Digital signs are one of the newest kids on the block. If you start looking into advertising, you will hear about these products everywhere. And for good reasons. These boards highlight many of the best features of signage.
Whenever you’re making any type of sign, you must weigh the pros and cons and decide what works for you. So before you start creating, read below for the most important benefits of using digital signage for your business.
1 – Plenty of content
Digital signs are fantastic tools for communication. You can use them to communicate with both your customers and staff effectively.
Standard printed signs hold a central position in promotional and other types of signage. However, they are generally limited to one static design that you choose to print on the surface. The same doesn’t hold for digital signs.
Their medium allows you to use content in a variety of formats. They include the following:
- Social media feeds
Sometimes you need more than just a static image to get your message across. You can say much more by combining the different formats.
All in all, digital signs are one of the most customizable products in the industry, although note that different ones have different capabilities.
2 – Grabbing attention
Overall, digital signs are brilliant tools to catch a potential customer’s eye. There is a sense of novelty that comes inherent in these products that people are drawn to.
Aside from this, the screens usually score very highly on visual appeal. The colors are often much more vibrant and bright than they would be on printed signs. So much so that you can’t help noticing.
Moreover, because you have so many choices when it comes to content and its format, you have plenty of ways to draw attention. Movement and animations can be particularly useful. Our eyes can quickly spot moving objects and changes in the environment.
These effects can help showcase the sign as a whole. On the other hand, you can also use it to highlight specific items. For example, you can use moving graphics to point to your star product.
3 – More environmentally friendly than ever
Do you want your business to be eco-friendly?
In this case, digital signs could be the way to go.
First, you can use these products to replace much of the paper communication in your business. Just one sheet of A4 paper requires 10 liters of water.
Second, thanks to continuous innovations, digital signs are becoming greener. LED’s are one of the biggest roleplayers. They are mostly more energy-efficient than compact fluorescent, or incandescent light sources, or LCD screens.
Third, many of the components in digital signs can be recycled if disposed of properly. Recyclable materials include glass, plastic, and electronics. Not only does this reduce waste, but it reduces the need to produce new materials.
Significantly, these aren’t the only ways digital signs can be environmentally friendly.
4 – Save on replacement costs
One downside of standard printed signs is that it can be very challenging and even impossible to make specific changes. Your hands will often be tied, particularly if you want it to look as good as before.
However, making changes is often unavoidable. There are some reasons why it’s critical to update your signs.
For example, here are a few factors that would necessitate alterations to your sign:
- Changes to your contact information
- Showcasing new products and services
- Faded graphics
These are details that can make or break a sign. Therefore, if you can’t change them, you’ll need to replace the entire sign eventually.
But this change can be significantly lessened with digital signs. While digital signs will still need to be replaced, this is usually only the case when they’ve been damaged, or the technology is too outdated.
In all other cases, you can make the changes by simply changing the design of your digital sign. Thanks to the use of software, you can upload new content for the board whenever you want.
Doing this will not only save you some money but probably some time and effort too. Depending on the type, you can update your digital signs in a matter of hours where in other cases, it can take weeks.
Another pro of this is that you can quickly analyze the success of your advertising strategies and adapt your signs accordingly.
Although digital signs often need quite a steep initial investment, they are often more cost-effective in the end.
5 – Control remotely
All types of digital signs need to be operated using some kind of software. This will allow you to perform a variety of actions, including uploading content, scheduling, and monitoring.
Luckily, due to the growth in digital signage, there’s a massive range of programs to choose from to suit your needs.
Nowadays, most software has some kind of cloud-based content management system. This feature is a real game-changer. It gives you the ability to remotely control a single or even an entire network of screens.
If you have several signs, you can keep the design consistent on each of them at the same time. Or show different content on each of them.
Overall, this can be super convenient and will help you save time, money, and effort.
6 – Daily scheduling
One of the key benefits of digital signs is that, in general, they are very versatile and flexible. As we’ve said, this can help you make annual or irregular updates. Aside from this, many businesses use these products to make much more regular changes.
You can change the content several times a day if you want to or even several times a minute. Thanks to this, you can display more content than you could with a standard sign and make it more relevant.
For example, a school can use one of their electronic boards to greet students and their parents in the morning and display drop off rules. Then in the afternoon, they can put up reminders for extramural events or schedule changes for the next day.
