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.
Building signs are a great way to get your message to people before they even walk in the door. Whether it’s 3D letters, an illuminated sign box, or custom metal signs, building signs are an important way for your business to reach customers. Still, not all building signs are created equal. So we thought we’d bring you some exterior building signage examples—highlighting both the good and the bad.
Not all exterior building signage examples are repeat-worthy
Yes, you heard that right—the bad signs. We’re not going to take a pie-in-the-sky approach that makes it look like all companies nail their signs every time. In fact, there is such a thing as a sign fail. And when it comes to sign fails, here’s all we know—you don’t want it to be your company.
What not to do
That’s why you can afford to take a moment to learn what others have done wrong. Once you know what they’ve done that hasn’t worked out so well, you can avoid doing it yourself. So let’s start with a few building sign “don’ts.”
Don’t misspell critical words (or any words at all)
Not only should you be shooting for sign copy that’s going to be effective, but you should also be looking for quality. And that means you need to proofread. After all, you want your potential customers and clients to take you seriously. So you need to present your company as a place where people know what they’re doing.
Naturally, this includes spelling. A misspelled word is a painful thing to behold. You may think twice about sending your child to an education center that can’t spell correctly!
Or take your cue from the window signs at the car dealership in this photo from the Press-Enterprise. It looks like lending fraud isn’t the only problem this story highlights. Whether intentionally or not, we’re getting a front row seat to a very visible spelling error.
What the dealership wants to say is, “Bad Credit? You’re Approved!” What they actually say leaves a lot to be desired. Where is an apostrophe when you need one?
Don’t leave characters crooked
Whether it’s channel letters, dimensional letters, or address numbers, don’t affix them to your building in a topsy turvy way. Instead, ensure that they’re placed so they line up neatly—both with the building itself and with the other letters in the group.
Don’t fail to replace broken lighting
Many of us have seen this one before—a lineup of front-lit channel letters with one or more of them conspicuously not illuminated. Don’t let it happen to you. For one thing, it will look just plain broken (and who wants their business to project an image of brokenness?).
Second, it could turn your company into a completely different business. Like the Burlington Coat Factory that lost illumination for the o in Coat and became the “Burlington Cat Factory.” That one probably takes the cake for the fastest way for a business to change industries—from a clothing store to a pet store.
What to do
Now that we have the not-so-good exterior building signage examples out of the way, let’s take a look at the positive side. Time for a healthy dose of success and positivity. Here are some signs from which we can learn a few things worth imitating.
Do go big if you need to be seen
Teeny tiny letters are not going to help clients take an unplanned turn off a highway exit to visit your restaurant or grocery store. Obviously, visibility is important. Unless, of course, you’re actually trying to hide your business’ location so nobody can find you. Which you might do if you’re the Secret Service operating out of an unmarked building in Washington D.C. However, most likely you’re not the Secret Service, so we’ll assume you want your customers, clients, and community members to see you.
Depending on your situation, getting seen could call for going big—big letters, big logo, etc. However, don’t confuse big with wordy. Big signs could actually have very few words. For example, check out the sign Turner Sign Systems made for Uncle Julio’s. It’s succinct, very visible, and—may we say—big.
Do match your sign to the feeling you’re trying to create
Let’s have a thought experiment…Imagine for a moment that two groups with well-recognized logos are going to swap logos for the duration of their existence. Hmm, you think, that’s not a terrible idea. It could work.
Yes, it could work—until you learn which two entities and what two logos. So, here goes. Let’s say that the United States Marine Corps is going to switch logos with Walt Disney Pictures. Right—now it’s getting concerning. What’s wrong with that picture?
Well, the symbols that represent those two groups carry a lot of meaning. And if you tried to switch the two, you’d have what we could call a sign mismatch. (Not to mention a lot of armed and angry Marines and not few upset Disney fans).
Really, this is a great way to visualize the idea that you need a sign that “matches” your company. For instance, with a name like Smiling Moose Deli (see photo 1)—you need an imaginative, even whimsical sign. In the same way, when your building aesthetic says ‘classic’ or ‘old fashioned’ and you embrace timeless professionalism, then it’s time for a sign that evokes a classic feel.
