Winter is slowly approaching. The temperatures are gradually dropping, and the conditions are becoming harsher. These changes can take a toll on everything in the environment, which includes your outdoor signage too.
Many types of signs are at an increased risk of damage caused by frost, wind, and snow. Now is the perfect time to start implementing protective measures.
Because we know how important signage is for any business, we are going to show you how you can protect your signs in cold and harsh weather.
The risks of cold and harsh weather
As you know, winter in the Northern hemisphere can be a bit rough. Depending on where you live, you have to contend with all kinds of conditions like snow, sleet, and wind.
For example, here in Michigan, winter storms are not uncommon, which can even include real blizzards. The 2019-2020 winter is expected to come with an “arctic cold.” On average, it is about 27 °F. But the temperatures can drop lower.
Sounds chilly, right? Let’s look at the specific conditions you need to be concerned about.
Weather conditions to watch out for:
- Fog: It is basically a cloud that is floating at ground level. Typically, the phenomenon is more common when the seasons turn, especially when autumn changes to winter. Significantly it can cause moisture build-up.
- Rain: Once again, the main problem with rain is moisture. It can seep in between the parts and panels of a sign. If the metal isn’t protected, it can rust. Unfortunately, it can also damage the quality of an image.
- Snow: There are two critical ways in which these frosty flakes can cause trouble. First, snow is pretty heavy, so it can weigh down your signs. Second, when it melts, it can leave your products wet and damp.
- Cold: Lower temperatures also pose a risk to signs. Extreme drops and increases in temperature are especially hazardous. Materials like plastics can crack if they heat up or cool too quickly.
- Ice and frost: Like snow, ice and frost can cause trouble in several ways. They can cause mechanical or physical damage to the boards and scratch the surface. Clearly, the cold that accompanies it is also an issue, not to mention the moisture.
Tips for protecting different kinds of signs
All of these conditions put your outdoor signs at risk. The more they are exposed to the elements, the bigger the potential problems.
Luckily, there are various steps you can take to keep them safe.
Due to variations in structure and material, the weather can affect different signs in different ways. That’s why we will cover some of the common sign types and how you can protect each one.
On the whole, banners are one of the most popular sign types. They are incredibly cheap, versatile, flexible, customizable, and easy to find. In general, they are one of those products that work as well inside as they do outside.
However, some harsh weather conditions might be too much to withstand. These signs are lightweight and cover a large surface area. Hence, banners take tremendous strain from any wind.
If not tied down securely, they can fly away. Or in some cases, the wind can rip them apart.
To prevent this, we recommend that you try some of these measures:
- Did you hang the banner over a street or corridor? In this case, only use heavyweight material and consider using steel cables to tie it down.
- Try to install the signs against a solid surface. In general, this will help to reduce the exposure to wind.
- If you did secure it against a flat surface, make sure it is sitting as tightly to it as possible. You can mount it with grommets and pull it tight to make sure there is as little space as possible for air to enter.
- Consider using bungee cords instead of rope to hang the banners. The material is slightly elastic, so it has a bit of stretch in high winds.
- Interweave the rope or cord through more than one grommet.
- Regularly check the lines and tighten them if necessary. Higher tensions mean less movement and less chance of ripping.
Electronic signs are brilliant inventions. These products have improved visibility and viewing distances during the night and day. But they are very vulnerable to harsh weather.
Moisture from rain, fog, and snow can affect the way they work. And temperature fluctuations can cause havoc to their hardware. On top of this, any conditions that apply force to the surface pose a risk.
Therefore, to protect your electronic signs, you should take the following steps:
- Check that your sign company used hardware that’s appropriate for outdoor use.
- Inspect and regularly maintain all of your digital signage. Pay extra attention to the seals and make sure there aren’t any spaces between their parts where moisture can seep in.
- LED’s for outdoor signs usually work optimally at a temperature between 59°F and 77 °F. The temperatures usually drop below that during winter. So ask your sign company if they have any heating or heat maintenance solutions.
- Overall, the most effective solution is to build or buy weather-resistant enclosures for your electronic signs. It should have a tight seal, good ventilation, heating systems, and consist of rust-resistant materials.
- Securely mount the sign so that it won’t be carried off by the wind. Aside from this, you don’t want any smaller parts to break off, either.
- Another critical step in thermal management is using suitable insulation. You can pack foam insulation into the sides and back of the enclosure to help to keep the heat in.
Metal panel signs
Another staple of the industry is metal panel signs. Businesses use them for a variety of purposes, from advertising to giving directions. Once again, they are relatively expensive and durable. Yet they aren’t immune to damage from harsh weather conditions.
Here are some strategies that you can try:
- Choose the right material. Aluminum and stainless steel are particularly weatherproof. Both of these are rust-resistant, so they should work well in areas where there is frequent rain and snow.
- If you use other metals like iron or bronze, you must coat it with a waterproof sealant that will prevent corrosion.
- You need to weld the panels together correctly. They should sit tightly so that they won’t be pulled apart. Plus, you should seal the connection so that it won’t rust.
- Typically, it works best to use a single metal panel.
Nowadays, businesses usually rely on metal, acrylic, and other fabricated materials for their signage. But there is nothing wrong with wood signs. You can still work wonders with these. However, they are often less resistant than some of the “newer” contenders.
You need to take several steps to keep them safe.
First, you should seal the wood with a laminate or water repellent. Usually, it’s safer to go with more than one coat.
Second, you can attach plastic or metal caps to the edges of the signs. The trim will keep water from seeping in and prevent the wood from warping and swelling. Aside from this, it can be useful for protecting the sign in storms with debris flying around.
Third, you have to remove rot, mold, or mildew as soon as it appears. Inspect your sign every few weeks or after a few days when there has been heavy snowfall or rain.
More tips and tricks
Now we can look at some additional tricks that you can use with different kinds of signs and materials.
