyone wants to market well. But exactly how do you make that happen? Simply wanting to connect your clients, customers, and community with the products and services you offer isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need to take action. Learning from the genius marketing campaigns of other companies is one way to get your wheels turning for your own company.
Gather insights from 4 genius marketing campaigns
To get you inspired, let’s check out 4 genius marketing campaigns from companies you may just recognize. And we’ll also add our own analysis, offering things you can glean from what they’ve already done.
1 – AT&T’s “It’s Not Complicated” ad campaign
First up in genius marketing campaigns—AT&T’s “It’s Not Complicated” ads. It’s hard not to love these focus groups of kids with their savvy perspectives on life in general. Add the group leader—the only adult in the group—and his deadpan moderating and you have marketing material that viewers will enjoy consuming even if they don’t need AT&T’s services at all.
What did they do that you can try too?
Reflect on what AT&T did here. They boiled down their key offerings—faster speeds, bigger networks, etc.—and presented the choice as basic. Actually, it’s so basic even a kid can understand it. Plus, they added value by providing hilarious entertainment. That can bolster their company image because they’re giving out “good stuff” to anyone who wants to watch. And no one has to make any purchases to view the entertaining videos.
2 – Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign
Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign may have tapped into some of the drives behind people’s behaviors. We want to feel connected to others. If Coca-Cola can convince people that their drink helps you build bonds with the people you love, then that’s a great motivation to buy a Coke.[Plus, by personalizing the Coke bottles with names, they’ve ensured that customers will spend a little extra time surveying their product in the store. It’ll take more time to find your own or your friends’ names than it would to simply grab a 6-pack of Coca-Cola. Smart!]
What did they do that you can try too?
How you can do this: hit people where they live. How does your product or service help people do better at the things that matter to them? Show clients or customers how what you offer will connect them to others. For instance, if you’re a phone company and you offer a plan with a special international calling deal, you could highlight how your plan will connect callers with people they love who live in other countries.
3 – Direct TV’s “The Settlers” ad campaign
Similar to AT&T’s simplification of the choices facing consumers of their services, Direct TV’s “The Settlers” ads also boil down buyers’ choices. Do you want to get the best or do you want to settle for less?
There may be some subliminal persuasion techniques going on here, too. Who would want to think of himself as someone with a backward or retrograded lifestyle? That’s just what Direct TV is insinuating you are if you stay with cable instead of their own service.
What did they do that you can try too?
Cut to the chase—does your service offer consumers a more modern experience? Then say so. Afraid they won’t get the idea? Try offering an overblown (and humorous) depiction of just how modern your offering is compared to the other options. Note: this is not just for more “modern” experiences, it could be for whatever you offer whether that’s better speed, greater variety, better taste, faster response time, etc.
4 – Geico’s 15 minutes, 15% catchphrase
The common Geico refrain that 15 minutes could save buyers 15% or more is memorable, as many of us can attest from personal experience. Make a promise, reiterate the promise, deliver on the promise. If you say something often enough, maybe it’ll stick. We can view Geico’s catchphrase as clever branding, too. If Geico continues to use that memorable phrase to remind you how much you can save (and how fast), then you might just begin to view them as a leader in the low-cost insurance business.
What did they do that you can try too?
Make it clear. And repeat it. If you have good numbers, use them. If your average time handling a customer service call is 4.5 minutes, then say so. If your stellar project management techniques are going to complete client projects ahead of schedule in 85% of cases, let potential clients know!
Note that this only works if you have good data—and only if you have data available at all. Tracking key metrics for your company or nonprofit not only assists effective management but can also provide useful statistics to share.
Identify what you’re good at (and where it matches your customers’ needs), then let people know. And repeat it—like Geico does. Obviously, don’t make yourself a jerk by doing this the wrong way. But if you do something extremely well, consider how you can best say it and make it stick with consumers.
Marketing you can see and touch
Notice that not all these genius marketing campaigns involved marketing materials you could hold in your hand (though Coca-Cola’s certainly did). Sometimes the things that assist your marketing strategy are less tangible—like your catchy tagline or your social media posts. But other elements are definitely tangible, like the signage that you use to let people know where you’re located or to advertise a special event or item.
If you’re looking for inspiration as you plan some of the tangible parts of your marketing strategy, like signs, check out The Small Business Owner’s Guide To Creating Your Own Unique Signage. And, to see what others have done, head to 3 Of The Most Creative Signs & Banners In And Around Detroit.
With the internet, there are many more promotional platforms available than we could have dreamt of. This can be a good and a bad thing. Businesses now have many more options to choose from.
But it can be more complicated than ever to pick the right ones. To do that, you need to compare all your options. Read on to find out more about the success rates of different types of advertising and what businesses and purposes they are best suited for.
So let’s start with the new kid on the block. All of these sites have become popular options for advertising. And for a good reason.
An astounding 50% of Gen-Z (18- and 19-year-olds) and 42% of millennials (who are 20 to 36-years-olds) feel that social media is the most relevant platform for advertisements.
You need to take all your potential customers into account. However, for the most significant long-term impact, you need to think about the future, i.e., younger generations.
The vital question remains: are advertisers getting results? Overall, 76% of US consumers have bought a product that they saw on social media. It’s no wonder that it was estimated that social media advertising would add up to $7.6 billion in the United States.
One of the key benefits of social media is that you can do it for free! You don’t have to spend a penny if you don’t want to.
But in saying that, keep in mind that the most effective way to use social media for advertising is to combine it with other promotional materials. For instance, use your logo as the profile picture on the account. Or post digital versions of your physical signs online.
The best sites are:
Nowadays, most companies can benefit from some degree of social media advertising. Your business should have at least one page.
Overall, it is one of the best choices for new companies who don’t have a large advertising budget to start. This is especially true if your content is shareable. Some of the key features that influence this are whether it offers social validation, aesthetic appeal, and is entertaining.
As one of the most popular types of advertising, social media platforms are a fantastic way to gain more exposure. So it’s a great idea if you are aiming to reach more people. Besides this, you also want to use it for advertising events and changes to your business.
Nowadays, businesses often want to focus on online platforms above all the rest. They often want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. But don’t ever discount the value of printed media, even in this modern world.
The print platform will add more tangible elements to your promotional campaign. In the digital age, people are often duped by false and misleading online ads. In contrast, printed media can help you to gain your audience’s trust.