Look, listen, & learn
As you select your own building signs, do your best to learn from these exterior building signage examples. Model your sign after those who have done well, and avoid the pitfalls of those whose signs didn’t quite cut it. But don’t stop there—keep learning about what you should do to craft great signage for your company. Take a look at The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works. Then, try 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.
The function of signs is quite simple—say something so others can see it. Nevertheless, beyond that basic idea, there are so many ways to get the job done. This is why building signs are just one way to tackle message sharing. Still, there is an array of options available even when you’re on the hunt for building signs.
Building signs are actually everywhere, but you may never have thought of them by that name. In fact, businesses of every type on every street corner use them. So, let’s take a closer look at these signs. But be prepared—once you start looking at building signs, you’ll never see your own city the same way.
Dimensions of building signs
It would be great if we could start dishing out numbers and telling you exactly what length, width, and depth your building sign needs to be. Actually, though, it depends to some degree on what your own situation is. And also on what appearance you’re trying to create.
That said, you should begin your dimension planning by checking for applicable rules. For instance, if you have a business in a suburban shopping center, check what codes or rules apply to you.
So let’s outline some general principles to use as a starting point to consider your sign dimensions. Then, if you’re still not sure about sign size, check with your own sign specialist. After all, if they’ve created signs upon signs upon signs, they may have a thing or two to add.
Select a sign to fit the space
Obviously, you want to do a good job with the space you have. If you have limited space, don’t overload. Instead, go for a sign that’s proportional to the amount of space you’re working with. And steer clear of a sign that would look unbalanced. (Unless, of course, having an oversized name & logo is a calculated part of your branding).
Different types of signs have different depths, too. For instance, illuminated sign cabinets or channel letters will probably be deeper than rigid aluminum sign panels or banners. Yet, that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. Think about it in terms of your own space—will something flush with the building’s surface look better than something 3D?
Also, consider “keeping up with the Joneses.” Or in your case, with other businesses nearby. Let’s say you look around and notice that every business in your strip mall has channel letters of similar size. Well then, you may want to think about doing that too. Whether it’s a requirement or not, the uniformity may help establish a cohesive look in the area.
Solid sizing decisions
In the above strip mall example, you have some sizing ideas to go on. What several others are doing may be a sound choice for you, too. However, you might not always have a benchmark like that to go by.
When selecting a size for your sign, think about this. One of the most important things is for your sign to be seen—by the people who need to see it when they need to see it.
Who needs to see it & when
For a moment, think about the who. Does your sign need to be visible to pedestrians? Or are you trying to reach drivers on a nearby road? Alternatively, is your sign supposed to be reaching out to motorists passing by at 65 mph on a nearby expressway? Obviously, a sign needs to be large enough to effectively reach its target audience from the spot where they’ll be viewing it.
Considering when your target should see your sign might prompt you to think about illumination. If your target is supposed to be able to see your sign at night, then you’ll want it illuminated somehow. Similarly, if you know your target’s going to be passing by your building when driving, be sure you take that into account. For instance, ensure that your sign can be read from the driver’s vantage point at their likely rate of speed.
Now, to tackle the when question from a slightly different perspective, keep in mind that not all building signs are designed for the same timeframe. In fact, while your company name and logo will probably be there for a while, some building signs may be temporary. For instance, you could use a building banner to promote a weeklong sale. Or you could design window graphics for a month-long campaign you’re running.
Note: Some of you may want a more technical perspective on sign dimensions. If so, take a look at the International Sign Association’s Design and Placement of Signs.
Design of building signs
Your sign is so much more than just the materials it’s made of and where it’s placed. Actually, the design is a vital part of the whole picture here. You could have a sign that’s impeccably made but looks terrible. And, frankly, at that point, is anyone really going to care that it’s been faultlessly constructed? If it looks terrible, it looks terrible.
Obviously, you want a sign that speaks well of your business. And you also want a sign that sends the right message. Different types of signs could be better at sending certain messages than others. So take some time to isolate your message—what is the message you actually want your sign to send?
To illustrate why companies might choose different building signs, let’s imagine five situations. Five different companies, five different signs. And we’ll explore how the design of their signs varies.