Furthermore, you don’t have to do this manually each time. If you use rule-based software, you can program the signs to change the content automatically at pre-programmed times.
7 – Time-sensitive content
Everyone loves signs with a seasonal message. However, most businesses simply can’t afford or go through the hassle needed to do this. Once again, digital signs stand out in this regard. They are the ideal products if you want to display time-sensitive content.
Besides seasonal greetings, there are many more reasons to take advantage of digital signs’ flexibility. Some of the crucial ones are:
- Limited sales or promotions
- Temporary changes to your operating hours
- New products or services
- Upcoming events
- Contextual content like congratulating your local sports team on a win
Typically, if you use this feature well, you can improve your business by keeping your message fresh, and clients and staff informed.
8 – Boost in sales
Digital signage has been shown to boost sales by up to 30 to 32%. Of course, an increase in sales results in a rise in profits, which is excellent for any business.
The impact can be further enhanced if you use them in-store or onsite. Marketers have found that these signs can be brilliant for encouraging impulse buys.
One way to do this is to draw customers’ attention to important messages, like promotions, while they are trying to make purchasing decisions. Significantly, 8 out of 10 impulse purchases are made in brick and mortar stores and most of these are at, or close to, checkout points.
Don’t forget that many of the other benefits of digital signs play into this aspect as well.
9 – Increased recall and retention rate
In some cases, you want signs to encourage clients to take immediate action. However, many times this won’t be your goal. Besides grabbing attention, you also want people to remember the sign and its content.
Digital signage can be extremely handy here. One study on electronic billboards showed that 83% of people recalled at least one ad they were shown after 30 days. On top of this, 65% of them could recall two ads, and 47% were able to recall three.
Therefore, it’s a good way to encourage new customers to visit your store later, to talk about your ad with their friends, or come back again. And much, much more.
10 – Interactive solutions
Technology can open up whole new worlds of possibilities. This applies to digital signs as well. With them, you can get your creative juices flowing and build new experiences for your clients.
No doubt, one of the critical benefits of digital signage is that you could design them with interaction in mind.
People often enjoy using technology in-store, making for an interesting experience. Plus, you can delegate tasks to these boards and therefore help the flow of your business and relieve some of your staff’s workload.
For instance, you can use signage for:
- Self-service checkout
- Product information
- Gift card sales or refills
- Wayfinding systems
- Self-service applications
- Product locators
- Gift registries
- Checking prices
- Product requests and orders
- For queuing tickets
- Self-service check-in
- Customer service surveys
Ultimately you can use them to bring some of the convenience of online shopping to your office or storefront.
11 – Improved visibility
One potential drawback of standard printed signs is the extent of their visibility. Unfortunately, if you don’t illuminate them, they will only be readable during the day. Clearly, this means that you can lose out on a lot of exposure.
The amount of time you lose increases even more during winter, when the days are shorter.
Digital signs literally shine in this respect. Typically, manufacturers produce the screens with LCDs, LEDs, or plasma cells, which light up the display.
Therefore, you will be able to see the content more clearly throughout the night and day. Undoubtedly, this will improve the exposure of the sign and increase the chance of reaching potential clients.
Best of all, with high-quality software, you can control and regulate the brightness of the sign. You could even use sensors to adjust it based on current light conditions automatically.
For example, the lighter it is outside, the brighter you need to set the screen for optimal visibility and vice versa.
12 – Long lines, no problem
Did you know that one of the key ways businesses are using digital signs is lower perceived wait times?
We’re sure you’ve come across one of these screens at your local doctor’s office showing news headlines or the weather. This is no accident.
Long wait times are a big-no-no for many customers and can certainly cause you to lose business. Potential clients might simply walk out the door and take their business elsewhere.
In one survey, 69% of consumers said that long checkout lines were the most irritating part of shopping.
Unfortunately, queues are often unavoidable. That’s why it’s a great idea to provide a distraction while customers wait. By using digital signs, you can keep your customers occupied and happy while they stand in line. And in the end, the perceived wait time would have felt much shorter and have been a pleasant experience.
13 – Additional opportunities
There seems to be no end to the possibilities with digital signs. Generally, you have much more options to experiment with. One of these is that you can potentially use them to generate a bit of income from third-party advertisers.