If you aren’t convinced, you only need to look at the statistics and facts.
First, numerous studies by neuroscientists have found that printed media has several advantages over digital media. One of these is that physical material has a better chance of forming connections in the brain. It engages with your spatial memory networks, so it is more memorable.
Another is that when people read printed materials, it involves more emotional processing, which is crucial for brand associations.
Physical media is more engaging, and this pays off. Magazines have one of the highest returns on investment at $3.94 for every dollar spent on advertising.
In saying that, you will probably need to use it in combination with other platforms.
You should consider printed media if your business wants to reach people in its local area. Materials like pamphlets, newsletters and so on work particularly well if you can also hand them out at your storefront.
These platforms can also be a good option if your primary audience is over 35 years old.
Printed media is an excellent choice if you want to reach a particular audience for a specific purpose. For example, if you’re going to advertise a pet grooming service, you can buy an ad in a magazine for dog owners, etc.
It doesn’t get more premium than television advertising. You can reach a massive audience base.
Yes, there have been significant changes to the television market in the last couple of years. Streaming services have become significant competitors. But the average American still watches about five hours of live-tv a day.
Television adverts accounted for 71% of ad generated profits. The return on investment for this platform is $4.20 for every $1.
But as you might expect, all of this comes at a cost. Even with recent price reductions, it will still cost you a pretty penny.
You can really only effectively use television advertising if you own or are part of a large business. You need to have a significant budget and enough resources to produce a quality ad. To make it worth your while, you should probably have several branches, franchises, or locations.
Usually, television advertisements are better for promoting premium products and services like a well-known perfume. Or else to advertise the entire business rather than one smaller and less significant item.
Radio can be an excellent way to reach a specific target audience with your promotions. Different demographics usually prefer individual radio stations. People also have preferences for particular DJ’s and programs.
That’s why it is essential to perform some research on your target audience. You want to make sure that you get in touch with the right people.
One of the critical benefits of radio ads is that they are so easy to produce. You don’t necessarily need the help of a professional to design or formulate the promotion.
But one downside is that listeners often struggle to remember what they hear on the radio. This can possibly reduce the impact of the ad. However, you can easily combat this by repeating the advertisement several times throughout the day or program.
A study by Nielsen showed that these types of advertisement have a return on investment of $6 for every $1 you spend.
Once again, radio is an excellent option for smaller businesses. It is rather inexpensive so it should be able to fit into any budget.
You should consider radio advertisements for the target audience living in your local area. Overall, it works best if you have some sort of narrative. That’s why it can be a great way to advertise services and products that you can tell a story about.
Media printed on paper isn’t the only physical type of advertising that you should consider. Another essential platform is signage.
Every business with a physical location or storefront needs to invest in signage. You will find that it has practical value in indicating the position and other details of your company. But it is also critical in advertising.
One survey showed that 76% of US consumers enter a store they have never visited before based on its signs. Besides this, 68% of people have actually purchased a product or service because a sign caught their eye.
These rates are pretty significant.
Just a few of the many options out there are:
- Coroplast signs
- Window graphics
- Channel letters
- A-frame sidewalk sign
Like we’ve said, printed signs are an excellent advertising platform for any business with a physical location. It is particularly crucial if customers need to visit it, for example, a restaurant, any store, or an organization like a school.
However, signage can also play a key role in advertising online businesses.
In the end, signage works best when you try to attract clients who live close to you. On top of this, you should think about using temporary signs to advertise big one-off sales or new products and services.
Today, no doubt you would have heard about and seen the growth in digital signs for yourself.
Interestingly, a 2012 study showed that drivers spend more time looking at digital billboards than traditional signs. What does this mean?
You will have more time to get your message across, can convey more information, have a higher chance of the audience remembering, and can possibly have a greater impact.
Besides this, they drive sales. We know this is what you want to hear. 19% of consumers claim that they have made unplanned, impulse purchases of products they’ve seen advertised digitally. And stores have experienced up to 33% in additional sales after introducing electronic signs.
Again there are a variety of products that you can choose from like:
- Digital posters
- LED message centers
- Digital menu boards
Digital signs can require a significant initial investment. For this reason, it can be a better option for established companies with larger advertising budgets.
In terms of the types of business, it works best for companies whose products or services change often. Plus ones who sell products in a storefront. So, for example, you should consider it for grocery stores, shopping centers, fast food restaurants, and clubs.
Digital signs are useful for a variety of advertising purposes. They are especially useful for advertising your premium products and showing off new products or services.
Besides this, you will find it exceptionally useful to promote events. For instance, schools can use it for advertising events like fundraisers.
Another type of advertising that you should keep in mind is email. Few other platforms can beat it in terms of time efficiency and cost minimization. It can certainly be much easier to manage than traditional direct mailing.
Besides this, you need to pay attention to the click-through rate and the open rate. The former is all about how many visitors to the page follow a hyperlink to your site. And the latter relates to how many people open the mail.
Remarkety reported that they found that the average open rate for emails is at 23.4. On the other hand, the average click-through rate is at 17.8%.
While this is impressive, it will be more beneficial to use it as a supplement to your promotional campaigns.
All in all, email as an advertising platform is an excellent option for business with an online component. It is particularly well suited for a brand with an online store. In this case, you can include links to your site in the email.
The opportunity for buying or hiring should only be one click away.
Interestingly, statistics show that the open rate for email ads are among the highest if they involve art, hobbies, and nonprofit organizations. So if your business is associated with any of these areas, you will have better chances of success.
Promotional emails have significantly picked up in volume over the years. Unfortunately, this means that people will often immediately close or even delete any that they receive.
That’s why it can be better to use it to send advertisements to already existing customers. They will already have a relationship with your business and will be more likely to respond to it.
Multi-faceted campaigns: using different types of advertising
As you can see, there are several factors you need to think about before making a decision. It’s not as simple as picking the most convenient option.
Individual success rates matter. However, we recommend that you not limit yourself to one type of advertising. All in all, the campaigns that use multiple platforms will reach the widest audience base the most times. So, it is all about finding the combination that works for you.
If you’re trying to decide what promotional materials to use for your business, don’t stop here. Also, read 8 tips to get the most out of your signs & reuse them on social media. You will find a comprehensive guide to the different types of signage & their uses useful as well.