The Jolly Juice Bar
Here’s a brand-spanking new business located in a busy suburban area. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are the main attraction. But since they get a lot of lunchtime visits from business professionals working nearby, they also offer sandwiches and salads.
When the Jolly Juice Bar takes stock of their sign options, they know they want something peppy & fresh. Since they sell happy, healthy, great-tasting food, they want their sign to look as happy and healthy as a sign can.
Based on their needs and wants, the Jolly Juice Bar plans for their sign to be made of halo-lit channel letters. Plus, their logo will be right below. And they’re electing to put the channel letters and logo on a raceway instead of straight on the building. They’re choosing bright colors, and they’re thrilled that the halo-lit letters will look cheery and exciting even at night.
Paragon Wealth Advisors
Not too far away from the Jolly Juice Bar is a company owned by 5 financial advisors. The business has been around for 20 years, and it has a loyal client base. Recently, the owners have decided they need to expand their attempt to recruit new clients. Consequently, they’re rethinking their signage.
They operate from an office on the 1st floor of a large multi-tenant office building. Currently, their signage is limited to the wayfinding monument sign outside their building. It notes that clients can find Paragon Wealth Advisors at Suite 101. (And, of course, their glass door says “Suite 101”).
However, they are on the ground floor of the building. And they recently discovered that they would actually be allowed to install a building sign of their own outside their door. Here’s what they’re thinking of: a rigid aluminum sign panel. They’ll want it cut in a custom shape, and they’re thinking they’ll opt for a black field with gold lettering and outlining. Clearly, they need to keep their look professional and trustworthy.
Now, let’s enter the case of Crunch Time. It’s a bare-bones type of gym, just waiting to be discovered by workout enthusiasts who don’t need all the bells and whistles. Since Crunch Time is committed to keeping things low-key by design, they want their sign to be low-key also.
Thus, they’ve opted to use a banner printed with their name and logo. Likely, it will take its place above the main entrance door of their brick building. As for the print on the sign, is it any surprise it will be simple and minimal? Just the words “Crunch Time” alongside the company logo (which is a stack of barbells).
However, this banner building sign is a short-term measure to some degree. Once the company has signed up enough members, it plans to paint the logo straight on the building front.
Data moon is a frantically busy tech startup. They have data management and data analysis solutions for just about everyone. And it seems just about everyone is asking for them. How such a small company handles so much work is anyone’s guess.
Since most of their clients find them via the internet, they’re really not worried about winning deals because of their signage. Still, the whole team agrees that they’d rather come into work and be greeted by a professional sign. (Currently, the outside of the building features blank walls.)
Data moon’s logo is a waxing gibbous with its name curved to fill in the lower left section of the circle. Since the name and logo combination makes a full circle, they’ve decided their sign will be round. And they want a custom cut metal plate. Underneath there will be a second plate that’s black (reminiscent of the night sky). And standoffs will mount the front plate to the rear plate.
Spark Electrical is a supply store for area electricians. Since the advent of online shopping, they have a lot of competition from online stores that sell electrical supplies. However, they do have one advantage—if you buy from them, you don’t have to wait for your product to ship. Thus, they want to attract busy electrical contractors who need their supplies today.
That’s why their priority when it comes to building signs is being seen. They want to be very visible both to contractors looking for them and for those who happen to be driving by. Thus, they decided on an illuminated sign cabinet that’s large enough to see easily from the road. And because they want it to be taken in at a glance, it will be simple. It’ll just have their name and logo (which is a lightning bolt).
Combination signs & more
Of course, some companies will elect to combine different types of signage. As an example, a gas station might have 3D letters on one side of their canopy. But on the other side, they might choose to have the same name/logo painted on the canopy itself.
Even among the options we’ve listed, there’s still plenty of room for personalization. Say you’ve chosen an illuminated sign cabinet for your company. Of course, you’ll be able to choose what the front panel will look like. But you may also be able to choose whether it will be squared-off or rounded at the edges.
Similarly, even a basic rigid aluminum sign panel will have design options to offer. For instance, you may be able to choose among different colors, fonts, finishes, and even shapes.
