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.
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!
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
Education is continually changing and evolving. So has the educational environment.
Signs aren’t only for decoration. In the right hands, they can be valuable resources to enhance spaces such as classrooms and schools. They can be essential teaching tools besides helping people to navigate through the environment safely.
We’re going to dive straight into it. The article will look at everything you need to know to design efficient signs for schools and classrooms from looking at colors to interaction.
Guide to school and classroom design
Every sign needs to be unique. The principles that work for advertisements won’t necessarily apply to signage in a school. You need to design the products with its specific goals and final destination in mind.
What do you want from classroom and school signs?
- To convey information
- Double up as learning tools
- Make the space more attractive
- Boost creativity
- Customize areas
- To give directions
- Health and safety warnings
- Promote the school
- Encourage students
These points might differ from institution to institution, but at least some of them are probably relevant to yours. Even if you are running an alternative education institution or teaching your children at home, many of the following tips can help you too!
It’s important to remember that design isn’t limited to signage. You need to pay careful attention to the layout and aesthetic of the entire classroom and school too.
Researchers have shown in a report that the physical characteristics of classrooms can increase the learning progress of primary school pupils by as much as 16% in a single year. That can be pretty significant.
Different aspects like light, color, and use of space play a role here. It is all about how they combine to create an environment that is stimulating but not overly distracting.
You want to use signs that contribute to these positive effects.
Tool for learning
To start, we’ll talk about how teachers can use signs to help teach their pupils.
One of the significant innovations in modern education is that educators now recognize a variety of learning models. These are different types of instructions. They help to cater to the range of preferences and learning styles that students might have.
Not everyone learns the same way. You can do more than write on the blackboard and recite the work.
Signs can be a fantastic way to incorporate different teaching methods into the classroom. They can be especially powerful as visual tools. Some topics can be efficiently taught using posters and signs.
An example of this in a primary school can be to use a range of signs to help you teach younger children the alphabet.
An example of this in a high school and middle school would be a poster of the periodic table.
You can include graphics on both of these posters to illustrate the information. You can also create opportunities for them to refer to these signs when they are doing related work in a lesson.
Signage like this can give the students a breather from staring at the blackboard or their textbooks. You can use it as a change of pace and help them gain a different perspective on a topic.
Importance of graphics
Pictures are one of those topics that will always pop up when you are talking about signs. But it is even more significant when you are designing anything for children.
Many students are visual learners. Seeing a portrayal of life cycles in pictures will probably make it easier to understand and remember than just reading and hearing about it.
But it’s not only that. You want the signs to appeal to your pupils too. Graphics are much more interesting to look at than just words. It’s all about finding the balance between using just enough words to convey the message and using so many that they become tedious.
You need to take the age of the children into account. The younger the children, the higher the ratio of pictures to words should be. It is the same principle that authors use in youth books.
Many educators prefer to use cartoon-like graphics on their classroom signs. Goofy and fun drawings can help them to make it appealing to younger children. On the other hand, you want to use detailed and anatomically correct drawings for a high school biology class.
Of course, not all signs in a school or classroom are meant to be teaching tools. Some will be there to convey information, like directions and safety information, to parents and visitors as well as pupils. But even with these, graphics such as arrows are vital to helping you communicate the point with limited words.
One of the best ways to form connections in the brain is through interacting with it. Your students will remember the work much better if they can engage with it in a hands-on way.
Ask yourself how you can make their learning experience more interactive.
Your students will thank you for making lessons more fun and therefore more memorable.
It’s crucial to consider this when designing signage for schools and classrooms. There are many ways your students can interact with signs.
Here are just a few ways to incorporate these elements into the design:
- Leave spaces or gaps on the sign where students can “fill in” information
- Design signage where you can move around pieces to mix and match.
- Make boards that they can draw on.
- Create multiple posters that students can arrange in different orders.
You can use digital signs, magnetic signs, signs with interchangeable slots, or ones with blackboard or other materials that can be written on and erased.
Imagine the alphabet posters in our previous example. You can leave a blank space under each letter. There, students can draw a picture that matches it, or select a premade image to stick on that spot.
A pro tip is that just like adults, children feel more secure and comfortable if they feel like they have a degree of ownership in a place. So why not give them a controlled way to make their mark on the classroom?
Nowadays, people are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of holistic approaches to education. It’s not only about teaching kids subjects like mathematics and science. But also about helping them develop in other areas like social skills and self-care.
Unfortunately, schools can sometimes be daunting places. Exams, reports, and homework can be a stressful experience for pupils.
That’s why it can be crucial to encourage pupils too.
As part of this, it can be helpful to design a few motivational signs for your school and classrooms too. You can use banners to cheer on the school’s sports team. Or write well wishes for the exams on LED message centers.
It can be a good idea to distinguish these from educational signs by using other fonts, colors, and images.