Commission high-quality signage
The better the quality of your sign, the better it will be able to withstand wear and tear and the ravages of harsh weather. Therefore, if you don’t want to replace signage frequently, make sure you hire a good sign company.
Moreover, you need to choose materials and designs that are appropriate for the outdoors. There is a reason why fabricators recommend specific products for outdoors use. You can’t always the same signs in the interior and exterior of your business.
Replace old products
Everything has an expected lifetime. You can take protective measures to prolong their usefulness. But eventually, you’ll have to get new. If you don’t want the boards to look worn out and shabby be sure to replace your sign once it is nearing its end.
Overall, you can reduce the risk of damage if you use several measures at once. While this may take more time and effort up front, it is a sensible decision in the long-run. There are a variety of weather conditions that can cause problems, and different strategies are needed for each.
Focus on the mounting
No matter what type of sign you are dealing with, you should make sure to mount it securely. The weight of frost, ice, and snow can distort structures, loosening or breaking parts off. Overall, wind can affect signage in much the same way.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to the way you install your signage.
Poles are one of the most durable ways to mount signs. Attach your board to more than one leg for extra security.
Preferably, you should choose metal for the material. Carbon steel is a fantastic choice as it can withstand floods, as well as hurricane-and-tornado force winds.
Besides this, it’s a good idea to fix the base of the structure in cement or concrete.
Prevent water build-up
This strategy is particularly essential whenever snow or ice is beginning to melt. The water can damage many materials, and the added weight can also become too much. In some cases, it can even wear away at the support structures for the sign.
Regularly clear away any water from depressions on the product. And consider installing a cover like an awning over it if the problem becomes excessive.
Preventing water build-up is vital in the case of freestanding signs or products that you install on the ground like monument signs. To do this, you should place them on well-draining soil. Or even dig a trench around them to direct the water.
On the move
Admittedly sometimes, the best solution is to take the sign away. Usually, this is the only guaranteed way to protect your posters from harsh weather. You can store the boards at night when the temperature drops or when a storm starts picking up.
If this sounds like the right plan for you, consider investing mainly in freestanding and mobile signs like A-frame sidewalk signs. Alternatively, you can install some wheels to the frame of the sign so you can roll it inside.
Aside from protecting the products, you can benefit from being able to relocate it as you see fit.
Above all, don’t wait until it’s too late. Without a doubt, it’s better if you could implement preventative measures before the harsh weather strikes. Once the damage is done, you might only be able to slow its progress.
Use the environment
Last but not least, you want to use the features of the environment to your advantage. By doing this, you will be working smarter, not harder. You can exploit existing cover without needing to construct any additional structures.
For example, keep your eye out for:
- Surrounding buildings
Try to put your signs in spots that are less exposed but still visible.
Stay ahead of the game
The cold and harsh winter weather can cause significant damage to unprotected outdoor signs. This isn’t the only challenge. It can also make it trickier to install new signs.
However, business rarely stands still. Therefore, you should consider reaching out to expert hands to help you keep your signage in tip-top shape year-round.
But it’s not all bad news. The festive season is also on its way. This means that there are fun and merry times ahead. Plus, new opportunities for you to promote and grow your company. So check out: how to make your signage seasonal without spending a lot of money.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was a significant landmark in the fight for equal access for people with disabilities. It helps to improve the lives of millions of Americans every single day and has inspired other countries and international activists to follow suit. Business owners are responsible for making sure that their company and its assets are compliant with the relevant standards and regulations. Here is our guide to help you understand the accessible signage guidelines and implement them in your designs.
The lowdown on accessible signage guidelines
The history of the struggle for equality for individuals with disabilities is a fascinating one.
On 12 March 1990, disability rights activists descended on Washington. They demanded the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which would give equal rights to people with disabilities.
The critical event of the day was called the Capitol Crawl, when 60 activists abandoned their wheelchairs and mobility devices. They then began crawling the 83 stone steps up to the U.S. Capitol Building.
Now, the protest is celebrated as a critical contribution that helped to push President George H.W. Bush to sign the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The ADA standards outline regulations about the construction of buildings and the designs for signs too.
These include measures like constructing accessible parking, entrances, paths of travel and restrooms, and signs that allow people with disabilities to access spaces independently and safely.
Why should I make my signs accessible?
We can only truly see the world through our own eyes. Unfortunately, this means that people without disabilities may overlook accessibility as they don’t need it themselves. They may also be unaware of the challenges facing individuals with disabilities.
It’s important to understand that there are severe consequences if you don’t make sure that you are compliant with accessible signage guidelines.
First, compliance is a legal requirement. The ADA is a federal law. However, you should be aware that your state or municipality might have additional regulations regarding accessibility. If you do not comply, you could be saddled with a hefty fine and be required to become compliant.
Second, by making your signs compliant, you are making them accessible to a much wider audience. You might be losing existing and potential new customers all the time and not even know it because they have difficulty using your services.
Lastly, if your signs are not accessible, you could be alienating some of your staff. This can have detrimental effects on their mental health and also on their job performance and productivity.
As a result, staying ADA compliant will both help your community and be beneficial for your business.
Which signs must be accessible?
ADA signs are necessary for all the areas of your business that the employees or your staff have access to.
In general, signs that need to be compliant should include but aren’t limited to the following:
- All directional signs such as ones pointing to your reception.
- Signage that you use to identify permanently dedicated rooms that will not change function, such as a restroom, lunchroom, storage room, conference room, restroom, or closet.
- All informational signs like “Employees Only.”
- Signs highlighting the location of building floors, stairwells, and all exit levels.
- Restroom signs.
- The different types of overhead signs like “Stairs.”
Design tips for accessible signs
Reading the entire American Disabilities Act can be quite challenging. So to help you out, here are some tips on complying with the main accessible signage guidelines.
You’ll notice that many of these standards are centered around assisting people with visual impairments to understand your signs.
These regulations apply for interior and exterior signage.
One of the critical requirements for ADA signs is to choose a suitable color palette. Using some color combinations can make it far more difficult to distinguish and understand the content of the board.