There are some things you can’t change. You simply need to learn how to deal with it. There are always conditions that can hamper you when you are trying to create the perfect signage.
We are going to discuss a few common sign limitations that you’re likely to face. We’ll also look at creative solutions to solve these problems.
Preferably, you should design your graphics to suit the sign medium. But this doesn’t mean problems don’t arise. And in many ways, it can limit your signage.
We all would prefer to have complete freedom when it comes to creating signs. One of the most prevalent sign limitations is too little space. You probably won’t have as much room to work with as you want.
Your space could be limited by how much is available at your location. Or by the type of sign that you choose to use.
Because of this, it can be difficult or nigh on impossible to fit in all the content you want to. So you have to find a way to work around it. But it can also be challenging to find a way to arrange the content.
The rule of thumb when it comes to signs is to keep it concise. Short and sweet, that’s what you’re aiming for.
So if you have limited space to work with, you should try to see if you can remove some of the content or reduce it in some way. You will need to use different signs for different purposes. Therefore the number of words and graphics needed will differ widely.
But try to remove anything unnecessary. Don’t add too many flourishes or too many descriptive words.
Besides this, you should try to get creative with the layout. Using smart design, you can make more of the space you have. Specifically, look at how words are stacked. For example, if you have too little horizontal space place the phrases on top of each other.
Logo too detailed
Many of the limitations come up because of the way you designed aspects of your brand’s visual identity in the past. It can be tricky to plan for all the potential mediums on which you will use the graphics.
Overall, the best fix would be to complete the process in the right way from beginning to end. But once the problem has arisen, there are usually a few solutions you can try.
One common issue is that people design their logo to be too detailed. Complicated graphics don’t translate well to signs.
First of all, many of the details can get blurred and therefore lost as the images are scaled. It can be a problem when you make it larger or smaller.
Second, you always need to think about the visibility and legibility of the signs. The more detailed they are, the more challenging it becomes for the audience to make out what they say. Keep in mind that people will only spend a few seconds looking at any signage.
Besides this, the end product might cost more. Fabricators might charge more because the printing process is more complicated.
It will also limit the sign types that you can choose. For example, the fabricator probably won’t be able to cut out the logo like traditional channel letters.
In general, you’ll need to compromise in some way to solve this problem.
One of the most effective solutions is to redesign the logo. You don’t have to start from scratch. But it can do wonders to simplify it.
You can do this by:
- Taking out any shadows, gradients, textures
- Leaving out unnecessary graphic elements
- Limiting the number of colors
- Using fewer fonts
If you don’t want to change it, remember that some sign types work better than others. For example, you can choose window graphics, murals, and monument signs.
Otherwise, there’s always one option left. You don’t have to put the logo on the sign. It is by no means necessary to include this.
Many people prefer not to print it on their signs. Too often it can clutter the design, especially if you’re going with channel letters or dimensional letters as a building sign.
You won’t be alone in this. Well established brands go through several iterations of their logo.
We don’t always think ahead when we design for our businesses. This often happens if you jump into things when you start a relatively small company. Unfortunately, your past decisions can sometimes come back to haunt you.
You need to design elements of your visual identity with the end products like signage in mind. These elements include your logo, customized font, and the company name.
Otherwise, it can cause problems and even limit you when you are trying to create effective signs for your business. Much of this boils down to scale. You need to create designs specifically so that you can enlarge them.
If you don’t, the images can look disproportionately stretched out. At worst they can even look visibly pixelated. In the end, it will make the sign look amateurish and in turn, will affect how people perceive your brand.
There are several ways you can help to prevent this. First off, you need to try to imagine how the graphics will scale up to the size you need. Remember that different signage products come in various scales, with outdoor signs usually being bigger.
To avoid stretching, you should pay attention to the proportions of the sign when the fabricator prints it. Preferably you want to keep it relatively similar to its original form.
If you don’t want to be limited by potential pixelation, you need to make sure the logo or font you create the designs in the correct format. You shouldn’t use raster graphics. You create these images out of pixels in software programs like Photoshop.
Instead, you want to use vector graphics which you can create in Adobe Illustrator. You make them out of mathematically precise points. This means you can scale them indefinitely
Regulations and ordinances
Another important limiting factor to take into account is local laws and regulations. Different areas have different rules about what you can and can’t do with your signs.
If you don’t comply, the authorities could issue you with a fine. On top of this, they can even force you to remove the offending signs.
The only real solution to this is to work with the local authorities. You need to research which zoning laws will apply.
Note that there are separate guidelines for different signs. For example, there are regulations for outdoor signs, commercial signage, ones next to highways, and even political signs.
In case you get stuck on how to make it work, consult your sign company. It can be helpful to choose fabricators based in your area. They should be well versed in the relevant laws.
On top of area-wide regulations, you will probably also be subject to the rules of your lease. More likely than not, the property management will have set out standards on their tenants’ usage of signs.
They might have set out rules about their:
If you don’t comply, there could be severe consequences for your lease and your business.
Before you create your sign, you have to check the rules of the lease and the property. This can help you from making a costly mistake. Sometimes it can be useful as a way to set up some guidelines to get you started.
Many property owners will also require that you show them the design of the sign for approval.
All in all, the most common limitations are those about the size and amounts of signs that you can use.
For example, if it feels a bit cramped, you should try to use all of the surfaces that are available to you. People often mount building signs above the windows of the storefront. But you can move much of the content to other products like window graphics, sidewalk signs, and banners.
Another of the significant possible signage limitations is the local weather. There’s no way to fight it. You need to find a way to work with the conditions.
When you don’t prepare correctly, your signage will suffer. Conditions like regular rain, wind, or intense sun exposure can take its toll. Even worse, the sign can be destroyed or be blown away and lost forever if you’re not careful.
You must make sure that your signage is suitable for local weather.
If the area in which you want to place it is windy, you want to stay away from lightweight signs like banners, coroplast, and A-frame sidewalk signs. Or else, if you choose one of these, you need to secure it properly.
You can put weights on the bottom of the sign. And you could tie them down. But it could be a safer option to go with installed, built, or mounted signs such as monument signs or window graphics.
Sun and rain can be just as harsh over time. Ask your fabricator which of their products are weather resistant. They might even be able to apply some protective coatings to their other products.