Color and mood
We all know that kids love colorful things. And it is undoubtedly true that it can liven up a room. But what is the best way to use colors in your classroom and school signs?
Signs can be an excellent way for educators to bring a pop of color into the classrooms. Using bright shades can undoubtedly help to draw attention to the poster. So it is a good idea to use plenty of colors in the critical ones.
But you don’t want to cross the line where the colors are overstimulating. To avoid this, carefully select which signs can have more toned-down hues and which ones need to stand out.
Overall, younger children enjoy warmer and brighter colors more than older students. These can be orange, red and so on.
But as they begin to transition to middle school, you might want to stick with a cooler palette. At this age, students need to be able to concentrate more. Muted colors like blue and green can help promote this state of mind.
Don’t forget to show some school pride with your signage. It’s a great idea to try to incorporate your institution colors in most of your outdoor signs. These will typically be seen by parents and visitors. By using school colors and logos, you can help create a visual identity for the institution and distinguish it from others.
Many educators find it useful to put a sign showing off the school motto or anthem in their classrooms. Your colors should also accompany official school information such as this.
A unified scheme such as this can be a brilliant strategy to make your school look more professional.
Engagement vs. distraction
As you’ve probably noticed, there is a thin line that you tread in designing signage for classrooms and schools. It is the line between engagement and distraction.
The sign needs to be attractive enough to the audience so that it can serve its purpose. However, in this case, a large part of your audience consists of children who are in an educational institution to learn.
One of the teacher’s main goals is to help students focus on specific tasks.
You don’t want the signs to be so busy that the students sit staring at them.
It isn’t necessarily a problem with all the signs in a school like wayfinding signs, safety signs, and so on. You mostly need to be concerned with this in the case of signage in the classroom or in some cases, those visible from the class.
Here are a few tips for how you can stay on the right side of this line:
- Limit how much information you put on one sign. Try to keep it focused on one topic.
- You can unify your classroom and the signage by sticking to a theme. Themed content can be a brilliant tool in school to help make learning more appealing.
- Don’t use too many different colors. Instead, use palettes that combine well and match each other.
Different types of signs and examples:
For the most effective signage solution, you will probably need a variety of different products. Schools are such multifaceted environments. In the end, you will probably need indoor signs, as well as outdoor signs, each with their intended purpose.
Choosing the right product is a critical step in the design process. You need to make sure that it is suitable for the task at hand.
Let’s look at a few examples of signs that you can use and their designs.
One crucial purpose for signage at a school is to announce its presence to the world. You need a board for your school’s name. Monument signs are always a popular choice.
Sign companies can make them from many materials in a variety of shapes and appearances. Overall, they are very customizable.
Take a look at the sign we made for Best Academy School. It shows off the institution’s colors and even has a graphic for the school’s mascot. We really like the pole holding up the sign – it’s made to look like books! The board is an excellent example of displaying school pride and what distinguishes this school from others.
Vehicle graphics and wraps
Educational institutions have a range of different infrastructure and types of property. They will usually own different vehicles used to transport the students, teachers and so on.
These vehicles can be a fantastic way to represent your school out in the world. So why not invest in some vehicle graphics?
You can choose wraps or magnetic strips. Make sure your design represents a combination of fun and neat professionalism, like the example above.
Setting up for success
It takes careful consideration to design signs for classrooms and schools. You need to cater to the unique requirements of your audience and the environment. Using signs can help you improve your students’ learning experience and make school more engaging.
As we’ve said, you can use a variety of different products at your school. Take a look at the comprehensive guide to the different types of signage & their uses for more information on what’s right for you.
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.
Do you want reverse channel letters for your business? But feel lost about where to start?
We’ve got your back. You can handle this article as your complete guide to reverse channel letters. It will cover what these signs are and how they are made. But also how you can design them to be useful.
What are reverse channel letters?
Let’s jump right into the deep end and cover what reverse channel letters are.
The world of signs is vast. There are so many different products and options available for business owners. It is easy to get lost with all this information.
In brief, channel letters are metal letters that you would typically use as building signs. They are lit up by LED light bulbs. The standard signs are front-lit, which means that they are illuminated from the sign face.
On the other hand, reverse channel letters are often backlit. This means the light shines from the back face. They are mounted slightly away from the building so that the light is typically projected onto the wall. It creates a unique “halo” like effect.
No matter what type of channel letter you choose, they are the perfect way to make your building stand out. It will light up your storefront even at night.
That is why they are a brilliant solution to put up your company’s name.
The lowdown on their fabrication
It might sound unnecessary, but if you want to commission reverse channel letters, it can be useful to know the basics of their construction.
First off, they are three-dimensional signs. The body of the letters is made from aluminum and acrylic.
The front face and sides of the structure are mostly metal to prevent light from passing through. The back is polycarbonate or acrylic to make your sign shine.
This means that the face and body of the letter usually appear dark but is outlined with light.