In short, the third-party company pays you a fee to display their ads on your signs. The money can help cover the initial investment and running costs.
This arrangement usually works best in the following situations:
- Shopping center
- Office park
- Health center
You could even work with other small business owners to commission a shared sign dividing the costs. In this case, everybody usually wins.
Make signs work for you
Digital signs, and signs in general, can revolutionize the way you promote your business. These premium products, in particular, allow you much more freedom and possibilities and can be an incredibly powerful communication tool.
But even the best signs need great designs to be effective. That’s why it can be useful to check out how to create LED message signs that convey the right message as well as electronic signs for schools: a list of dos & don’ts.
Undoubtedly, the cost is one of the key concerns when it comes to creating signs for your business. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Those money headaches can be a thing of the past with a bit of planning and preparation.
If you’re worried about the financial side of signage, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll guide you through critical aspects of calculating a budget with several examples to make it clear.
Why are sign budgets so important?
All types of marketing can potentially be a bottomless pit. Typically, there seems to be no end of products, projects, and strategies you can try to promote your business, products, or services. However, most owners won’t be able to afford it all. Nor is it always necessary.
So don’t blow all your money on signs. Yes, they can work miracles for your advertising and hence your business. But their impact doesn’t necessarily scale up with their price. It’s all about using and choosing them strategically.
No one will benefit if you spend more on your signs than you would get in return. Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on the average return on investment of each product. In short, this is a measure of the efficiency of any investment.
Generally, in the case of signs, it refers to the amount of exposure or business you generate as a result of each one.
Another reason to work out a detailed budget is that it helps you with your long term planning. Now you will be able to keep track of exactly how much you spend during a period on which products.
You can then assess your expenditure and make informed decisions next time you need to commission signs. This will clearly help you plan ahead and save some cash for the purpose.
Overall, one of the primary reasons to work with a budget is to reduce risk. Each time you forego this blueprint, you’re taking a leap of faith. You might accidentally spend more than you can afford to.
Unfortunately, this could result in you not being able to pay your bills or having to cut costs elsewhere. Particularly if you run a small business, you want to avoid this at all costs.
Calculating a sign budget
Above all else, don’t just pick a number out of the blue. Generally, this will defeat the purpose. Instead, you should take some time to calculate the figures carefully. Doing this could potentially help you cut down on costs, but make sure you still get decent products at the end.
It’s all about getting your money’s worth.
There are a handful of factors you need to include in your considerations and calculations.
Percentage of revenue
First, you should decide how much of your turnover you can or want to spend on marketing. On average small business owners spend around 1% while larger companies often spend between 7% to 11%. The costs scale up according to the business’ size and industry.
Remember that although they are critical, signs are only one part of marketing. You also need to allocate funds for social media marketing, events, and so on. Therefore, you should make sure that you divide this number proportionately.
The longevity of the sign or campaign
Besides your marketing cost, you should decide how long you would ideally use the sign. Do you want to use it mainly for seasonal content? Or do you want to use it for years to come?
If you’re going to replace it several times a year, your budget should accommodate this. In cases like this, you want to spend less on each individual product. But for long-lasting signs, you should typically consider the higher quality and higher-priced options.
Types of products
Another key factor is what signs you want to create and how many of each. All of the different products are available at different price ranges.
Usually, there will be some back and forth on this issue. You might need to adjust your ideas based on the money you have available and vice versa.
Content and design
Preferably, you want your signs to be unique and stand out from the crowd. This way, you can really get a one-up on your competitors. But sometimes these customizations come at a cost. The final price of a product could be affected by its design, for example, the color scheme.
So feel free to ask your sign company about this. Once you have more information, you can work this into your budget and decide on the best course of action.
Doing the math
All in all, then, you need to take multiple considerations into account to work out a suitable budget.
In the end, it will be the sum total of the following:
- Fabrication costs
- Possible design fees
- Installation costs
- Rent for an advertising space
- Any other additional services
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to allow for some flexibility in the case of unforeseen expenses.
Keep in mind that sign companies differ in the ways they calculate and structure their prices.
What can you get for your budget?