Most of the times, there is little you can do to change the environment in which you hang your sign. As we’ve said, property rules and leases will probably limit you. But you will also be subject to the physical limitations of the building.
One of these is the colors at the location. It can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the sign.
Too often, the colors in the design clash with those around it, making the total effect unattractive.
Although you want the colors to work together, you also want the sign to stand out. You don’t want it to blend too well with the environment. Thus the location can hamper what you can do with your design.
You have to take the appearance of the building into account when you design your signage. It can be a good idea to take different color swatches to the building. You can test to see if they can blend well or not.
Take a look at this guide on picking color combinations.
To increase its visibility, it can be a great idea to use contrasts. For example, you can pair a white sign on a black background.
However, for one reason or another, you might have to use a specific palette, especially if it is a vital part of your brand identity. One possible fix for this is to put the sign on a colored mounting or backboard. This allows you can complete the picture with your own background.
Sign 101 is that your sign should catch your audience’s eye. Of course, the viewing distance and angle will depend on the exact locations of the signs. The spot might not always be optimal.
This means that your signage needs to stand out from its environment. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge if the location is saturated with signage, etc. And more so if there are things in the way like lamp poles and trees.
You need to find a way to work with the characteristics of the location.
There are several tricks you can try to make sure your signage will draw attention, even if it is slightly obscured or in a crowded place.
Here are a few:
- Choose bright colors
- Play with contrast
- Include graphics on the sign
- Make it 3D or add features to create this effect
- Use lighting to light up the signage
What if your sign will need to be placed quite far from the sidewalk or the road?
As a result, it might be difficult to see, read, and understand. In this case, you can increase the size of the board and its content. If you can’t do that, it can also help to use uppercase letters instead of lowercase.
Don’t let any of these signage limitations unnecessarily hamper your process. There is always a solution to the problem. But it can help to plan for these eventualities.
This tip holds for all the possible pitfalls. So check out 5 of the worst mistakes you can make with your promotional materials.
Small businesses and larger businesses alike need to find ways to promote their company. Both rely on physical and digital signs to get their message across. But in doing this, you have to find a way to catch your audience’s eye.
As a small business owner, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Designing unique signage can help!
This is a complete guide to show you, the small business owner, how to create unique signage. We cover everything from brand awareness to budget-friendly options.
Do some research
Beginning a creative task like this is usually the hardest part. But once you get the ball rolling, it should get easier.
So where should you start?
We recommend that the first step you take is to perform some research. Go online and search for examples of signs for similar businesses. For example, if you run a B&B look at how other small inns and bed-and-breakfasts have designed their signage around the country.
More importantly, you want to get an idea of the signs that business’ use in your local area. Take a ride around the neighborhood and write down some notes.
It can be a great way to get inspired to make your signs. From your reactions, you can get an idea of what you like and what you don’t, of what works and what doesn’t.
On top of this, you will see what designs your competitors are using. You need to know this to make sure you can distinguish yourself from the rest.
Don’t be a copycat
We can’t stress this enough! Innovate don’t imitate.
Yes, you can draw inspiration from other people’s signs. But you need to be careful about it.
Whenever you are designing and creating the signage, you need to what the rules and regulations are. You need to be aware of the copyright laws in your state.
The work you create has to be your own or that of your designer. It needs to be an original expression. If it isn’t, you can land in some hot water.
But legal matters aside, you don’t have to cross the legal boundaries for it to be a problem. You don’t want your sign to resemble anybody else’s. Otherwise, you can confuse your potential customers.
People love authenticity and originality. You will get a much more positive response from your audience if you stick to these principles.
Find your niche
Finding your company’s niche means finding its place in the local economy. It means finding what makes you different. Because small businesses can’t necessarily cater for as many needs as some conglomerates can, it can help to use what makes you special to your advantage.
Why would a customer choose to use your services instead of others? What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
Another vital question to ask is who your target audience is?
These are the people or group of people that you are trying to reach with your signs. To find this out, it can help to do some research on who the clients of similar businesses are and who your existing customers are. You might find out that something about your brand appeals more to a specific group.
Once you have the answers, you should try to portray this through your signs.
For example, if you opened an art supply store near a college, your primary clients will be students. And your signage should reflect this.
In this case, make sure your designs are contemporary and appeal to your target audience. You can also use your signs to promote services and products or features that your target clients might be interested in – like a student discount.
In the end, you want to see a difference in the signage that your business uses and those of an art store, for example, that caters to children and their parents.
Read this article for more information on finding your niche.
Play with ideas
You need to take your sign design seriously. The little details can make a huge difference. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with it.
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing. And it can be pretty exciting to boot.
So before you settle on one single design, play around with some different concepts and elements. Try to come up with as many ideas as you can using different fonts, graphics, layouts, and colors.
Ask around the office for any ideas. You can gradually simplify and streamline your thoughts. After a while, you will figure out what aesthetic elements you prefer.
We recommend that you hire a professional to help you with the design. They will able to give you fantastic advice on what you should and shouldn’t do. Many sign companies offer some creative services.
You probably won’t have the budget that a full-scale corporation has. But don’t let that worry you. There are still plenty of options available that are easier on your pocket. You only have to look and ask.
The cost of a sign is impacted by:
- Colors used
- Lighting effects
- Number of characters
- Type of sign
Effectively, every element of the design can impact how much you need to pay. Typically the smaller and less complicated it is, the less it will cost.
Some of the cheapest products are banners, yard signs, and sidewalk signs. Each of these plays a role in your marketing. So they can be an excellent choice if you only want to use your sign for a limited time.
On the other hand, digital signage will cost you a pretty penny to acquire in the first place. But if you want to update it often, it can save you money in the long run. You won’t have to fabricate new signs every time you change your mind or need something new.
It’s all about finding the right fit for your business.
Be sure to ask the fabricator what kind of deals they offer. Sign companies often have specials or packages that include a whole range of different products. Most of the time, these are the most cost-effective choices.
We all know those corporations and brands that you can recognize with a glance. You only have to read their slogan or have your eye catch a glimpse at their logo or color scheme to know.
There is no reason why a small business can’t have its own unique and recognizable brand identity. It’s a fantastic way to make your signage more memorable.
You can create this through your:
- Color palette
- Patterns and shapes
To make it useful, you have to keep it consistent. You want this style to be reflected across all your media, including your digital and printed signage. The identity should extend to both your in-house and external communications.