Pros of reverse channel letters
So why do you need to choose these signs for your business?
There are many different exterior signs that you can use on your building. But the unique features of reverse channel letters make them particularly suited for getting viewers’ attention.
Take a look at the benefits that make these signs really standout:
- Thanks to the materials, these letters are lightweight. This makes mounting and handling just so much easier.
- The signs are durable. They are long-lasting and weather resistant.
- They’re suitable for use outside.
- The halo effect creates a warm atmosphere for your storefront.
- LED diodes are energy efficient and can be a fantastic green solution.
- There is a range of customization options.
- The lighting provides exceptional visibility no matter the time of day.
- They are lightweight.
You can use channel letters for any type of business. However, it will probably be the most useful for ventures like restaurants that stay open at night too. In this case, you want to draw the nightlife in.
What is effective and what is not might seem obvious. But whenever it comes to signs and their design that isn’t necessarily the case. You have to decide what the right outcome is for your company.
To do this, you need to assess two critical things. Your target audience and your goals.
The target audience is the specific group of people you want to reach with your marketing message. In terms of goals, it’s up to you to figure out what you want to achieve with your channel letters.
It is all about making your signs work for you. You want to see results from the products.
Experts know that each of their designs needs to be created with specific objectives in mind.
So a pro tip is to make this a vital part of your design process.
The way to get results is through intelligent design. You need to pay careful attention to each element of sign. We will look at the most important of these features down below. But first, we will give you a guide to the actual creative process.
Follow these simple steps to design a successful reverse channel letter.
1. Set up your objectives
Risking repetition, we have to look at how exactly you can decide on your aims. Ask yourself what your business is missing.
Do you want to inform new customers about your business? Or are you just trying to make your storefront more visible to existing customers? Does it have to be visible during the day or at night?
On top of this, you’ll have to figure out what you want to convey with the sign. A toy store wants to look fun and perhaps even whacky. The owner can choose to use pops of color and funky fonts. But this will look seriously out of place and also inappropriate for something like a pharmacy.
If you’ve hit a wall, call in your team and ask them for advice on what you want to accomplish. People in different positions will have different perspectives on what your business needs.
Make a list of priorities, every single thing you can think about. Then rank them from most important to less important. This is a fantastic way to narrow down the list and find a few aspects that you should focus on.
2. Define your audience
We can’t stress enough that you need to develop a complex picture of your target audience. This step goes hand in hand with setting up your objectives.
Together with deciding what you want to achieve with the sign, you should determine who you want to reach with it.
Is the target market new clients or existing clients?
Then figure out who these people are. There are two main ways you can do this. First, you can research the primary customers for your own company or companies with similar products and services. Secondly, paint a picture of the type of clients you would like to attract.
Create several possible audience profiles based on people’s demographics, their needs, their likes, and dislikes.
With that grind out of the way, you can have a bit of fun. If you like being creative, that is.
Brainstorm about possible ideas for your sign. You will probably only have your business’ name on the sign. But sometimes you might want to add something a little extra like a founding date or so on.
Also, come up with ideas about all the possible elements for the letters.
You can do this by yourself or with members of your team. Or, if you are planning on hiring the services of a pro, you can collaborate with them.
4. Develop drafts
By this stage, you are probably sitting with more ideas than you know what to do with. But that can be a good thing. In this stage, you will narrow down those ideas.
You will also get to develop the best of the drafts.
Take a break between brainstorming and this step. This will mean that you can look at your ideas with a fresh perspective.
Now you can scrap the really bad or impractical ideas and refine the others.
If you can, focus on five or so designs. You will need them for the next step.
5. Hire a sign company
Next, it should be about time to hire a sign making company. It will be necessary to get their input.
To start off, you should look for several companies who can fabricate the sign.
Ask for a quote from each of them. It might be necessary to arrange a meeting to show the company’s representatives your design ideas. This will probably influence what they are going to charge for them.
You should try to ask all the critical questions about their signs like the fabrication time, the materials used, their durability, and longevity.
A pro tip is to take a look at their portfolio. Specifically, ask for examples of similar products that they’ve made.
All of this information should be able to help you decide on the right sign company for you.
6. Finalize your design
Finally, all that’s left to do is to finalize the sign.
It can take an expert eye to streamline the finer details. And to see whether a sign will work in practice or not. A designer’s advice can be beneficial during this step.
Remember that many sign companies, like us here at Signarama, offer a variety of creative services. They should be able to tell you what is impossible and what isn’t for their fabrication system.
You might think that there is just so much that you can do with letters. However, you’ll be surprised.
One of the best features of reverse channel letters is their customizability. Using this to its full effect is what will allow you to create the ideal signage solution.
Designs need to be original to be exceptional. You need to combine all the must-have elements into a unique whole.
Here are four of the most crucial aspects of the sign:
- Lighting effects
You probably guessed it, but the most crucial feature of channel letters is undoubtedly the typography. The sign is focused on words, after all.