One reason that this happens is that the colors are too similar. Another is that shades that clash too much can blur. Besides this, some visual impairments like color blindness impact how people distinguish between colors.
Examples of “bad” combinations are red/green, purple/blue, orange/yellow, or two hues of any one color.
Therefore, you need to use contrasting colors on ADA signs. Typically, these types of palettes are best for any kind of sign.
You can use a color wheel to help you decide on the perfect combination by choosing complementary shades. These are pairs that sit opposite each other on the circle.
Of course, a quick and easy way to create contrast is to use light and dark colors. This will help distinguish between the different elements of the design. For example, the background can be a dark blue while the text and symbol are white.
Say no to glare
Another feature that is notorious for making signs challenging to understand is glare. This refers to the difficulty of seeing in the presence of bright light. In the case of signage, it usually happens when sunlight or artificial lighting is reflected off its surface.
To make your signs accessible, you need to ask your sign company to coat the surface with a non-glare finish. Remember that it has to cover both the background and the characters or other content.
The board might look less glossy and shiny. But at least it will be visible.
Also, be mindful of the position of the sun or artificial lights relative to the sign.
Working with text
For compliancy, your ADA signs must include braille as well as tactile (raised) letters.
The braille needs to be Grade 2, also known as shorthand braille. This system incorporates 189 contractions and short-form words. Because the braille is so condensed, it is ideal for the limited amount of space on signs.
The shapes of the dots need to rounded or domed. And they should be lower case except if the words are proper nouns, initials, acronyms, the first word of a sentence, or if the letters are part of a room number.
Besides this, you need to place the braille below the text with a 3/8 inch clearance on each side.
On the other hand, tactile lettering must be 1/32 inch raised capital letters.
Only the best fonts
Next, you have to choose the right typeface for your accessible signs. There is an ever-growing variety of beautiful and exciting fonts to choose from. However, there are a few specific guidelines that you need to follow to be compliant.
Thankfully, the regulations are relatively straightforward to apply:
- The font needs to be sans serif.
- All of the characters have to be uppercase.
- Don’t use styles that are oblique, italic, or too condensed. Neither should you use ones that are ornamental, script, or unusual.
- You should choose a typeface with characters where the width of the uppercase letter “O” is 55 percent minimum and 110 percent maximum of the height of the uppercase letter “I.”
- The text height has to be between ⅝ inch and 2 inches.
Overall, applying these standards will make the content of your designs more comfortable to read.
So, a few popular fonts that are ideal are:
- Franklin Gothic
- Arial Bold
- Avenir Medium
- Lucida Demibold
Use specific spacing
You’re not done with the text yet. Aside from the above, you should check that you use approved spacing protocols.
You should measure the distance between the two closest points of adjacent tactile characters. In short, the spacing between them should be a minimum of ⅛ inches. The guideline excludes word spaces.
On top of this, characters should be at least ⅜ inch away from borders or other decorative elements.
Symbols all the way
Symbols are fantastic tools in communication. You can use them to make any sign easier to understand.
Your ADA signs must contain the applicable ISA symbols and other relevant graphics. Which you need might depend on local requirements and those for your specific type of company.
However, everyone needs to use the following pictograms:
- Ear to symbolize the availability of an assistive listening device
- Phone symbol with sound waves for volume control phone
- A keyboard, representing a text telephone
Other recommended symbols are ones for:
- Different types of restrooms
- Stair accessibility
- Safety signs like ones for a fire extinguisher
You need to design the signs so that the pictograms sits alone on a 6-inch high background area. Provide text descriptions for signs with a symbol to label rooms or spaces. But signage with pictograms that provide additional information about a room don’t require text.
Place tactile text directly underneath the graphic and braille underneath that.
We all want to make our signs exciting and pleasing to the eye. But that shouldn’t always be your top priority. In terms of ADA signs, it is all about accessibility and sticking to regulations.
That’s why you want to be incredibly picky about the context of your signage. In this case, you should only include the content that is necessary. Usually, this will only include the tactile text, braille text, and the relevant symbols.
Perhaps, you could also incorporate a border around the edges to improve the overall visibility. But in most cases, that’s all.
So, in the end, your design is going to be clear and clutter-free.
You can save all the extras for your other signage. If you want to incorporate more personality, use a combination of compliant signs and others, which allow you to get creative while still providing equal access.
Get the installation right
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the design only refers to the content and appearance of the sign. The process applies to all the aspects of creating your signage. One of these is how they are mounted.
According to the ADA, there are specific requirements you need to use when installing accessible signage.
Usually, you need to place signs that identify rooms next to the relevant door. It should be mounted between 48 inches, measured from the bottom of the lowest raised character, and 60 inches, measured from the bottom of the highest, from the ground.
You can use these same height guidelines for most types of ADA signs unless the relevant regulations state otherwise.
The deal with parking signs
Generally, the standards apply in more or less the same way to all types of signs. However, it is a different case altogether for accessible parking signs. These are signs that you usually mount outdoors to indicate ADA parking spaces.
Each one has to include the International Symbol of Accessibility, which is the wheelchair symbol. And you need to mount it a minimum of 60 inches from the floor so that your visitors can see it.
If you have spots that are dedicated for vans, you should incorporate the text “Van Accessible” into the design.
Asking the pros
There is much to be learned about making signs the right way. Besides ADA compliance, you need to worry about other factors, like the effectiveness of the sign as well. No wonder designing signage can be a daunting task.
Luckily there are experts out there who know all the ins and outs of the industry. Consult with them about the designs for all the signs you want to print. They can help make sure they are up to standard.
Many professional companies have ready-made options for you, as well. If you are in a hurry and just need to get a few basics signs, you could choose one from their collection.
Following these tips is the first step to making sure you are compliant with accessible signage guidelines. But as we’ve said, one of the most crucial is contacting your local sign making company and asking their advice. They can help you make your designs a reality.