Importantly, you need to remember it’s not only about making your signs recognizable. Your branding is crucial for creating your business’ image. You want to tell your customers a story about your company.
What services and products do you offer? Who do you cater for? Are there any values that your business embodies?
In short, you want your audience to understand what your company is about. It is the most guaranteed way to truly make your signage your own, to put your mark on it.
Besides all this, having a coherent and well-developed brand identity will help you to convey that you are professionals. It gives the impression that your business is well-run, well-thought-out, and serious about its products and services.
Relationship with your sign company
Chances are you’re probably going to want to buy signs more than once. That’s why it’s smart to build a relationship with a professional and knowledgeable sign company.
Of course, that starts with you hiring the right fabricator. You want to be able to trust and rely on them to create the perfect signage for your requirements.
You want to tick the following off your checklist before you make a decision:
1 – Make a list of the sign companies in your area.
2 – Research the different products and services that each of them offers.
3 – Take a good, long look at their portfolio, especially if they’ve made signs similar to those you want.
4 – Ask each of the companies for quotes on products that you’re interested in.
5 – Compare all of this information that you’ve gathered. Now choose one or two the fabricators to make a meeting with.
6 – Before the appointment, make a list of all the questions you want to ask and the rest of the info you need.
If you follow these steps, you’re likely to find a fantastic sign making company. And they bring you one step closer to creating unique signage for your small business.
Key elements on your sign
So far, we’ve talked a lot about the general design and planning process for creating your unique signage. But it will also be useful for you to learn more about the specific elements that you need to perfect to create an effective sign.
First, carefully consider what you are going to put on your signage. This is your foundation. Focus on clarity and conciseness. You want to convey information in as few words as possible to make it impactful.
The content is critical, but so is how you display it. The typography involves the style of the words on the sign.
It involves looking at the:
- Letter case
You should think about this from a practical as well as an aesthetic perspective.
Obviously, you aren’t only limited to words. Using pictures can add some interest to your sign. But you have to be careful. An ill-chosen graphic can detract from your signage as much as a well-chosen one can benefit your sign.
Less complicated pictures, like logos and symbols often work best.
We’ve mentioned that the palette will usually be associated with your brand identity. However, it isn’t always the case.
One of the crucial principles is that you don’t want to use too many colors. Or else you risk your sign looking garish.
Another critical point is that you want to make sure the sign is visible. To do this, you want to create a contrast. The colors should stand out from the background.
For example, if your building is a dark brick face, you can choose white or some other light shade for your channel letters. Otherwise, you can print the letters or graphics on a sign with a contrasting background.
From design to fabrication
To create the best possible unique signs for your business, you need to know a little about the process from start to finish. So far, we’ve covered many of the different steps. But here they are in order:
1 – Do some local and online research about your competitor’s sign and the area’s market.
2 – Come up with a vareity of ideas for your sign design.
3 – Narrow down what you visualize and the content you would prefer on your signage.
4 – Check whether there are any rules and regulations about signs in your location.
5 – Look for and hire a sign making company.
6 – Consult with your fabricator about the designs and products that you want.
7 – Ask for a rough mock-up of the final visuals.
8 – Finalize your order and have the signs printed.
One in a million
All of this information can help you get ahead with creating unique signs for your business. But the most important thing to remember is that your company is one in a million. Stand out from the crowd by celebrating what makes your business different.
Don’t forget to read our article on the importance of brand awareness to the success of your business. Before you start, it can be a good idea to make sure you avoid 5 of the worst mistakes you can make with your promotional materials.
Every business needs to reach its customers and clients. Different businesses can have different ways to do this, but the general idea is to “get found” by the people who want what you can provide. If your business has a storefront—a visible, physical location—you may be tapping channel letters to do the job of getting you found. But as a savvy business owner, you have your eye on the company bottom line at all times, so you’re wondering about channel letter sign cost.
Making sense of the process
There are plenty of factors that could influence the price you ultimately pay for your channel letters. Not only could the price vary depending on your location, but it could also vary among sign companies (which is why comparison shopping is a good idea). Additionally, you may find that there will be a price difference between channel letter signs that are illuminated and those that aren’t. And the style of the letters themselves is another potential factor. So is the size.
So here’s what we recommend. View calculating your channel letter sign cost as a three-step process. We’ll walk you through what we mean. Note: don’t make this process out to be more rigid than it is. Actually, you may be changing your previous conceptions and decisions at each step as you learn more.
Step 1 – Take stock of what you want
Here, the ball is in your court. It’s your job to identify roughly what you’re looking for. Will your channel letters be:
- Interior or exterior
- Metallic or plastic
- Directly on a building’s surface, on a raceway, or on a plate
- Illuminated or not illuminated
- 12 inch, 24 inch, or any other size
- Multicolored or one single color
- On a very tall building or one that’s easily accessible
Doubtless, there are other questions you could ask. But these are a starting point. And the main goal is to get you to identify whatever you can about the project. That gives you (and your sign specialist) a springboard for further research.
Step 2 – Learn what your options are
Now the ball will be in someone else’s court. If you’re purchasing to install yourself, that “someone else’s court” might just be the internet (which is sort of like your court after all because you’ll still be doing the work). And if that’s the case, in this stage you get to shop around online, looking for options that would fit with the parameters you set in the step above. Keep a list of websites you’ve found and the costs they charge.
If you’re going to work with a specialist, now’s the time to reach out to them with your project parameters. Explain what you’re looking for and see how their prices compare to other sign companies in the area.
Hopefully, you’ll start to get a feel for how much you’ll be spending. You may choose to refine your plans at this stage. For instance, you might downsize to smaller letters to fit in your budget better.
Step 3 – Select & start
Once you’ve gleaned pricing information from local sign companies and/or the internet, you’re ready to roll. Almost, that is. Armed with knowledge of your options, it’s up to you to decide which local company or online purchasing option to go with. Keep in mind that you may have more priorities than just the channel letter sign cost. For instance, you might care more about having a professional take the load off your shoulders than you do about getting your sign for the absolute rock bottom price.
Let’s take a look at channel letter sign cost
What better way to get a feel for how this process could go than to imagine a couple of situations? Let’s look at what some imaginary business owners might encounter when learning about channel letter sign cost and selecting a sign.