So you need to pay attention to the font, spacing, and the size of the letters.
First, let’s look at the font. Flowing script is gorgeous and elegant. But will people be able to read it? Your sign should be readable during the day and night from a distance. This should be the most prominent consideration.
Also, keep in mind that different fonts convey different feels. This is key to creating an atmosphere.
Second, the more words or letters you use, the more crucial the spacing becomes. If you don’t do it right, the results can be unfortunate, to say the least.
Third, tiny letters aren’t going to cut it. VIsibility and readability are, once again, the fundamental guidelines.
Brand identity is only beneficial if you keep it consistent. That’s why your signage should reflect this too.
You can convey this by using your iconic typeface or color combinations.
This will help your customers to recognize your business from a mile away.
Choosing the mounting
Standard channel letters are usually installed flush to the wall unless you request otherwise. Sign makers call this direct mounting.
On the other hand, reverse channel letters aren’t attached straight onto the wall. You can’t create the “halo” effect if it doesn’t stand away from the building.
In this case, manufacturers usually use raceway mounting. This means that the letters are attached to a metal box in which you will house the electrical wiring and power supply.
Ask your sign company if they have more than one option for mounting. You will probably be able to choose whether the raceway blends in with the channel letters or with the building on which they are mounted.
It’s a good idea to check local building regulations about mounting to make sure your sign complies.
Write your name in lights
Shiny! Need we say more?
Perhaps just a little bit. Your sign company will be able to tell you how you can customize the lighting effects on the letters.
You should ask about the size of the halo that the light creates. Do you only want to create a thin outline around the letters? Or do you want to paint the wall in lights?
Next, you should consider the color of the lights. It doesn’t have to be the standard white or cream. You could choose colored acrylic for the back face of the letters or colored LED bulbs for a different effect.
Hopefully, this guide will help you to design efficient and successful reverse channel letters. It boils down to taking all the information available to you and use it.
A great way to learn about design is to look at examples. So if you are eager to learn more, check out exterior building signage examples: what to do & what not to do. This will help you prepare your own signs.
Our article on what to look for from a sign making company + questions to ask is also a fantastic resource to read before you hire a company.
One of the vital uses of signs is to mark your business. You want to catch people’s eye, to stand out. And to draw them into your storefront or offices. LED channel letters can be a brilliant tool to make this happen. These signs are perfect signs for presenting your name to the world.
Read this article to find out more about channel letters and how you can customize them. We are going to look at different examples to get you inspired.
Why choose channel letters?
So what exactly are channel letters?
They are a type of building signs that you can use outdoors. People use them for all kinds of businesses, from restaurants to offices.
Manufacturers build them with metal sign backers and an acrylic sign face. They are three dimensional and are typically lit with LED bulbs.
The best part of these signs is that you can pretty much customize them as much as you want. You can decide on the color, shape, size font, and more for the letters.
Generally, companies design them to be front lit. This means that the illumination comes from the face of the sign and shines through the letters. But this isn’t your only option. You could also choose reverse channel letters or have them backlit.
All of these options will have different effects. But their main goal remains the same, to get you noticed.
Benefits of LED channel letters
In the past, sign companies might have used a variety of bulbs for their products like neon tubes. But now most of them primarily rely on LED lighting. This is what they usually use for channel letters too.
Here are the key advantages of choosing LED channel letters for your building signs:
- Impact: It’s all about making a statement. A well-designed channel letter will help get you noticed. But even more importantly it can make it more memorable as well.
- Visibility: Another crucial factor is that they can be far more visible than other signs. The lights mean that you can see it better even at night and from a distance.
- Energy efficiency: Do you want to go green? If being environmentally friendly is a primary concern for you, then LED’s are the way to go. They can use up to 75% less energy compared to other bulbs.
- Durability: Manufacturers typically use aluminum to make their channel letters. Thanks to this, they are pretty sturdy and can withstand a lot of punishment. This can save you from costly repairs.
- Longevity: Because they are durable, they can last a long time too. You probably won’t need to replace the bulbs as often. So they are quite cost-efficient. Besides this LED bulbs can last as long as ten years.
- Bright and bold: One thing that distinguishes these letters are how brilliant they are. They can produce quite the shine and can be very colorful too.
- Customization: Don’t forget the range of customization options that are open to you.
Guide to customizing LED channel letters
Customization is all about making the best out of the sign. You need to personalize it to fit your business’ unique needs. But also to suit your brand’s identity.
The core of this is to think carefully about the design of your signage. You could do this yourself. But the modern market is too competitive. Getting some help and input from an expert might be just what you need to give you that edge.
A pro tip is to ask your sign company whether they offer any creative services.
A few of the essential factors to consider in sign design are:
- Lighting effects
These are the main elements through which you can customize your channel letters. You can personalize each of these individual factors to create the perfect whole.