This isn’t the only essential information that you need to know when creating signage for your business. If you want to know more, take a look at the restaurant owner’s guide to meeting safety requirements for signs and designing signs for colorblind viewers.
Business owners have plenty of things to think about, and compliance with applicable regulations is one of them. Do they have the right permits? Are they reporting revenue correctly? And when it comes to compliance, companies and organizations also need to think about their signage—what is and isn’t allowed?
Today, we want to share some info to help you get informed and (we hope) enable you to be more compliant in the long run. Plus, we’ll talk about how to figure out what regulations apply to you in your locality.
1 – Building sign regulations
Here’s something that you want to know about. The exterior of your business is not always yours to do with as you wish. And it’s a great idea to get this down before you invest in building signage that’s unexpectedly prohibited. How do we know? Because the issue came up in Detroit in 2017.
Take it from the Detroit Free Press on the topic of signage spread across certain buildings: “…nearly all of these commercial wall signs from the likes of Apple, Shinola, Meijer, Fifth Third Bank and the Detroit Pistons will have to come down by Dec. 31 as the city cracks down on building owners who have been violating what was once a seldom-enforced ordinance against such advertising.”
Obviously, it’s better to know what is and isn’t allowed before you install signage than to discover it after you’ve already invested time and money into the arrangement.
2 – Rules that apply to awnings and sidewalks (or walkways)
It’s also important to know that the space outside your business, whether in the air or on the ground, is also not yours to dispose of at your pleasure. Just ask NYC businesses about the awnings issues that arose last year. Check it out from the Bklyner —Merchants Take Down Signs As Panic Over Fines Sweeps City. As they report, the sign-related ticket for one business weighed in at a hefty $6,000.
Sidewalk signs like A-frames aren’t necessarily allowed either. A-frames became a subject of interest in Chicago in 2018 according to Block Club Chicago. Alisa Hauser reported that one business owner was hit with a $450 fine for his A-frame. At the time, A-frames weren’t allowed outside businesses, although she reported the city’s aldermen were considering a change to that rule.
3 – Window sign rules— it’s a sign. Or is it?
A friendly piece of advice. What you call art, others may call a “sign” instead. And while a difference in terminology can sometimes be harmless, other times it can be vital. If you’re differing with the government on the definition of a sign, then that’s something you’ll need to give due attention to.
Case in point—a soon-to-be sushi restaurant in Massachusetts. This building’s window signs became a contested subject related to zoning regulations. Did the Chinese characters on the windows count as signs or as art? They were ruled to count as signs.
Plus, when it comes to window signs particularly, you should know that there may be restrictions on the percentage of the window your sign is allowed to take up. For instance, take the City of Phoenix as an example: “Window signs generally are prohibited if they exceed 30 percent of any window area or placed on glass doors.”
How can I discover the rules and regulations that apply to me?
Different localities could have different rules and regulations, so you’ll want to find out what applies to you in your particular location. Here are some ways to get started.
First, check with your sign company. As a specialist in the industry, they may be able to fill you in on the rules that will apply to you and to the type of sign you’re installing. They may also be able to point you toward the proper permitting agency to secure any necessary permissions.
Second, check with your local government. This is something you can do when you’re getting started. But it should also help later on when you simply want to keep abreast of any recent developments. If you’re not sure of the exact department to contact, call or drop by your locality’s administration office and tell them what you’re looking to find out. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
Third, you may be able to find the answer to some of your questions online. In fact, you may even be able to discover the sign code for your area. Or you might find specific directions for the department to contact.
To make this easy, let’s just take Detroit as an example. Need to find out about sign regulations in the Motor City? You need the City of Detroit’s own website. That way, you can get the info straight from the government itself.
Or, if you have a technical mind and you just love to read long legal documents, check out the draft form of the proposed new sign ordinance. At 100+ plus pages, it’ll be a hefty read. On the other hand, you can also use the government’s website to learn more about sign permits.
Of course, not everyone lives in Detroit. But the basic principles we gave in this example should hold true. If the information is not available on the internet (and it may be, so you should check), give your local administration a call so they can point you in the right direction.
Keeping up with changes
Naturally, sign codes don’t stay the same forever. Though from a compliance perspective, it might be nice if they did. Just how can you keep up with the changes? Well, again, use the internet and your local government to help you out.
Scour, search, ask
For the nerdy folks among us, you may be able to keep up on your own if you know where to look. Scanning publicly-available meeting minutes for your locality’s governing body could give you a heads up when changes have been made. Also, calling the appropriate authorities is still a good idea if you can’t find the info you’re looking for online. And you may even want to call the authorities either way—just to be sure you’re not missing something. Check with your sign company, too, because they may know about changes before you do.
It’s the responsibility of business owners to check that their infrastructure is as accessible as possible. This includes your signage, as well. Unfortunately, people often overlook colorblindness when designing their signs.
By adapting your signage, you can make the products friendlier and eligible for a broader audience. In this article, we are going to answer all your questions and give you our tips for designing signs for colorblind viewers.
What is CVD?
Color Vision Deficiency (CVD) is the scientific term for colorblindness. Although we use the latter term more commonly, the former is a better description of the condition and how it works.
Trichromacy means that all three types of cones in your eyes are working correctly. People who see in this way are considered to have normal vision. In anomalous trichromacy, all the types can perceive light, but one is faulty, so it won’t perceive it as usual.
In short, CVD is the inability to distinguish between some colors and shades. Therefore, having the condition doesn’t mean that you can’t see any at all. Total color blindness is very rare. Instead, most people can identify some colors but not others.
In the case where only two cones can perceive light, it is called dichromacy. Overall, there are about 10,000 possible combinations.
Common types of CVD:
- Red-green color blindness: It’s the most prevalent condition. Reduced sensitivity to red lights is known as protanopia or protanomaly. And reduced sensitivity to green light is known as deuteranopia or deuteranomaly. In this case, it is difficult to distinguish between reds, greens, and oranges and cause blues and yellows to stand out.