In the end, a budget can help you simplify things. But if you are still new to the sign industry, it will undoubtedly be more challenging to come up with a realistic one. Moreover, it could be quite a challenge to envision the results.
So to give you some guidance, here are examples of the types of signs we offer at different price ranges. However, keep in mind that you can get the same kind of product (such as banners) at different price ranges depending on the design, size, and material.
$100 – $400
Don’t fear if you only have a relatively small budget to work with. There are plenty of options for signs that you can commission between the price of $100 and $400.
For instance, for $100, we made these full-color vehicle magnets. The clients were two students from Avondale High School who were members of the homecoming court. They were looking for a way to arrive at the homecoming parade in style.
But what if you are looking for an advertisement that you can send home with your client?
One of the best options for this is fridge magnets. These nifty cards can double up as business cards as they are the perfect size for a wallet. For $200, we printed some for the owner of I Buy Houses… All Cash.
You could also invest in a banner at this price range. Just check out this sign for Ealain Ceime Irish Dance School that cost $300. They took the banner with them to any events in which they participated and even carried it in parades.
$500 – $900
In the intermediate range, you can typically create signs that are larger, more durable, and with more design options. But for the most part, you won’t be getting a sign with electronic or illuminated features.
If you have a slightly bigger budget, you could opt for vehicle graphics like these instead of magnetic signs. This sign was commissioned by Arctic Air, Inc. in Royal Oak. For $650, we applied vinyl to the sides and the back of the van in a minimalist yet eye-catching color scheme.
If you want a sign for your storefront instead of your vehicle, window graphics can be the ideal choice. One example is this stylish promotion of Breitling watches that we installed for Lucido Jewelers.
What you are seeing is Window Perf, which is 50% vinyl and 50% holes. Thanks to the way the light reflects, you only see a solid image from outside. And see nothing at all from inside.
In this price range, you’ll find more complex and three-dimensional signs. On top of this, it is also more likely that you will be able to afford illuminated options.
This next example is a fun take on old-school neon signs while using modern energy-efficient LED bulbs. To achieve this, we used the business’ existing channel letters and transformed them into a complete product. This cost UDetroit $1000.
The owner of Nafas Fitness was looking for exterior signs for their building.
Using their logo and other details that they provided, we came up with this design. The result was a dimensional routed board made from a metal composite Dibond, which is known for its durability. It cost $2700.
Aperam, a global player in the steel industry, commissioned this set of dimensional letters for $5000. We fabricated each figure using 18 gauge and 22 gauge steel with a satin finish.
Afterward, we printed and adhered vinyl graphic overlays to the board to create that fantastic color spectrum.
$6,000 – $10,000
Now we’re getting to the more premium products. Once again, these products are a step up in terms of several factors. It includes their size, content, durability, and the technology used too.
At this budget, you could also get quite an extensive package of different signs.
Generally, in this price bracket, you get a much more extensive range of customization options to choose from. For example, take a look at these channel letters for the small family microbrewery, Witch’s Hat Brewing Company.
You can easily see that this sign is a pretty high-end product that was made with high-quality materials, including LED bulbs.
Finally, we will now look at an example of how you can commission more than one sign in this price bracket. Mor-Tech Design, Inc was looking for ground signs for two of their new physical locations.
They wanted the boards to feature a relatively consistent design. Therefore, we fabricated one 4′(h) x 8′(w) x 9″(d) double-sided monument sign and another 3′(h) x 6′(w) x 9″(d) single-sided monument sign. Both signs were made from an aluminum extrusion kit and Dibond and without lighting.
In total, the two signs cost them $8000.
The next example is another type of board with lighting, which is known as an illuminated sign cabinet.
We fabricated one of these for Vito Anthony Homes in Rochester Hills for $10,000. They wanted the board to be a ground unit similar to a monument sign. And they wanted to use the product for years to come. To meet their needs, we built the sign with replaceable panels so that they could switch out the names of their tenants.
Tips on sticking to your guns
The following are several tips that can help you stick to your budget:
- Communicate your budget clearly and unambiguously with your sign company from the start. Let them know if there is any leeway or not. And whether it’s negotiable at all. Doing this will get them on board to assist you in sticking with your plan.
- Ask the sign company if they have any promotions or sales that you’re eligible for. This could be, for example, a seasonal special, or discounts on bulk or price cuts on certain products. You might just be able to save a buck or two.