Now, let’s look at all of these principles in more detail with examples, of course.
1 – Shapely
First of all, we need to consider how you can use shapes in customizing your signage. Traditionally, channel letters were single separate letters that were put together to spell out the specific words that you want.
This is still an excellent choice for building signs and is undoubtedly the most common kind out there.
However, not everyone has the same requirements. For example, your business’ name could double up like your logo, so it needs to be shaped a certain way. And if you always use it that way it might not make sense to do it differently specifically for your name sign.
Luckily, modern technology gives you alternatives to the standard format.
Nowadays, your sign company should be able to help you with a lit sign capsule. They are basically oversized channel letters in custom shapes.
So when you hear channel letters, don’t think you are limited to typical letter shaped signs.
2 – Too big?
No matter what sign you want, you always need to consider the size carefully. Two key terms here are visibility and legibility.
First, you need to make sure that people will be able to see the sign. Secondly, they need to be able to read the words on the channel letters too.
You need to work out what the view distance for your sign is. In other words, from how far away should the audience be able to look at the sign.
Besides this, your specific size needs are probably going to depend on the space available to you and local regulations about signage.
For all these reasons, calculating the size is a crucial part of designing your own custom channel letters. You will have to give this information to the sign company that you’re planning to hire.
To do this correctly, figure out exactly how long you want each side of the sign to be.
Remember that when it comes to channel letters, you need to consider how thick the sign is going to be. Because they are three dimensional, you should keep in mind that people will be able to see parts of it from different directions.
This can also influence what effect you create with the lighting.
3 – Font
Another critical factor in customizing your own channel letter is to pick a font. Some companies will have lists of fonts that are available from which you choose. But it won’t always work this way.
In other cases, you will need to or want to use a unique font. Typography forms a core part of creating a brand’s visual identity.
Your business will probably already have a preferred font that you use in your brand. Or if you don’t, now might be the ideal time to decide on one.
If you do have a particular font, it’s a good idea to use it for your building signs, like channel letters. Consistent fonts will help your audience recognize your brand.
Overall, the font you choose needs to fit your business. It’s vital for creating the right feel and experience for your business. And it plays a role in attracting customers.
For example, you don’t necessarily want to choose a serious and professional looking font for a frozen yogurt store. Instead, you want a font that is fun and inviting or perhaps even playful. But a more professional and elegant font can be excellent for an attorney’s office.
Read this article for more information on choosing the right font for your business’ visual identity.
4 – Color me
Now let’s get more colorful. Like with any other type of sign, color is an essential element. It’s such a crucial part of our visual perceptions that you need to take it into account.
One reason why LED channel letters are so popular is the bright colors that you can select. Just take a look at the neon green in the example.
Best of all, you don’t have to pick just one! You can practically make your channel letters a rainbow of color. Blue, purple, green, red, you name it.
The color in LED channel letters can come from several sources. First, companies can make the sign housing from colored plastics or other materials. Second, they can use all kinds of colored LED bulbs to light up your sign.
Yet again, if you have already figured out your brand’s visual identity, this should be reflected in the colors you choose. If your customers know that your primary colors are blue and white, stick with it.
A pro tip is to look at the surroundings and walls of your storefront and to choose a color that will stand out well against the background.
5 – Graphics
Yet again we come to the question of what more you can do with channel letters?
With innovations like lit sign cases, you can add graphics to your signage too. This can be an excellent way for you to add some color and life to your storefront. Carefully chosen and drawn graphics can contribute to attracting new customers.
And if you have a well-known logo, you could potentially add it onto your channel letters as well.
Although, you should remember that you don’t necessarily want to make the picture too elaborate and detailed. It can overwhelm your customers and at a certain point, make it more difficult to comprehend from a distance.
For the most part, simplicity is king.
6 – Lay of the land
This point is more relevant for business owners who have a lot to say with their channel letters. These are cases where you might have more than word in your name or even if you want to add a short slogan or abbreviation.
So, you have to figure out how to achieve this with little space and still make it look neat and professional.
You can solve this problem with some good layout design practices.
One of the most straightforward solutions is to stack the words in a hierarchy.
To do this, you need to figure out what your main heading and sub-heading are going to be. The title is the most important word or words and should be on top. It should also be larger than the sub-heading to distinguish it.
There are a few formulas like this you could follow, but this is a tried and tested pattern.
But in essence, it’s all about balance, striking that right mix between being making it uncomplicated and exciting.
7 – Light up the night
The thing that really makes channel letters stand out is the LED lighting. They will literally make your sign shine. You can’t go wrong with illumination if you want your sign to catch people’s eye and to be more visible even at night.
Generally, standard channel letters are front lit. Most of the times, they are an excellent option for you if you want the sign to be lit evenly throughout.