Installation of building signs
There are some signs that you don’t want to try to install on your own. Generally, if it requires a bucket truck, ladders, and scaffolding, you might think about steering clear. Still, don’t worry about it, there are companies who specialize in this kind of work. Chances are, just like manufacturing a sign is something you need an expert for, so is installation.
One thing you can do is find a company that does both the manufacturing and installation of your signs (and maybe even the design, too). This makes it a one-stop shopping experience for you. And your company will be with you and your sign from the ground up so to speak. It could even make them more invested in the project.
Installed by an expert
When it comes to the installation of building signs, hiring an expert means you should be getting someone who knows how it’s done. Plus, if they’re the ones who manufactured your sign, then they may know more about that particular sign and how to install it.
However, there may be times when you can install your sign on your own. For instance, in the case of a large banner on an exterior wall, you may be able to tackle the job yourself. It could call for screws & grommets, or you may want to use hooks.
And here’s another thing to keep in mind with installation—find a company that’s licensed and insured. For one thing, heavy machinery and heights carry inherent dangers. Thus, you want a company that will handle them responsibly. Additionally, you want a company that will take responsibility if things go wrong on their watch. And, obviously, you want to find a company that has any required licenses to operate.
Keep in mind
Before installing signs, you’re responsible to be sure you’re following local guidelines—applicable codes or rules for the area you’re in. Your sign specialist may be able to help here. And we recommend selecting a company that’s knowledgeable about local rules and regulations. That way, it could ease up some of your job.
Not just any sign
Once you’ve decided to use building signs to reach your customers and clients, there’s still plenty to do. Of course, you’ll need to design a sign that presents your business in the right light. So check out The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works to get you thinking. Also, take a look at Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing.
A sign is a very common method to let people know where your business is. While business signs vary in appearance and location, many businesses do indeed use them. If you’re faced with the task of selecting a sign for your company, you know there are plenty of options. And your search could have you wondering, What is a monument sign?
What is a monument sign?
Like any sign, a monument sign exists to get a message across. Monument signs are usually mounted on and close to the ground. Likely, you’ve seen a lot of them before. But you may not have known them by that name.
The common signs you see at the edge of a dentist or doctor’s office lawn—those are monument signs. Additionally, you’ll see monument signs marking shopping centers, churches, apartment complexes, restaurants, and banks.
A sign for every kind of company
Unsurprisingly, just like they can mark many different kinds of locations, they can do it in many different ways. Their shapes & sizes vary—as do the appearances they create.
A monument sign outside a professional building might be made of stone or wood (or at least look like it). But not all monument signs will look so upscale. In fact, some LED signs with messages that change from time to time could also be monument signs. Even the popular changeable copy signs with messages spelled out letter by letter could be constructed in monument sign form.
So many signs
In addition to the question, what is a monument sign? there’s also this question. How can you use monument signs? Well, there are about as many ways to use monument signs as there are different types of companies needing signage. If you’re a company, organization, or even a branch of government, a monument sign may be right for you.
All sorts of entities can announce their presence in the neighborhood with monument signs (if they have the proper space). An office complex with multiple businesses in it could use multi-tenant monument signs. And they may even elect to put suite numbers for each company on the sign. That way, clients will know they’ve reached the right complex and can then navigate by the suite numbers.
As we mentioned earlier, changeable copy signs can take their place as monument signs. Thus, you might find them at the edge of a local school’s grounds. Here, they could announce when summer break begins. Then, at another time, they can present the school’s word of the week or promote a reading program.
Using monument signs
Of course, to use a monument sign, you’ll need ground space. First, you definitely want to be sure you’re in the clear as far as local sign ordinances are concerned. Check on this by reaching out to your sign specialist or to your local officials. Once you do this, you can begin crafting a sign that reaches your clients well.
Plus, if your sign is in a lawn, note it will probably look better if the lawn around it is well maintained. And some good landscaping might work in your favor, too.
Choose wisely where your monument sign will be located. Likely, you’ll want it visible from the road. And you’ll probably want the vital text to be large enough for your clients to see even if they’re driving. Additionally, ensure your monument sign is the right height and note that nearby trees or shrubs won’t obscure it.