- Blue-yellow color blindness: The condition is called tritanopia or tritanomaly and is incredibly rare. It alters the ability to distinguish some blues from greens and some yellows from violet.
- Total color blindness: Overall, this is the rarest type occurring in 1 out of 33,000 people. Experts refer to it as monochromacy or achromatopsia. People with this condition will see no color, only black and white.
Of course, there are many variations that fall under these types.
Typically, CVD is a hereditary (genetic) condition. So, people are born with it, and it’s passed down from their parents. However, acquired color vision defects can sometimes be caused by chronic illnesses, accidents, chemicals, or medications.
How can you test for colorblindness?
Unfortunately, color blindness can sometimes go undiagnosed for years and even decades. The first time people often pick up something is wrong is when children start school.
If someone is worried about their vision, they should go to see their local eye doctor. They can diagnose you by administering a basic test like the Ishihara Color Test. Or they can use more sophisticated and professional protocols and tests.
Benefits of designing accessible signage
Besides doing a good deed, what can you and your business gain from designing signs with colorblind viewers in mind?
- First, you can reach a much wider audience. More or less 8% of all men and 0.5% of all women have a form of CVD. The incidence rate is higher among Caucasians and Asians. It’s something to keep in mind when you are researching your target market.
- Secondly, your signs will be more legible for people with CVD. Otherwise, they might miss out on some of the details and information.
Don’t forget that this isn’t only about accommodating your existing and potential customers. By making your signage more friendly for people with CVD you might be helping some of your employees too. Following these tips will certainly make their lives easier.
Colorblind workers will find it much easier to do their work, and feeling included will be great for their mental health as well.
Tips for designing signs for CVD viewers
Now that you have all the basic information, you can start thinking about designing your signs for colorblind viewers. There are a variety of steps you can take or tricks you can try to make your signage more accommodating.
We are specifically looking at tips you can use for designing signs. However, you can use it for all your media like newsletters, flyers, business cards, and websites.
1 – Avoid certain color combinations
One of the easiest solutions you can try is to avoid some of the palettes that are often problematic. Doing this will be much more manageable if you are creating the designs from scratch.
In general, it’s safer to avoid the following combinations:
- Green and red
- Brown and green
- Blue and purple
- Green and blue
- Light green and yellow
- Blue and grey
- Green and grey
- Black and green
All of these combos can be a potential nightmare for colorblind viewers to view and make out.
2 – Try to focus on monochrome
Next, it can be handy to stick with monochrome palettes. These are combinations where you use various shades of one color instead of choosing multiple colors.
Overall, this is one of the safest bets you can make. Even people who are completely color blind should be able to make out most of the content of the sign depending on the precise shades and layout.
3 – Choose friendlier palettes
Just like there are combinations to avoid if you’re designing for people with CVD, there are ones that you can lean towards. Using these palettes can seriously help people who are color blind to understand and interpret your signage and other media.
A few combinations that are colorblind-friendly are the following:
- Red and blue
- Brown and blue
- Orange and blue
These can work well if you use them right next to each other.
But more likely than not, you will use more colors than this. If you are looking for a bigger palette, you might want to check out some that are made for this purpose. Here are 15 colorblind-friendly palettes that you might want to give a whirl.
4 – Stick with high contrast
Although they can’t always distinguish all the colors, people with CVD can still perceive contrast as well as differences in brightness, saturation, and hue. So you can use these features strategically to accommodate your audience.
Try to pick color combinations that are high in contrast. One way to do this is to use dark and light colors together. Or you can go with complementary shades.
Pro tip: Many people who have CVD report that they can distinguish better between bright colors than dim ones. The latter tends to blur into one another. Therefore, you should use them with care.
5 – Go with thicker lines
Unfortunately, there are features of a design that can make life even more challenging for people who are color blind.
Individuals with mild CVD can typically see some colors. However, only if there’s enough of it. Otherwise, the picture might become blurry and indistinct.
That’s why you want to make sure swatches of different shades are bold enough. First, you need to make sure that lines of color are thick. The principle applies to text too. Besides this, you should also make graphics wide and broad.
6 – Say it with symbols
Another way to improve the accessibility of your signs is to use more than one method to get your meaning across. Brilliant advice to follow is to use symbols as well as text and color to draw your audience’s attention.
They are great elements for catching people’s eye and help make your message clearer.
Try combining symbols with a few of our other tips to make them as legible as possible. For example, use bold images, choose friendly palettes, and play with contrast.
7 – Use patterns and textures
Clearly, one of the main goals is to help your viewers distinguish between different elements on a sign. So you should look for ways to make the separate parts more distinct.
Therefore, we recommend that you experiment with patterns and textures. Consider selecting different ones for different features. Doing this will increase the contrast.
But remember that patterns and textures can add noise to any design, so use them sparingly.
8 – Adapting challenging combinations
It’s preferable that you avoid the bad combos we discussed above. However, that’s not always possible. Imagine if blue and purple are essential parts of your branding or that red and green are the natural shades of the graphic or item that you want to portray.
Don’t worry. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a train smash. You can use multiple techniques, like including texture to keep the elements of the sign distinct.
Another possible solution is not to place them right next to each other or near each other.
9 – Be wary of conveying meaning
Colors are one of the crucial tools in any designer’s toolbox. Yes, you can use them to make your sign attractive, interesting, and eye-catching. But that’s not all.
You can also use colors to encourage emotional responses and reactions from your audience. On top of this, they’re an excellent way to convey information like a warning. Colorblind viewers might have trouble interpreting this.
Therefore, you might need to use additional signals to get your words across like text or symbols.
10 – Accommodate your employees
Once again, remember that this isn’t only about your clients. It’s about your employees as well. If you have any staff with CVD, your signs should accommodate them. And keep in mind that even if you don’t have anybody currently in your employ, you might hire someone with the condition in the future.
To accommodate them, you need to find out whether they are facing any problems and what these are. Here are a few questions to consider:
- Does your employee need to use signage at work?