But this might not always be the look you are going for. As we’ve said, you can also choose backlighting where the sign is illuminated from behind. With this type of lighting, you can create a halo effect around the letters.
Many business owners love to use this to create the perfect atmosphere for their business. For example, it can work brilliantly for restaurants and bars.
Are you looking for something different? All you need to do is think out of the box. Take a look at the example above where red LED’s were placed channel letters without a front face to create an old school effect.
Be sure to ask your sign company about the different customization options that they offer for lighting effects.
8 – Mounting
Last but not least, we need to talk about mounting. This is another possibly crucial but easily overlooked part of customizing channel letters.
Your two primary options are direct mounting and raceway mounting. Which you choose will depend on building regulations, lighting effects, and the overall picture you want to paint.
Directly mounted letters are flush to the wall. All the wiring and fixtures need to be built into the surface of the building. With this, you can create a clean and neat look. However, local building regulations often prohibit this.
In raceway mounting, the manufacturers attach the letters to an aluminum box that houses all the wiring. This housing is then attached to the surface of the building. It is an excellent alternative if you want to create some depth with your sign.
On top of this, it’s the best option if you want to backlight. It is vital to helping you get that halo effect.
Customizing your LED channel letters is all about tailoring it to suit your business. You want it to match your style. But also draw in crowds.
Before making the final decisions about the right outdoor signage for your business, read our complete guide to building signs. It covers information about the dimensions, design, and installation of these products.
Pylon signs are a very common sign option. And they might just be the winner when it comes to signs with a unique name. Some people call them pole signs. But why would you, when you can call them by their own intriguing moniker? They’re immensely popular, as a simple drive around a city will tell you. So, let’s talk about how you can tap into their potential for your business, then we’ll dive into some pros and cons.
Match your sign with what you do
First up, select a pylon sign that makes sense for your particular company. A sign with a visible pole may be appropriate for a pit stop. But if you’re looking to cultivate a sleek, professional image for your brand, you might head a different direction. For a professional company or medical complex, your sign poles might not be visible. You may even choose a sign that’s supported by side brick columns.
Safety is a part of success. Not only do you want to actually be safe, but you also want to appear safe. Which means an ancient, rusty pylon sign that looks like a danger to society doesn’t do you any favors. It may be structurally sound, but if it looks like it’s about to topple over, it’s not helping your company image.
Be tidy & professional
Don’t leave spent light bulbs languishing in your illuminated signs. Maintain signs well and replace as needed. After all, if you want people to know your company is the best choice, let your sign reflect that!
Go for good graphics
Shoot for amazing graphics so your pylon signs will really shine. Naturally, a top-quality structure will look even better when it stars great visuals.
Watch what everyone else does
Observe carefully what the norm is for your area. You’ll notice some spots are full of pylon signs. And if that’s the case, you’re probably in the clear to follow suit. Just give thoughtful consideration before installing pylon signs in an area where it will be the only one of its kind—it might appear out of place (even an eyesore).
Cons of pylon signs
Even though it may seem backward, we’re going to start with the cons of pylon signs before we get to the pros. After all, why not save the best for last?
As you’ll notice below, we’re counting pylon signs’ height as both a pro and a con. This illustrates well the point that good signage is signage that fits its placement location appropriately. The height of a pylon sign could be a negative if it looks obtrusive against the area’s backdrop.
Obviously, pylon signs require a lot of material. Plus, they’ll require knowledgeable designers and installers. Any time you create a tall structure like this, you need to engineer and build it for safety and stability. (Because a sign that puts passersby at risk would be the very definition of a bad sign.)
All of this could mean you have a higher bill for a pylon sign than for some other, smaller types of signage. However, it may be well worth it.
When you choose illuminated signs, you elect to be visible to customers round the clock. Generally, that’s a great thing. Customers will always be able to find you, even on the darkest of nights. However, there is a drawback to this otherwise positive situation.
Your illumination won’t be foolproof. And if one light goes out and the others continue to shine, the result is a sign with a completely new message. Depending on your sign’s letters, this could transform the sign into simply a visibly broken one displaying a nonsense word. Or it could actually create a humorous new word. In which case it might not be all bad—after all, making customers laugh is often a good thing.
Nevertheless, when the lights do go out (or anything else occurs for that matter), your repair efforts could be a little more difficult than with a shorter sign.
Pros of pylon signs
As sign professionals, of course, this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. Naturally, we like to extol the virtues of signage. So, it’s time to talk pros of pylon signs.
Is your company surrounded by businesses, signs, roads, trees, & shrubs causing you to worry that your signage will be lost in the busyness? Well, worry no more! There’s a sign specially-designed to rise into the sky, elevating your message for all to see.
If you’re a shopping center, a pylon sign is good news for you. After all, how will you list all the attractions your space offers unless you have significant space to do so? When you have a lot to say, a pylon shopping center sign can offer the sign real estate you need to say it.