- Check whether you’ll have to pay any additional fees. In some cases, you might have to pay for the installation, labor, etc. If you don’t include this, it can completely break your budget later on.
- Investigate the prices of different types of signs that you can use for the same purpose. For example, if you are looking for a building sign, you could use channel letters, dimensional letters, or lightboxes, to name a few.
Overall, the most crucial part is to choose and hire a professional and reputable sign company. At Signarama, we value your budget as much as you do and will do everything we can to help you stick to it.
New year, new signage
2020 is finally here. The new year is often the ideal time to turn a leaf on your signage and other advertising strategies. Kick things off right by commissioning new signs for your business while sticking to your budget.
But remember that winter is in full swing now. Believe it or not, this can take a toll on your signage. So check out how to protect your signs in cold, harsh weather and keep them in tip-top shape.
Letting your clients, customers, and visitors know who you are and what you do is important for your company’s success. Of course, every company has to choose its own ways to get this information to their stakeholders. One particularly fun and creative way to share your mission and message is floor graphics.
You may already have signage on your building front, in your company yard, and even on the walls inside your location. But do you have signage on your floor? If you think about it, your floor is actually a vast amount of unused space. So, why not get started putting it to use?
Think outside the box
While you might think of floor graphics as a top-tier way to advertise your company’s values or abilities, floor graphics are not limited to commercial use. Nonprofits can use them for special events. Individuals can use floor graphics for weddings or parties. Even schools can get in on the action.
Begin with a solid design
Think of your design as the foundation of your floor graphics. Naturally, you want to begin with a solid foundation. Of course, you’ll want the graphics installed well and maintained well over time. But if you don’t get things off the right foot with stellar design, you won’t have much to brag about, will you?
That’s why there’s a point to be made for getting some specialized assistance with this. Not everyone is gifted at graphic design and some people simply aren’t as visually-oriented as others. So, it makes sense to get the help of someone whose talents lie in that direction. That could be professional design services, or it could be simply assigning the design to the most design-savvy team member within your company if it falls inside their skill set.
Size well for the space you have
One advantage of floor graphics is just how much possible canvas you’ll have available. Walls may be spoken for to accommodate doors and windows, and ceilings might be needed for lights, ductwork, or a ductwork screen. But the floor—that mostly just needs to be traveled on (and sometimes have HVAC registers placed in it, of course).
So, if you find yourself with plenty of floor space that’s not spoken for from a design standpoint, then graphics could be a great choice. Take time to select a floor design that works well for the space you have. Also, don’t forget to take into account the shape of your space, its location in your building, and the vantage point from which viewers will see your graphics.
For instance, what you do in a long school hallway could be quite different from what you do in a small hotel entry lobby. Similarly, floor graphics that stretch up stairs will be different from those that adorn a conference center floor.
Beware of small squares and rectangles
We suggest you approach small squares and rectangles cautiously. They could easily look underwhelming instead of stunning. And this could especially be the case if they’re overfilled with text and other content. Go for eye-catching graphics that actually fit with your space. A small square or rectangle could look disappointing and slightly out-of-place—as though you just came up with a quick image and stuck it to the floor.
Instead of small, constrained graphics, explore the possibility of larger graphics. Spreading across a large floor space might be just the eye-catching approach you need. And don’t think that your graphics need to have easily visible, squared-off edges either. Graceful curves or sprawling lines might be just the thing.
Custom wedding floor graphics for the Bride and Groom to be! Contact Signarama Detroit today to add the perfect finishing touch to your special day!Posted by Signarama Detroit on Monday, November 25, 2013
Get expert input
As we noted above, sometimes design projects are outside the scope of a company’s expertise. You want to connect with clients who need the service you offer because you’re good at what you do. Signage is a way to connect with those clients. However, you might be perfectly aware that creating signage is not what you’re good it. After all, if everyone was good at crafting signs, every company would be a sign company.
The good news is that there are companies that specialize in the things that you need but can’t do yourself. And that’s exactly why you should consider reaching out to a sign specialist. Not only can they craft your sign based on their accumulated expertise, but they may be able to assist in the design phase, too. Check with your sign specialist to see if they offer graphic design services.