Your sign says more than the words
Next, try to match the appearance of the sign with the impression you want viewers to have of your business. Let’s say you’re a wealth management company. As such you want to be perceived as a trustworthy source for high-income clients. Thus, be sure you craft a sign that radiates this. Go for something respectable.
Likewise, if you’re an up-and-coming tech company, you may shoot for a different look than a local historical society would. While the historical society might choose a sign flanked by red brick columns, you may not. In fact, you might lean more toward an asymmetrical metallic monument sign. You may feel its sleek minimalism reflects your commitment to using modern technological solutions to simplify your client’s processes.
Select a sign & let it speak up
Once you’re armed with information to answer your question What is a monument sign? your job isn’t over. Now, you can work on identifying what type of monument sign would work the best for your needs. In fact, you may even want to run the question by a good sign company in your area. And if you’re looking for help designing your sign, check out 6 Elements You Must Include On Your Sign | Tips On Layout & Design.
Sports play a large role in American culture today. Whether your favorite sport is baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, or even Ultimate Frisbee, sometimes you want to show your team spirit. That’s where signs come in. Signs are a great way to say what you want to say. And you can say it without tiring out your voice or being present in-person the whole time.
Obviously, Detroit has a lot to offer when it comes to sports. With the 4 major leagues represented in the city, you might say Detroit has all the sports. Need convincing? Take it from Click On Detroit: Pistons move makes Detroit only North American city with 4 pro teams in its downtown.
Thus, the city not only has teams, but it also has team spirit. And when you want to express your team spirit, what better way than with a sign? Maybe you’re looking for something to display outside your house or your company. Or it could be time for a sign outside—so it can be seen by pedestrians and drivers, too. Whatever you want to say, let’s look at some signs that can reflect how you feel about your team.
Say it outside
When you need to align yourself with your team outside a building, you have several options.
LED sign – Start with an LED message center. Here’s a sign option that’s perfect for those of you who want to change the message from time to time. (Or even change the message frequently). With an LED sign, you can personalize the sign to celebrate team wins. And your company can build rapport with the community by celebrating the victories of local school or community sports leagues.
Monument sign – Sometimes, you may need a sign that isn’t going to change—something with an air of permanence. Let’s say you’re celebrating a team accomplishment like a series of victories, for instance (maybe even years of victories). Then a monument sign might be the order of the day. From its spot at the entrance to a city or district, it can announce “Welcome to ___ (name of team) Country.” Or it could list an achievement like your number of championship wins.
Parking signs – Sometimes you have to mark your turf. And for sports fans that could include their parking spaces. So, you might just be looking for a playful parking sign that restricts a space to vehicles transporting fans of a particular team. For instance, you might need a “Parking for Detroit Lions fans only” sign.
Say it inside
When what you say is going to be inside a building, you still have more than one way to go. Check out these ideas.
Wall murals – What better way to commemorate something like NBA championship wins than with a whole wall? Wall murals are eye-catching and give you a lot of space to work with. Also, if you’re looking for something hard to miss, then you should definitely keep this option on the table. (Or should we say “on the wall”?)
Floor graphics – No walls available in your space? Then how about finding an underused area to show your team spirit—namely, the floor.
Meeting & event signs – If you’re celebrating your team at an indoor event, plan ahead and get event signs customized for the occasion. For example, secure printed table covers, photo standups, or pop-up displays.
Inside, outside, everywhere
Some signs can help you speak up inside or outside. See if any of these signs is right for your business or home.
Banners – Here’s a way to communicate the joy and celebration surrounding a win. Plus, banners can also share your message of support—letting your team know you stand behind them. You can use them for parties or even to let others know about a sporting event. And you can get them in on the action congratulating a team or even a particular player.
Neon signs – When we say neon signs, the illuminated window signs that tell customers a business is open may come to mind. But that’s not their only application. Neon signs could take their place outside or inside your building, shedding fan fervor and light at the same time.
Learn & dive in
Maybe all this sign talk has you curious about what type of signs are out there. So head to A Comprehensive Guide To The Different Types Of Signage & Their Uses to learn more. And if you’re ready to get started on a sign, you need a sign company. Be sure to check out What To Look For From A Sign Making Company + Questions To Ask
When you want to reach people with a message, a sign is an obvious choice. Unlike speaking word of mouth, a sign can communicate without constant human input. Yard signs in Detroit are just one way to do this. And they have plenty of applications—some you may not have thought of!