When your sign brings both height and space to the table, how could you not be visible? That’s why pylon signs might help if you’re looking to unexpectedly catch the attention of people who didn’t set out to find you.
In certain areas, you might find pylon signs are the sign of choice for quite a few businesses. For instance, shopping malls and gas stations near the highway. And while it isn’t always a wise idea to do what everybody else is doing, when it comes to pylon signs it could be. Shoppers may be used to finding their way around by identifying these tall signs. Going with the flow could help them out.
Pylon signs speak up
Pylon signs are a great option for businesses to be seen. And if you’re about to have one installed for your shopping center, definitely head to How To Create The Perfect Shopping Center Sign To Draw In The Crowds to help you plan a good one. Additionally, as you display your name prominently, check out The Importance Of Brand Awareness To The Success Of Your Business.
Regulatory signs are all around us. But if you don’t happen to know them by that name, you could be in the dark about what they are. (Unless, perhaps, you’re a teen studying for your driver’s test). Yet once you know what they are—you’ll realize that you encounter them regularly.
Take a moment to reflect on the most recent time you drove. Perhaps this morning or maybe yesterday. Did you stop at a stop sign or check for oncoming traffic at a yield? Did you note whether you needed to slow down for a school zone because you were within the school hours time slot? Did a no smoking sign catch your eye as you went about daily business in your town or city?
Regulatory signs – what they are
True to their name, regulatory signs regulate behavior. They tell you what you can and can’t do. Broadly, they give you these instructions for driving and for being in some public areas. For instance, when driving, one iconic octagonal regulatory sign alerts you to STOP at intersections. Another regulatory sign warns that if you park in a certain area, your vehicle may be towed—the “Tow Away Zone” plaque.
Regulatory signs – why they exist
You could say that living in a civilized society entails having a group of people bound by the same rules. And that’s actually part of the function of regulatory signs. If a hundred drivers need to use a given intersection in a 10-minute period, it’s not going to work unless some kind of order is imposed. Structure and rules aren’t just structures that bind us and make us miserable. They’re the bedrock of a functioning society.
Once you have some do’s and don’t to impose order on that intersection, all 100 drivers can indeed get through and move on to their destination. And that’s where regulatory signs come in—they communicate the rules that regulate that intersection. When drivers see them, they take appropriate action. Consequently, a large volume of individual vehicles and drivers can travel our highways and byways effectively.
Regulatory signs – who comes up with them
Obviously, with a name like “regulatory sign,” it stands to reason that these signs have some sort of authoritative value. They’re not mere recommendations. And when you have a sign whose message must be followed, it makes sense that there’s authority behind that sign. Here, we can trace it back to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
All good rules need to be written down somewhere (well, many of them anyway). And the rules for regulatory signs are no different. They find their home in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways. (It’s also known as the MUTCD—we’ll call it that from here on out, for simplicity’s sake).
And as we help you sift through the relevant regulatory sign information, that’s our guidebook. Let’s take a look at the exciting rules it offers.
Regulatory signs – why you need them
Of course, we scratched the surface of the “Why?” question a moment ago with our intersection example. Regulatory signs exist in part to make ours a livable and convenient civilized society. But there is another reason. And it’s the equivalent of the “Big Boss” saying “because I said so.”
Here it is—straight from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.
Now, there are places where these rules do not govern. And there may be exceptions granted, too. However, both of those are outside the scope of today’s article. So, while we won’t be dealing with places these rules don’t apply, just know that they exist.
Two reasons you need regulatory signs
So you see there are really two reasons you need regulatory signs. First, because the government says so. Second, because they help a large number of people function together well in shared spaces. You could call the first one the hard reason and the second one the soft reason if you like. Nevertheless, they’re two very good reasons.
Shape of regulatory signs
According to Chapter 2B of the MUTCD, “Regulatory signs shall be rectangular unless specifically designated otherwise.” However, as we well know, not all signs are rectangular—like the octagonal stop sign or triangular yield sign. For specific dimensions of a given sign, scroll down to “Regulatory sign specifications.” There, you’ll discover where to find measurements for your signs.
Color of regulatory signs
The MUTCD even identifies the colors that are acceptable for use on regulatory signs. They list 13 and link most of them to certain meanings. However, two colors (coral and light blue) don’t yet have meanings assigned.
Here are the colors for regulatory signs as, lifted from the MUTCD:
Appearance of regulatory signs
In addition to the color legend above, the MUTCD also offers guidance for the reflective appearance of signs. Generally speaking, they need to be “retroreflective or illuminated” according to Section 2B.01. You can learn more about what that requirement means in the section Retroreflectivity and Illumination.
Regulatory sign specifications
The MUTCD provides an extensive list of regulatory signs. They list a given sign’s alphanumeric designation. And they add the dimensions the sign should be depending on where it will be placed. They also provide a link to the relevant section of the MUTCD that provides a deeper description of the sign’s specification. (Which saves you from having to scroll through the entire document to find the sign you’re wondering about).