Pampered Pups Pet Hotel
Toby and Samantha own a dog boarding company. The two are fierce DIYers—they built their business with a lot of hard work, learning new skills as they went. Naturally, they decided to shop for signs on their own.
Since their generation grew up on the internet, they head there first. They’ve come up with a basic idea of what they want. Letters about two feet high, white faces, lit with LED lights. On one site, they input their information and get a price—$2,292.21. But they don’t want to jump in too fast so they try out a few other sources before they make a decision.
Oceanview Cosmetic Dentistry
This company’s owners are kept quite busy with dental work. So, they want someone to see their channel letter sign project through to completion—without too much input on their part.
They head to a local sign specialist to discuss their options. They have a multi-story building so they choose letters about 5 feet tall. Their sign company does some calculations and suggests they’ll pay close to $13,000 (plus installation costs)—partly since their company name has 26 letters and since each letter needs to be 60 inches tall.
However, the sign experts do offer the option to pay for the channel letter sign cost over the course of three years. But before they commit, the owners call a few other specialists in the area to compare.
Channel letter signs—one option in a sea of options
As we consider channel letter sign cost, remember you have plenty of other sign options to choose from to reach the people who need your products and services. Just check out A Comprehensive Guide To The Different Types Of Signage & Their Uses. And if you want to take a closer look at channel letters, head to How To Customize LED Channel Letters & Make Your Business Shine!
Believe it or not, choosing a font can be the most daunting parts of designing signage. There are thousands to choose from with new ones added every day. However, you should know that not all fonts are equal.
You need to put careful thought into choosing the typography for your signage. Read on to find out about the best professional fonts to use on your signs. To help you avoid mistakes, we’ll also look at ones that you should avoid at all costs.
Guide to fonts on signs
Thankfully, there are fundamental principles that can help you make the right decision.
We often want to gravitate towards the more exotic typefaces. But interesting isn’t always the right choice. There is a reason why companies use some fonts over and over again.
Above all, you should pay attention to the visibility and readability of the sign. Unfortunately, too many people choose typefaces that are almost illegible. It benefits no one if your audience can’t read the sign.
You need to be wary of thin letters, script, and ornamentation.
Remember that research has shown that people only spend about 3 to 7 seconds looking at digital signs or perhaps up to 8 seconds with other signage.
In saying this, you still want the words to look good. Part of this is to avoid using fonts that have been so overused that they’ve become cliche.
Additionally, you want to use typography that fits into your brand identity. That’s why you don’t want to use fonts widely recognized as “belonging” to a specific company.
Fonts to avoid
Now we’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Here are six examples of typefaces that you should avoid on your sign. They don’t work for a variety of reasons.
Let’s start with the notorious main culprit for an overused font, Comic Sans. This typeface has gotten quite a bad rap over the years. It’s creator Vincent Connnare designed the font for a children’s software program. From there it spread like wildfire. That should give you a hint at the problem.
So not only has it become cliched, it is child-like too. Never, ever use it for any critical or formal communication. People won’t take it seriously.
Because of all this, your audience will usually associate Comic Sans with amateur graphic design. It can, by extension, make your business seem less professional.
The celebrity of bad fonts is undoubtedly Papyrus. It’s one of those faces that many of us feel a bit ashamed about having used one time or another. You will find it all over anything to do with Egypt and the Mediterranean.
And now it has forever been linked to James Cameron’s Avatar. If you use this on your sign, you risk looking unoriginal.
All this aside, Papyrus isn’t very attractive nor pleasant to look at.
Don’t be tempted by the exotic quality of this typeface. Just leave it in the past where it belongs.
You can’t get much more whimsical than Curlz. It is beloved by many little girls for its fantastical ornamentations. Bakeries, toy shops, and kindergartens often feel that Curlz can help give them that playful character. But sometimes there is something like too many curls!
Sadly, this “happy” font can look immature and too flashy.
Above all, it doesn’t translate well to signs. The ornamentation can make it more challenging to read, especially if your audience sees it from a distance.
Flowing or script fonts are always popular. But you have to be extremely careful in using these on signs. They are undoubtedly less legible than other typefaces.
However, this isn’t the only problem with Brush Script.
The typeface was in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. However, designers in all types of industries used it for decades before and after. That’s why it holds some nostalgic appeal for people.
However, it is better to avoid this piece of the past that people have revisited too often. You would be better off looking at the variety of newer typefaces that are made to have a vintage feel.
Courier is a widely used serif font. Similarly to Brush Script, it has one of those typefaces that has a vintage feel. It resembles the typesetting for typewriters.
In general, Courier can still work well for other types of media like plain text documents. Compared to some of the alternatives, it is quite legible.
But it doesn’t work for signage. You might be able to read it. However, that doesn’t make it exciting or appealing. Besides, it mostly looks outdated and behind the times.
The best fonts for signs
Now that the bad is out of the way, we can get to the good stuff. Thankfully, there is a cornucopia of different fonts that designers can choose from. No doubt, you can find the ideal one for your business’ sign.
We’re going to look at ten of the top professional fonts to use on different types of signage.
If you know anything about graphic design, you have probably heard about Helvetica. It’s a great all-rounder sans serif font. Overall, it looks neat, professional, and easy to read. It looks attractive too.
Because of this, it is hugely popular. You can use it successfully on all kinds of platforms, including signs.
One downside of its popularity is that it doesn’t look as original or unique as it once did. Nevertheless, it will still make a sound choice for your sign.
Helvetica doesn’t necessarily evoke strong associations or emotions, so it gives you the chance to create meaning with it.
Another excellent font for signs is Bodoni. The typeface is exceptionally stylish. It’s a serif design with contrasting thick and thin lines that creates a wonderful aesthetic.
In the end, it will convey to your audience that your business is sophisticated and modern. Bodoni looks professional as well.
All things considered, it can be a great choice for you if you own a classy restaurant, cafe, or retail store like a boutique.
In the list of the worst fonts, we gave playful and script fonts quite a bad rap. But this doesn’t apply to all of them. Some of the most exciting and engaging fonts combine both of these like Boomerang Script.
You can buy it in a bundle that comes with uppercase, lowercase, and hand brush style characters.
Boomerang can help you to make your business look fun and creative above anything else.
We think that this font will be ideal for a burger shack or any other hangout spot.