- What is the content of these signs?
- What, if any, limitations are your staff experiencing?
- How do these obstacles impact your employees?
- Do the limitations affect their job performance?
- Which specific tasks are challenging as a result?
- Are there steps you can take to accommodate them? And have you used all of the resources you can to implement them?
We highly recommend sitting down with your employees to ask them about their challenges and potential solutions. Besides this, you should consult them about the effect of any accommodations you’ve made.
There are a few businesses where this is more relevant than others. Just consider jobs where using or reading signs are a critical part of the job, for example, teaching, construction, and so on.
In some cases, this can be a matter of safety as well as job performance. This is especially true for businesses where employees need to use hazardous substances or chemicals. People often use signs in these contexts to give safety instructions and identify products.
11 – Using software
In addition to the other tips, try using software to your advantage.
Even with the best intentions and plenty of effort, you can still struggle to get the design right. Some programs allow you to see your sign as someone who is colorblind would.
For example, Adobe Photoshop has a built-in function that allows you to see it in this way.
To do this, you should go to View → Proof Setup → Color Blindness → Protanopia-type/Color Blindness — Deuteranopia-type. Once you have done this, you can turn it on and off by using Ctrl+Y on a PC and ⌘+Y key shortcut on a Mac.
Where can I get more information?
Your business can only benefit from designing more accessible signs. By making your signage more friendly for colorblind viewers, you can reach a wider audience. It can also be a point that makes your company stand out against competitors for new and existing customers.
It’s important to hire a professional sign making company to create the best signage possible. A good working relationship will help you improve your results. They can give you advice on designing signs that comply with the applicable regulations and safety requirements.
Indoor directional signs are a staple of most businesses. Whether you run an office park, a hospital, or a small hobby store, they can be incredibly useful to help customers find their way.
As with any sign, there is lots to learn if you want to use them effectively. We want you to love signs as much as we do, so here is our list of facts you didn’t know about indoor directional signage. It will cover the useful, interesting and everything in between.
What are indoor directional signs?
Before we dig into all the crazy facts, let’s get the basics out of the way.
Indoor directional signs are also called wayfinding signs. Companies use them to inform people and help them to navigate their way through their surroundings. Remember that this will help your staff too.
The larger the business and building, the more important these signs are as it will be more challenging to find anything.
So when are directions necessary?
There are some key spots that you should always point out like:
- Emergency exits
- Safety, first aid, or fire equipment
- Stair, escalators, and elevators
- Entrances and exits
- Reception or check-in desk
- Different departments in the business
- Main offices
- Dining area
- Client services
- Help desk
- Conference rooms
- Points of interest
Of course, different types of organizations will have different requirements. For example, a gym needs to give directions to the pool and sauna. So just ask yourself what areas are essential in your location and company.
In general, indoor directional signs are some of the most important indoor signs for any business.
1- Design of directional signs
Did you know that the design for wayfinding signs are different from that of any other?
Keep in mind that its purpose from that of other types. These aren’t the ‘celebrities’ of the signage world – the flashy and extravagant advertisements, and promotions.
By extension, well-designed directional signs can help promote and improve the reputation of your business. But that’s not the primary aim. You want to aid in navigation and the design should reflect this.
In this case, less is more. This is often a good principle with signs. However, it’s even more crucial with directional signage.
The directions on these signs should always be clear. You don’t want to obscure it with unnecessary details or even graphics.
Besides this, you want the boards to be noticeable. Yet they shouldn’t be distracting. Instead, they should fit in with the rest of the environment and complement the overarching theme or decor.
2 – Choose user-friendly language
The emphasis on simplicity should extend to the actual content of the signs. You want the text and the graphics to be easily understood.
There should be no ambiguity, misunderstandings, or guesswork involved. Confusion will defeat the purpose.
To do this, you should:
- Avoid any descriptive or flowery language
- Don’t give instructions – you can have additional signs for this in the relevant spots.
- Stick to one or two words. Only provide the name of the location like “main lobby.”
- Use symbols in conjunction with the text.
- Choose words that are easy to understand.
3 – Consistency is king
One of the critical principles of directional signs is consistency. Once again, this differs from many other types of signage.
The consistency involves the method you use to convey directions, the designs of the signs, the text formatting used. It’s a good idea also to keep the placement of the board more or less the same.
You should stick to this throughout your business, both inside and outside. The customers shouldn’t have to waste time figuring out what each sign is trying to say.
4 – Progressive disclosure
People often approach indoor directional signage in the wrong way. They often think of them in terms of a distinct and individual object. But directional boards are more than just signs. Wayfinding is a system.
Always think of directions as being a representation of the structure and organization of your business. In other words, they are part of a bigger whole.
Because of this, you should practice progressive disclosure. Simply put, this means that you should reveal information bit by bit. You don’t need to give all the information on one sign. This will leave your visitors confused by too many choices.
Instead, think of how you can guide them step-by-step. For example, put up a sign at the entrance to guide them to the reception. There you can place signs that give them directions to other parts of the building.
5 – All about the experience
Nowadays, customer experience has become a central part of business models and practices. And indoor directional signs can play an essential role in this.
You want to use this type of signage to help improve the experience of visiting your offices, store, or center.
Try to imagine yourself in your audience’s shoes. Working out customer journeys can be a powerful tool. You can adapt it to all the aspects of your organization, including how they navigate through the physical space.
The aim of doing this should be to make any visit as seamless and hassle-free as possible. Creating a positive experience will encourage customers to come back and entice new ones to take a look.
6 – Start before they arrive
No doubt, we are living in the digital age. The way most of us live our lives has certainly changed.
It can be quite a challenge to keep up with customer’s expectations but exciting too.
One innovation that will help you keep up is using integrated wayfinding systems. In short, this involves giving your customers info about the space long before they arrive. You are, in a sense, helping them prepare for their visit.