First, the obvious use
There’s one common and well-recognized use for yard signs that surfaces every time an election rolls around. That’s right, political signs. Used to show support for a favorite candidate, they crop up cyclically in neighbor’s yards and by the side of the road. Still, the popularity of using political yard signs may be waning.
However, there are plenty of other uses for these small signs—from business promotions to community events. We’ll dig into some below. But even these possibilities aren’t the extent of your options for yard signs.
Raise awareness for people or issues
While signs can take sides for a politician, they can also be used to promote policies as opposed to people. And some of these issues could even be bipartisan. For instance, a local group could use them to create awareness of a contested local-interest topic. Here’s a Virginia community where signs are lobbying for firefighters’ interests.
Promote community events
Additionally, you can put signs to work letting the community know about events they might want to attend. Even if you’re advertising your event elsewhere (like social media or bulletin boards) yard signs can still inform and remind. Here’s an Ohio community tapping into the power of yard signs—for a community yard sale.
Give directions with yard signs in Detroit
Of course, any time you’re trying to get to a destination, you need directions of some sort. Sometimes, you know based on prior experience. And other times, the GPS is invaluable. But what about the times that you’re almost all the way to your destination, yet need some indicators at the last moment? You’re just not sure which driveway entrance to use or where to park.
Well, as a business or individual you can take some of the guesswork out of problems like these for your patrons or guests. Don’t leave the poor drivers to figure it out for themselves. Instead, use yard signs to make directions clear. Placed by the edge of the road, they can tell guests where a birthday party is. Or, they can point patrons toward the main entrance of a business.
Use yard signs for your business
Since businesses want to communicate with current and future customers, they can put yard signs to work, too. Real estate agents might promote an open house using a yard sign. A company recently moving into the area might use a yard sign to announce that they’re “Now Open.”
Plus, if a company isn’t very visible from the nearby road, they could choose a yard sign with their logo. Placing it near the road could alert people passing that the company is there, even if their storefront isn’t visible.
And businesses can also use road signs to let customers know about one particular product or service among the many they offer. For instance, a medical clinic might promote its sports physicals with a roadside sign. That way, athletes or parents passing by will know that the clinic offers this specialized medical exam.
Yard signs in Detroit could even give a boost to small businesses operating out of the owner’s home. For instance, if you keep honeybees and have honey to sell, a roadside sign could help. Your neighbors might drop by for some. And drivers might stop as they pass by your house.
Yard signs in action
For those of you who like to see things in action, here are some yard sign examples. Yard signs have been used for:
Yard signs can also be used more than one way, too—as Xavier Cortada’s idea to upcycle spent political campaign signs demonstrates.
Shoot for a successful sign experience
As you create a great yard sign, remember to check on any rules and regulations that apply. This could include any ordinances set by the locality you live in. And it also could include any restrictions imposed by your HOA if you have one. Check ahead of time, so you don’t end up with any surprises after the fact.
Here’s another thing to consider. Unless your yard signs are designed to get the attention of pedestrians, you may want to make sure your vital information is large enough for passing drivers to see. For one thing, you don’t want your communication to be fruitless because drivers couldn’t see it. Plus, you don’t want your sign to cause an accident because a driver was trying so hard to see it.
Your sign company may offer design services in addition to their manufacturing. If so, they may be able to assist you here. See if they have wisdom to share in determining the optimal size for your sign’s text and other elements.
Say it with yard signs in Detroit
Whatever your message, consider using yard signs in Detroit as a way to get your message to your audience. From invitations to open houses or alerts about special promotions, get these signs in on the action. Create your signs thoughtfully, too. Learn more with The Importance Of Good Signage & The Psychology Behind How It Works. Or check out our Tips And Tricks To Creating The Most Effective Signs For Marketing.