Some people might be put off by the fact that they will have to buy the font bundle. However, if it suits your brand identity and vision, it should be worth it.
Bodoni is by no means the only choice if you are looking for a sign to show your customers that your business is stylish and elegant. Gatsby can be a brilliant alternative too.
Unlike Bodoni, it is a sans serif font. Gatsby’s characters are elongated and thin. Altogether, it looks very tasteful and professional. It’s an excellent option if you want a typeface that looks vintage but not outdated.
You need to note that Gatsby only has uppercase letters. But this means that it stands out even more.
In general, it’s perfect if you are designing a sign for a luxury retail store.
You can download it in a bundle with single weight and four additional styles normal, outline, retro, and distorted.
Next up, we are going to look at another sans serif font. Indigo stands out from the previous options on the list for its bold characters. It’s a combination of the ‘Indigo Regular’ and the outline version ‘Indigo Outline.’
The mix makes its letters chunky and thick. Thanks to its curvy shape, Indigo looks edgy and casual, but by no means amateurish.
You can use it on your signs to let them know that your business is contemporary and fun.
Indigo is quite versatile. And it’s one of those fonts that look just as fabulous in lowercase as in uppercase.
The next typeface is a fantastic alternative to more overused stencil fonts. You can buy the font in a bundle that comes with a version without the stencil-like effect or the stylish version that comes with these elements.
Luna is a slab serif typeface which means that the designers created it with thick block-like serifs. Its letters are quite angular and straight.
We think that this font will work brilliantly for a camping, or hiking store or something similar. Your audience will interpret the sign as saying that your business caters for people who love adventures like experiences the outdoors.
It is the right mixture of rugged with a bit of polish that will make your sign stand out from the crowd.
Opinions differ widely on the use of this font. Some designers feel that it looks too stiff and that it’s no longer original.
But others still adore its minimalist style.
Paul Renner created the font and released it in 1927. In the spirit of Bauhaus, he based the design on geometric shapes like circles, triangles, and squares. It’s a credit to its creator that Futura looks progressive and contemporary today.
All in all, you can use this typeface on your sign to tell your audience that your business is efficient and forward-thinking.
Another option if you are looking for a minimalist font is Modeka. The letters of this typeface are clearcut and also geometric.
However, where the geometry of Futura is more understated, that of Modeka makes a bold statement.
By using this font, you will let everyone know that your business is creative, unique, and certainly edgy.
Best of all, you can get it for free.
Garamond is a very popular font for bodies of text like textbooks, magazines, and websites. However, you can use it just as successfully for your signs too. It’s a serif font with a timeless aesthetic.
There are several versions of Garamond. For signage, it can be a good idea if you choose the bold version of this font to make sure it is clearly legible.
The font has quite a long and rich history that dates back to the original versions that were designed by the 16th-century Parisian engraver named Claude Garamond.
By using the typeface on your signs, you can suggest to your customers that your business is reliable and trustworthy.
Buttermilk Farmhouse is another wonderfully whimsical font. It is a hand-drawn calligraphy script. You can get it in a bundle with multiple versions which each put a unique twist on its aesthetic.
Undoubtedly, rustic chic is in vogue. Whether it is home decor or sign design, people go nuts for this style. So if that is the look you are going for Buttermilk Farmhouse might be the font for you.
The homely textured style still looks soft and delicate. With this charming font, you can let your customers know that your business is relaxed but yet stylish. That is why this typeface is excellent for a cafe. But it works wonderfully for something like a farmer’s market as well.
Say it right
The most important idea in signage is that it is not just about what you say, but how you say it. Experts know how important it is to choose the right professional font to use on your sign.
You need to make sure that its meaning and association enhances your image and identity instead of clashing with it.
Remember to always ask your sign making company for their opinion and advice.
The font you use is one of the crucial elements and terms in design. But if you want to create signage there is far more you need to know. Take a look at our article on sign terminology: negative space, optimal distance, typography & more.
There’s nothing like the power and popularity of channel letters to announce your company’s location. Maybe you need colorful, whimsical front-lit channel letters to blend with your business’ lighthearted image. Or maybe what you do calls for halo-lit letters that will cultivate a trim, serious appearance. Either way, channel letters could be your business’ way to reach the world with your name and logo. So, today, we’re taking a look at how to install channel letters.
Thanks in part to the variation you’ll find among channel letters, installation looks different in different situations. On top of the variation among the letters themselves, every location is different. Some channel letters might be installed on a building’s exterior—whether a high-rise or a small shop. Other letters may take their place in a building’s interior, but even these could be large or small. Despite the inevitable variation, we’ll offer seven easy steps to install channel letters.
1 – Assemble required equipment, tools & supplies
Depending on the situation, channel letter installation may require a bucket truck. However, for easier jobs, a ladder (or more than one) might be sufficient. Other materials required could include: sign template (and tape for temporarily securing it to the building), sheet metal screws or concrete screws, rope, and a screw gun or power drill.
2 – Determine manpower needed
Even in our age of advanced technology, you’ll need to have adequate human assistance for installing channel letters. More difficult or complicated projects could require more people working on them. For one thing, the size of the channel letters might dictate how many people you need.
Plus, there’s also the height of the building to take into account. In some situations, it may be helpful to have some installers on the roof because they’ll be able to pull the letters from above.
3 – Create & place template (if using)
A template can help you know where to place the letters once you reach the building. Mark your template so you’ll know where the letters should be screwed. Once you’ve taped the paper template to the installation surface, you can drill holes according to the template markings.
4 – Remove template
Once you’ve drilled the necessary holes, you can pull off the temporarily-secured template.
5 – Place channel letter bases on installation surface & secure
This sounds simple, right? But if you’ve ever seen enormous channel letters atop a skyscraper, you have to wonder just how to make that happen. Placing channel letters, depending on the size of the letters and the size of the building they’re going on could require more forethought than you might imagine.
If the project is easy and small, you might just carry the letters up a ladder, hold them in place, and screw them in. However, if you’re dealing with a larger scale situation (perhaps larger letters that have farther to go), the approach might be more complicated. For instance, you may need to secure each letter with a rope and have one team member pull from the rooftop while other team members climb ladders and guide the letter’s ascent.
Sometimes you’ll place only the base of the letter and secure it according to the pre-drilled holes, adding the sign face afterward. Other times, you might opt to place the whole letter at once and secure.