Here are key ways you can do this:
- If they are coming for an appointment, SMS or email them information on where to go when they arrive.
- Create a wayfinding app for your business. It will work particularly well for larger organizations like colleges.
- Publish a directory on your website or social media.
A pro tip is to use similar language throughout this system.
7 – In the line of sight
Part of the design process means considering where and how you are going to place the signs.
Will they hang from the ceiling? Do you want to mount them on the wall?
The best spots for directional signs are usually at eye level or above it. Doing this will ensure maximum visibility. Make sure that it is in people’s natural line of sight. And that the text and graphics will be legible from their position.
Experts always test out the effectiveness of the design and placement before installing the real thing. Place some mock-ups around your building and see for yourself how well it works. Better yet, ask someone utterly new to the location to check it out for you.
8 – Universal semiotics
We all interpret and even use symbols every day. In a way, we all practice semiotics. We just don’t know it. Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols and how they affect behavior.
Symbols are a central part of how we communicate with other people through time and space. Facebook’s ‘like’ sign is a typical example of this. It is becoming harder and harder to find someone who doesn’t understand its meaning.
These graphics can make communication speedier and less ambiguous. That’s why you need to use some basic symbols on directional signs. Examples are ones for:
- First aid
- Wheelchair accessibility
In a globalized world, it is more important than ever to be accessible to as many people as possible. You want foreign-language speakers to at least understand the most rudimentary signs like those for a restroom.
9 – Signs of quality and professionalism
Never underestimate the impact of excellent signage. People take this pretty seriously. More or less, 68% of customers feel that signs reflect the quality of your business as well. So it plays a critical role in influencing their perceptions.
Indoor directional signs are crucial for this. They are a great way to show visitors that you really are professionals and that you have everything in order.
10 – ADA wayfinding signage
There is a mountain of knowledge facing new business owners. With so much information, it’s understandable that you miss out on some things. One mistake that many people make is not making sure their signs are ADA compliant.
According to the American Disabilities Act, all wayfinding signage must be designed in such a way as to be readable by those who have a vision impairment or possibly no vision whatsoever.
The exact requirements depend on your state, municipality, size, etc. Therefore, you should hire a sign making company that can advise you on the rules and regulations.
11 – Maps and directories
The majority of indoor directional signs are basically a nameplate with an arrow or something similar that indicates the direction. You might also give a brief info about the floor or room number. But this isn’t necessarily all you need.
In general, a map or directory of the whole building or organization is convenient. From personal experience, you probably know how much this can help you to orientate yourself.
These signs should be bigger and will obviously contain more information. However, you should still try to keep it simple. You shouldn’t need a special degree to follow them.
Luckily you won’t need as many as with the other types.
You should probably only need to mount a few in some strategic locations. Usually, you want to place one at the entrance, lobby, or reception. Excellent service means putting one in each stairwell and elevator.
Preferably, you should place at least one on each floor of a building.
12 – Give your location character
So far, directional signs can sound a bit boring. However, they don’t have to be. Not by a long stretch.
A well-designed directional sign adds to the appearance and atmosphere of your business.
Do you want customers to have a fun experience? Or do you instead want the air to be formal and elegant?
All the small details like directional signage can add to this experience. For example, a lot of companies play around with the signs right outside their restrooms. They use colors, graphics, and visual effects.
You have to find a balance between creative and interesting but still clearly legible.
13 – Visual pathways
One way to really make your directional signage stand out is by creating visual paths. By this, we mean that you can use graphics to lay out the route for your customers and staff. Wall and floor graphics can be an entertaining way to do this.
You can paint arrows on the wall or the floor. Some businesses use footprints to mark out the route. Or if your organization is pet-related like a veterinary clinic, you can use tiny paws instead.
Preferably, you should combine this with more conventional mounted wayfinding signs. And use these graphics to add a new dimension.
14 – Going digital
Did you know that digital wayfinding is on the rise?
All across the board, electronic signage is becoming more popular, and it is no different here. They can be incredibly beneficial and help you to modernize your systems.
These are just a few of the benefits of digital signs:
- You can use them to create interactive maps for your customers to use.
- They will fit perfectly into an integrated wayfinding system that includes mobile applications etc.
- The software makes it quick, cheap, and effortless to update the information without replacing the sign.
- If you want to, you can use the boards for advertising as well as give directions.
One problem, however, is that they can be expensive. This is one reason that you should use it in combination with other wayfinding signs.
The world of sign making and design can be a fascinating place. There are always innovations and facts to learn about like these about indoor directional signs.
Signage is all about the experience you want to create. The importance of this will only grow as the markets become more competitive. One way to make yourself stand out is to think outside the box and make signs that are both fun and creative.
The world would be much duller without colors. Excuse the pun. It is a vital part of the human visual field. Therefore it affects how we view and understand everything around us.
But did you know that every business owner must have an understanding of colors?
You can use them through your business as in your advertising to optimize the way you work. If you don’t use them purposefully, you could be missing out on critical ways you can impact your customers.
Read on for our ultimate guide for business owners on colors and their effects. You will find out more about the different ways you can use colors, especially in your company’s signage.
How to use colors in your business
There is almost no limit to the applications of colors in and around the workplace. Remember that it’s not only about making things more interesting. If you use it with care and attention, you can seriously make your business more effective in several dimensions.
A few of the critical places you can use color in your company are:
- Interior design and decor
In each of these places, the color palette can play multiple roles. Down below are the most important ways that you can use different shades.
A pop of color certainly catches the eye. You can’t help but notice it. That’s why it can be such a great way to draw attention to things you want to like your storefront.
Of course, bright shades work brilliantly for this. There is a reason why neon was and continues to be so popular on signs. Saturated colors can have a similar effect.
However, it’s not the only option. Unusual hues can also work. Or any color that stands out from its surroundings.
This next use is crucial in places where you are using more than one color. Or where there is lots of content, like on signs. In these cases, it can be easy for some of the information to get lost in a heap.