There’s so much to be done when planning a wedding. Of course, you want all the details to be accounted for on this delightful occasion. You know you’ll need to have a venue and probably food plans in addition to sending invitations and planning the ceremony. Here’s one other detail to put on your wedding to-do list—acquiring your custom signs. From the cheery “Mr. & Mrs.” signs to directional signs letting everyone know where to find the seating or the food, remember to plan your signs alongside everything else.
Let guests know
Your guests are giving you the gift of their presence, so go ahead and give them a gift of your own—the gift of knowledge. Make it easy for them to determine where they and their contributions, like presents, should be at any given time. Of course, for some events (like the ceremony), the program will help with this. However, another helpful key can be the signage you provide for your wedding event.
Signs may make your guests feel more comfortable—easily pointing out where they’re supposed to sit or drop their gifts, for instance. Let’s dive into some possibilities.
Here, directional signs could be the order of the day. Depending on the size of the venue you’ve chosen, guests may need to be pointed from the parking area to the ceremony seating. Plus, signs can also be useful for the seating area itself—informing guests whether they’re supposed to seat themselves and if so, on what side they should sit.
While a rehearsal may be informal enough that you don’t feel you need directional signs, it could be a great time for a sign test run. In addition, it might be a good opportunity to knock out some of your set up ahead of time. Placing directional signs before the rehearsal might be just the way to iron out any ambiguities and to get signs all ready for the actual event.
Certainly, there are plenty of differences that could affect your sign situation based on the venue you choose. A sprawling location may need more directional signs than a compact space (in a small space, guests may simply be able to follow the sound of the other guests’ voices). But even in a compact location, there are still plenty of sign options. For instance, you may put signs to work marking the space where gifts should be placed. Or you might hang creative “Mr. & Mrs.” signs that celebrate the recently-tied knot.
Unlike the wedding and the reception (and possibly the rehearsal) which could all be in the same location, the shower will most likely take place somewhere else. Again, that could call for signs to point the way—indicating which driveway, home, or hallway guests should head for. Signs can list the order of events which could take some pressure off hosts to bring guests up to speed. And, of course, they can also point out relevant areas like where coats should be hung, presents should be left, food should be placed, etc.
Creating signs equal to the occasion
Now a special event calls for special signs, so what are some examples of custom signs you may want to create for this wedding? As we’ve already mentioned, you may want Mr. & Mrs. signs or signs that say Drinks, Food, or Gifts in the appropriate locations. But don’t think you’re limited to “necessary” signs like those. Actually, your sign could have more than just the who, what, & when of your event. Maybe you’d like a custom sign displaying a happy sentiment or quote.
Signs every which way
Once you’ve decided what words your sign should display, there are other questions too. How will you display your stand? And what material should it be made of? There are plenty of display options for you including:
- Placing a sign on a sign stand (either in portrait or landscape orientation)
- Using an A-frame sign
- Creating a sign on a stake to be pushed into the ground
- Painting/drawing your sign in a picture frame that can be propped up against a nearby bush
- Creating a custom pallet sign
- Using a string or wire to hang a sign.
And when it comes to your sign material, have a little fun experimenting with surfaces. There are plenty of ways you could go with wood for instance — a more polished wood for a classy look perhaps or a rustic upcycled piece to add a country touch. Glass or plexiglass are surface options, too and could even give you the chance to display a gorgeous floral arrangement behind the writing.
More isn’t always better
When designing your custom sign, don’t feel pressured to cram a lot into your space. Sometimes, a simple statement could be more striking than several lines of text. And of course, you want your signs to blend with the rest of your decor — like whimsical signs for a lighthearted event; rustic signs for an outdoor, country event; and striking black and white for formal elegance, perhaps.
Remember that you can use different fonts. However, pick fonts that work well together. Ensure all writing is legible, too. Plus, you might even choose to hire a professional hand letterer to take your sign to the next level. They have the ability to turn a project that is beautiful in your mind’s eye and turn it into a lovely item in the real world.
Get off to a good start
Whether you’re creating the signs yourself or getting some help from a sign professional, start early to avoid a pile-up of work as the event date approaches. And if you still haven’t chosen a location for your wedding event, take a look at our party venue ideas. Plus, remember to enjoy the whole process! Have fun on the day itself and as you prepare for everyone involved to have a great time.