6 – Run & test wiring
If your channel letters are illuminated, your work doesn’t end simply at securing them to the building. You’ll also need to see that they’re wired correctly so that they actually do light up. Even if your bulbs are already installed in the channel letter base, you may still need to run other wiring and connect it to a power source.
Note that electrical work should be done by a qualified professional in accord with any rules applicable in your area. Plus, you may need to test to ensure the lights work correctly before adding the sign faces.
7 – Place sign faces & secure
Obviously, this only applies to signs whose bases were secured first without the face. Naturally, you have to add the sign faces—without them, the entire project would look like a failure.
Installing channel letters without a template
Now, you may be placing channel letters without the benefit of a template and its resulting pre-drilled holes. In that case, don’t forget to measure and ensure your letters are even as you install. The last thing you need is channel letters frolicking across the face of your building. Unless you’re a kid’s amusement center named Hopscotch, or something in that vein, you likely want your letters to be straight and evenly spaced.
If you’re not confident about your ability to secure the letters yourself, you can always call a sign professional. Often, companies that make signs are also license to install them for you!
How to install channel letters—a raceway
As you research how to install channel letters, you may have noticed that not all letters are installed directly on a building’s wall. Instead, some are first secured to a raceway. Then, the raceway is mounted to the wall. If using raceway, you may opt to mount the letters to it before you even get to the building where you’re installing the letters. Screw the backs of the channel letters to the raceway, then place the letter fronts on.
Helpful hint—don’t install letters upside down
Here’s a random helpful tip when installing dimensional letters (even if they’re not channel letters). Pay attention to the orientation of the “S” —if your word requires an “S,” that is. While the letter may look like it has no right side up or upside down at first glance, appearances can be deceiving. Even reputable groups make this mistake when placing dimensional letters. Still, the mistake can be noticeable to the discerning eye.
Signs for success
Once you know how to install channel letters, check out How To Customize LED Channel Letters & Make Your Business Shine! And take some time to dig into other types of signs you can harness for your business’ success. Head to A Comprehensive Guide To The Different Types Of Signage & Their Uses. Also, remember that signage can be a part of your overall brand-building strategy—so take a look at The Importance Of Brand Awareness To The Success Of Your Business
Good signage tells clients and community not just that a business exists, but also that they offer a top-quality solution for customers’ needs. Naturally, signage is a worthwhile investment of money. However, business owners know the importance of controlling (or at least monitoring) the cost of doing business. Searching for deals can keep expenses low, and buying in bulk is one way to go. Naturally, if you’re a business currently on the lookout for signs, you may be wondering about wholesale channel letters.
The general idea of buying in bulk is to buy relatively more items, yet at a lower price per item. So, if we’re talking about channel letters (and we are), this could look like purchasing a larger number of letters. But when you do so, the amount you end up paying for each letter is lower than the amount you would have paid for each in a normal transaction.
Delight your wallet with wholesale channel letters
Your first stop when procuring wholesale channel letters can actually be pretty close to home. Buy them from a local sign manufacturer. Even if a local sign company doesn’t advertise that they sell channel letters in bulk, reach out to them.
Ask if they’re willing to offer any discounts if you purchase a large number of letters at once. If you’ve already been a source of repeat business, they could see this is a great deal for both of you.
The wholesale channel letters scenario
Imagine for a moment you’re the owner of a business. Exactly what kind of business doesn’t matter—so choose a company you’ve always dreamed of starting. Let’s say your area’s hit a bit of a slump so you’re brainstorming ways to lower your expenses and still get the attention of new clients (to drive up revenue).
You have several ideas. One of them is to create some new signage that can’t be missed. Still, you know signage costs can add up, so you head to your favorite sign specialist for a sit-down talk. Next, you ask about the possibility of buying channel letters in bulk and receiving a discount. You’ve given them a lot of business over the years, and in their eyes, you’re a valuable customer.
Unsurprisingly, they’re open to the idea. And they’re not just open, they’re actually delighted.
In fact, the owner you spoke to even begins talking about expanding the idea of offering wholesale discounts on channel letters. It could become a selling point in their relationship with new clients.
What to do with wholesale channel letters
Once you work out a star-studded deal with your local manufacturer, it’s time to get those channel letters working for you. Obviously, installing channel letters on a building is a very common use. And some take their place atop a pole, too.
But why only do what’s typical if you can put your letters to work in unique and creative ways. After all, if you bought wholesale channel letters, you have a bountiful supply of letters to work with.
Unique ways to use your wholesale channel letters
Now that you have an expansive supply of wholesale channel letters, you realize you have more leeway when using them. With the dollar sign on your side, it’s time to unleash your creative potential.
Fence it in
Let’s say you’re the owner of a restaurant on a downtown street, and you get a lot of foot traffic. You’re remodeling the area outside the restaurant, so you rope in channel letters as a cordon. The eatery already boasts a custom-built firepit in its popular outdoor eating area.
Since the spot is close to the road, you’re planning to add a metal fence. And channel letters of equal height will be the perfect creative addition to the restaurant’s perimeter. So, the company leaves a break in the fence where the metallic-face letters will stand. They’ll be illuminated at night, lending a striking appearance to the already popular spot.
Go for ground
Walls are a natural space for channel letters. But placing them on the ground could also add interest. A hotel’s design and decor team thinks they could be a showstopper on the ground outside the building. The hotel’s garden has a lot of unused patio space around its decorative foundation. Plus, the area has outdoor lighting so guests can enjoy evening strolls.
They’ll install backlit channel letters on the ground in front of the fountain. Not only will they be beautiful from the vantage point of people passing by, but they’ll also be striking from the balconies on any of the hotel’s 10 stories.
Glass for a backdrop
Plenty of channel letters take their place on the brick or cement of a building’s exterior. But not all buildings are made of those materials. A modern co-working space decides that channel letters are the perfect way to go for their all-glass exterior.
Freestanding (no backdrop at all)
In addition to having backdrops that vary, channel letters can also have no backdrop at all. And this could be a great way for your message to stand out (or rather stand up). Have a permanent awning or other roof structure on your building? Then maybe it’s time to make it landing pad for your company logo with channel letters.
Say something worth saying
Wholesale channel letters could be just the impetus you need to creatively reinvent your signage. And if you need more sign stimulus, take a look at The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works. Or you can check out 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.