Explore your options
Of course, with floor space to spare, floor graphics make sense. But there might be other types of signs that are perfect for your company, too. Check out How Your Business Can Take Advantage Of The Different Sign Types. Or take a look at Tips & Tricks To Designing Eye Catching Business Signs.
Whether you’re a restaurant, cafe, pizzeria, or other foodservice establishment, you may be looking for ways to fill your space with holiday cheer. Naturally, your menu boards are one possible canvas. That’s why we’re going to explore the intersection of the holidays and your business’ menu boards.
First up—some tips for advertising your holiday specials for any type of menu board. Then, we’ll dig into the different type of menu boards you might be using this holiday season (and all year round).
Play with puns for your holiday specials
That’s right, whatever your restaurant’s special is for the season, see if you can come up with a fun, catchy name or way to describe it. Even something that will make your customers laugh. You can actually get the whole team in on this by holding a contest for the best names for holiday specials.
Put on a festive air
You can use great colors and even strings of lights to make your menu boards advertise your specials in a sparkly and colorful way. For instance, a string of battery-powered lights could help draw attention to the seasonal treat advertised on your A-frame sidewalk sign.
Match with your vibe
Of course, as much as we might recommend a joyous, festive look, do remember to link your restaurant’s overall look with your signage. So, if you mostly have a black and white aesthetic (with metal like wrought iron, perhaps), then you’ll want to make selections accordingly.
Now let’s take a look at some of the menu boards you might be using this holiday season.
Static printed menu boards
For this type of board, while you don’t change the messaging on the board itself, you can swap the boards in and out. At least, you can if you choose a menu board with a snap frame. This means, that for your holiday specials, you’ll likely need a new board face that you can place in the frame. And the advantage to that is that it forces you to be intentional and to think in advance.
Reach out to your sign specialist ahead of time to get the ball rolling. Of course, it may be you’re only aiming to make your menu board look special and you aren’t actually changing your menu offerings. In that case, you may not need a whole new board. Instead, try dressing up what you have.
Fill in the board’s open spaces with festive extras. Attach snowflakes, winter scenes, or sparkles. Or simply twine bubble lights around the board’s frame. (Note that you should always ensure that your additions won’t damage your sign face. Check with your specialist if you have any doubts.)
Dry erase menu boards
Naturally, when your menu board is designed with change in mind, you’ll have a lot of leeway for your holiday specials. However, what you will need is someone with a steady hand and an artistic eye to make your menu board shine.
First step—choose the colors you’ll use and purchase the appropriate markers. If you have a lot of board space to fill, be sure to buy enough markers to complete the project. Plus, you’ll want enough to make changes or touch-ups as necessary.
There are so many ways you could go with a dry erase menu board. You could take advantage of the base of your menu boards to color in a winter scene—complete with snowflake swirls and a snow-dusted outdoor vista. Or, you could simply use holiday colors to rewrite your usual offerings on the board. Holiday-themed questions that patrons can answer to win extra punches on their loyalty cards could also take their places on the board.
Magnetic menu boards
Magnetic menu boards offer you a good chance to change your menu. Plus, you may be able to swap out the board’s design with something more appropriate to the holidays. First, start by deciding what your holiday menu items will be and creating the corresponding magnetic strips. Once you know what your holiday offerings are, try laying the corresponding magnets out on a nearby table to mastermind the layout.
Now comes the fun part—adding holiday-themed magnets. Select magnets that match with your establishment’s theme. And arrange the layout so that your holiday magnets promote cohesiveness and holiday cheer simultaneously. As we mentioned with static printed menu boards, you may want to think in advance for these boards. That way, you’ll have time to choose and purchase holiday-themed additions.
Digital screen menu boards
If you’re looking for a holiday menu board that allows for a lot of change, a digital screen menu board is just the thing. Plus, adding video to your menu board can even be an option with a digital board. So, if you already have a holiday marketing reel designed for your Facebook page, you may be able to reuse it on your signage.
For a cozy coffee shop, create a video with gently falling snowflakes to truly evoke some seasonal warmth. And don’t forget to feature one of your signature offerings prominently in the video, too.
If you’re a cafe, customizing your menu boards for the holidays could begin with high-quality photos of your food alongside holiday props. However, some restaurants may choose to keep food photos off the menu board—opting instead to use specific colors, fonts, and non-photo images to display holiday cheer.