If you need instructions for a particular sign, this is definitely the place to start. Take a look at it—it’s Table 2B-1. Regulatory Sign and Plaque Sizes. If you know the name of the sign type you’re looking for, you can scan the left column until you find it. And if you don’t know what the sign type is called, simply search through the column until you find something that sounds like it may be what you need. Then, you can dig deeper to see if it will indeed fit the bill.
12 Regulatory signs you may recognize
Let’s take a look at some regulatory signs you might be familiar with. And if you need to construct one, we’ll also send you in the direction of more information. As you read on, note just how ubiquitous signs are in our neighborhoods and all over the U.S.
Do not pass signs
Often, passing is a way to keep traffic moving along quickly and smoothly. However, passing isn’t always safe. Nor is it always allowed. Enter Do Not Pass signs.
- See it: Take a look at what signs restricting passing can look like. And you’ll also get a glimpse of signs that direct motorists to stay left or stay right & more.
Fines signs & plaques
You’ve seen them before—the signs that warn you that you can be fined for exceeding the speed limit in an area.
- See it: Need a visual for these signs? Check out what signs & plaques alerting you to fines can look like.
No hitchhiking signs
Sometimes, pedestrians are allowed to request rides from passing motorists. However, this isn’t allowed everywhere. Which explains why no hitchhiking signs might be needed.
- See it: Take a look at these images to understand what no hitchhiking signs look like. (And check out the other pedestrian signs while you’re at it).
No parking signs
Turns out there are a whole host of ways to use signs to prohibit or limit parking. And it makes sense because a parked vehicle could present a semi-permanent obstacle when parked in an inconvenient location. Those who are blocked by the improperly parked vehicle have limited options. For instance, they may be forced to wait until the owner returns or until the vehicle can be towed.
- See it: Get a feel for what signs that limit or exclude parking could look like. (And view more signs limiting parking here, too).
No turn on red signs
As a driver, you know how helpful the freedom to do a right turn on red can be. It could get you to your destination a little faster as it can eliminate the time spent waiting for a green light. However, turning on red isn’t always allowed. Which means sometimes we need signs prohibiting turns to make that clear.
- See it: Actually, there are quite a lot of signs that restrict turning. Get an idea of what no turning signs can look like.
Road closed sign
A road closed sign is a disappointing sign to encounter unexpectedly. Yet, it’s vital if it’s keeping drivers away from an unsafe stretch of road.
- See it: Take a look at road closed signs.
Roundabouts are an effective way to handle a convergence of roads. Instead of having to stop (as at a stop sign) motorists have to yield the right of way if other cars are already in the roundabout.
- See it: Here’s what roundabout signs can look like.
Selective exclusion signs
Here are some big words for a pretty simple concept. Basically, selective exclusion signs tell certain vehicles, “You can’t drive here.” Generally, we think of public roads as being for everyone. And they are, for the most part. However, sometimes authorities do have to restrict access.
For instance, some roads are off-limits to pedestrians, equestrians, bicyclists, and/or roller skaters. Plus, some roads aren’t open to commercial vehicles. Ironically, some roads or paths are not for motor vehicles.
- See it: Get an idea of what selective exclusion signs can look like.
Speed limit sign
We see speed limit signs regularly while driving. Even so, they’re easy to miss, leaving drivers wondering just how fast they’re supposed to be going.
- See it: Take a closer look at what speed limit signs look like.
Stop or yield for pedestrian signs
Signs noting how drivers must act toward pedestrians can have different terminology. Either way, they have important work to do reminding drivers to give pedestrians the right of way. (And to leave a safe amount of space when doing so).
- See it: Take a closer look at pedestrian signs with this figure.
Stop sign & yield sign
Both stop and yield signs can have supplemental signs mounted underneath. For instance, that could look like a stop sign with a sign below that says “Except right turns.”
- See it: Check out this figure if you need to visualize the signage we’re talking about.
Weight limit signs
Now here are some useful signs that help vehicles stay within safe weight parameters. While it could be frustrating to discover that your vehicle exceeds the safe weight for using a certain roadway or structure, the alternative is worse. Using a road for which your vehicle is too heavy could have dangerous repercussions.
- See it: Get an idea of what weight limit signs can look like.
Our very own “caution sign”
When it comes to purchasing and placing regulatory signs, take care to understand and follow applicable guidelines. Do your own due diligence. If the job is yours, take responsibility to determine what signs you’re required to have and where.
Procure and place signs
Once you know what regulatory signs you need, you’ll need to find a source for procuring them. If you’re looking for a local source, check with a good sign company in your area to see if they do regulatory signs. Or perhaps you’ve discovered that regulatory signs are not what you’re actually looking for. Wondering what type of sign you do need? Check out A Glossary of Sign Definitions & the Distinctive Features of Each.