Whatever type of menu signage you have, plan your holiday changes in advance. If you’ll need to make purchases to get your menu boards prepared, that gives you time to do so. But even if you don’t have to buy anything, planning ahead is still a good idea. It gives you time to roll out the changes by the proper date, without a stressful last-minute scramble. Need more seasonal tips for your signs? Check out How To Make Your Signage Seasonal Without Spending A Lot Of Money.
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.
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
Whether you’re moving into a new office building or planning a renovation for your existing space, there’s one thing all buildings have in common—and that’s walls. While they serve a remarkably functional role in maintaining the structure’s integrity, they also have aesthetic utility to offer. Your wall space can be so much more than the plain, even drab, walls we’re all used to. Of course, paint is one option. But interior wall wraps are a way to really maximize the space’s potential.
Today we want to explore the power of interior wall wraps to transform your space. Here are some ways to use them to make the area between your ceiling and floor so much more than blank space.
Spreading a visual that depicts some element of the natural world is a great way to create an intriguing, and perhaps even relaxing, space. At first, this may sound like a recipe for tackiness—evoking images of nature-themed wallpaper from years ago. However, you can certainly do it in a professional way. If you have an entire wall to work with, try spreading tree branches across it.
You might find yourself with wall space that extends more than one story. And that’s actually great. Make the most of it by allowing your graphics to climb all the way up the wall. If you have a staircase that wraps by or near the wall, even better.
Create a focal piece
While you can opt for an interior wall wrap that diffuses a design over the whole wall, you may find that striking a main focus better suits your space. Naturally, you could use something generally applicable (like a globe) as the main element of your graphic. But you could also create a focal point that directly speaks to what you do as an organization.
Tap into your expertise
You can also use the deep and broad knowledge your organization has accumulated to guide the interior wall wrap design process. For instance, if you’re a laboratory, then creating a chemistry-inspired wall wrap might make perfect sense. Draw on everybody’s knowledge and talents to create a technical, nerdy graphic that expresses who you are and what you know.
Draw on your values and interests
You can also use your wall as a sort of branding tool and a way to reinforce your organization’s values. Here’s some inspiration from the real world. The wall poster “The Long Table” that used to hang in this Virginia coffee shop blends perfectly with the idea of a coffee shop as a place to gather with others.
Use colors and patterns
Wall graphics, floor graphics, paint, and furniture can all combine to create your overall aesthetic. Check out how this spritely space explodes with colors and stripes to create a vibrant appearance.
Say it with words
Remember that your interior wall graphics can also tap into the power of words. Check out this tech wall just full of words to read. It’s company branding—word cloud style.
Don’t lock yourself into using the entire wall
A wrap that extends over just a small part of your wall can be striking in its own right. Check out this bright stripe stretching down a hallway to see what we mean.
Extra creative ideas
Here are some thoughts for taking interior wall wraps to the next level.
Wrap just one wall of several to create a contrast wall
In a long, rectangular room, you could wrap the back wall, shooting for an effect that draws people in.
Wrap some walls and not others in a recessed wall situation
Augment the varying depths that recessed walls already create by wrapping some walls and leaving others painted (perhaps in neutral colors). We suggest you get sound design advice on this one, though, to end up with a really great product.
Explore the possibility of backlighting interior wall wraps
This is something to discuss with your sign specialist. Ask about ways you could incorporate lighting behind your wrap design, allowing some light to seep through certain areas of your image.
A 3D wall could really stand out to viewers. Here’s something to make them stop, take note, and maybe even stand for a few moments just to take it in. Even a wrap that simply provides an illusion of a 3D design is a great option.
Pair a wall wrap with pre-existing architectural features
Check with your sign specialist about the possibility of pairing a wall wrap with a brick or cement wall already in your building. Use this brick and photo wrap appearance as a launching pad for your own creative ideas.
Get your interior wall wraps started
If designing interior wall wraps falls outside your area of expertise, consider finding a sign company that can not only place your wrap but can also help you create it. Select a specialist that offers design services. Do your due diligence to find a company you’ll enjoy working with. Check out What To Look For From A Sign Making Company + Questions To Ask to get you started.