Because of this, it’s usually necessary to emphasize the most important parts. It might be your store’s name, a product or service on sale, a slogan, information about a promotion, or so on. You will need to figure out what the central part is of each sign or space.
Ways to use color to highlight are :
- The eye is more sensitive to specific colors. Examples of those that draw more attention are red, yellow, orange, and green.
- Use saturated shades for items that you want to stand out. On the other hand, use desaturated hues for the background. Doing this will help the different sections to stand out even more.
- Pick contrasting colors. For example, make the background of the sign black and the text white.
Visibility and readability
The way you choose and use colors can make content less or more visible. It counts for both text and images.
One way it can make items less clear is when you use colors that are too similar, for example, making a whole sign from different shades of green. You need to use different hues to break up the picture.
Besides this, you want to remember that some colors are more difficult to read, such as yellow. The principle is true for certain combinations as well like red and blue. On the other hand, some specifically darker colors, including black, are much easier to make out.
A pro tip is to follow the general rule of thumb to use light colors on dark backgrounds and vice versa.
Therefore you have to try to make sure that your use of colors enhances readability and visibility.
Every business owner needs to work carefully on their brand identity. Preferably you want to establish one before you even start your company. But it is something that also evolves and develops over time.
Brand recognition is something that you build over time. You want to use consistent imagery, themes, styles, logos, and slogans.
An absolutely critical element of your visual identity is the colors that you associate with your business. Overall, it will help make your business more recognizable and memorable for your customers. For example, red and Coke are often almost synonymous.
You need to decide on a color palette or scheme. It is best to stick with one to three primary colors. Pick carefully, because you will use this on almost everything to do with your business from advertisements to signs to the decor.
Like all other visual cues, colors can also convey information. Similar to symbols, they can be a quick and effective way to communicate with people.
This point is related to the one on your brand identity. But it is about more than that. One of the essential applications of color in this way is on safety and regulatory signage. Over time we learn to associate the specific shades with specific messages just like we do with traffic signs.
In terms of safety signs, the different colors are associated with the following meanings or purposes:
- Red- Prohibition/danger and alarm or fire fighting equipment
- Yellow- Warning
- Blue- Mandatory actions
- Green- Emergency escape, first aid or to signal that there is no danger
As a business owner, you need to be aware of this when you are creating safety or regulatory signs. But it can also inform your decision on other uses of color.
All in all, one of the top uses of colors is to inspire emotions in people. You can influence people to feel happy, sad, calm, or excited.
Remember that this doesn’t just count for your customers but for your staff too.
Therefore, it’s essential to use colors in this way on your advertising and in the workspace, office, and storefront as well.
The psychology of colors
If you want to successfully and effectively use color for your business, you need to know a little about color psychology. In short, this is the study of colors in relation to human behavior. So it looks at how colors can influence how we feel, how we think, and how we act.
For example, shades of red, orange, and yellow can make people feel hungry and make you think of food. Therefore, it can make you more likely to buy something to eat.
As we will discuss later on, specific colors can have particular effects on us.
But one vital principle that you have to understand is that they can convey more than one feeling or connotation. Think about green. In one sign, green can help you associate a brand with nature and the environment. But in another, you can use neon green to represent toxic slime.
This tells us that different hues or shades of the same color can have different effects like emerald green vs. neon green. Also, that meaning is created with a specific context, so more than one thing plays a role.
But how exactly does this happen? An important word here is “association.”
We do not attach meaning to color in a bubble. Humans seem to have certain inborn connections with certain shades like red. But the way they affect us is significantly influenced by our cultural environment and our past experiences.
Did you know, for example, that pink was once associated with boys and blue for girls?
However, this changed in the 1940s. In this postwar period, clothing stores and brands all over America began to focus on using pink in women’s clothes and vice versa. Over time, as we became more exposed to this combination, people began to take this for granted.
You need to keep this in mind whenever you choose colors to use for your business in signs. It is usually useful to do some research on the specific emotions and ideas your target audience might associate with different palettes.
The best colors to use in signage
For all the reasons above, some colors work better than others when it comes to your business. The principle is correct for your signage too. Some of them are more visible, some of the more attractive, and some of them evoke strong emotions.
So to help you make the right choices, here are the top colors for signs and how they are likely to affect viewers.
Without a doubt, black is a powerful color. Even on its own, it demands your attention. It is one of the more visible shades.
You can use it to create a sense of:
- Glamour and luxury
For all these reasons, black is often used by luxury or premium stores like boutiques. And because we associate it with authority and security, it also works well for companies like banks, security firms, and law offices.
On the other hand, blue is often seen as a soothing color. That’s why people use it so often to promote relaxation. Perhaps because of this, we perceive it as conveying a sense of stability as well.
All in all, blue conveys:
Blue is a popular choice for corporate business signage because it can boost productivity and is not invasive. Because it inspires trust, it is also widely used by healthcare organizations.
It’s rare to find a sign without any white in it at all. The color is extremely versatile and doesn’t really clash with any other. So it works well in most combinations. But you can also use it as the main color in your scheme. Just be aware that it can look too cold and sterile if it dominates the palette.
If you need to summarise its associations in one word, it would be purity. That’s why you can use white to suggest:
As you might guess, white can work well for any business for which sanitation is essential like healthcare organizations.
But it can also be handy for any brand that wants to appear modern.
Yellow is a whole other story. It is one of those colors that you can’t miss. In all its many shades, it usually makes us think of sunshine and summer days.
Thanks to this, the color is often associated with the following meanings:
With such a wide range of meanings, this color can work well for any business that wants to portray themselves as vibrant. You can use it to raise energy levels and help keep the atmosphere cheerful.
Green is a color that we almost immediately associate with the natural world. It reminds us of forests, meadows, and rolling landscapes.
This color has become a buzzword over the last two decades because of its associations with environmental protection.
A few of the critical associations with green are:
This is the color to go with if your business has anything to do with nature or the environment. But you should also consider it if you want to be associated with health, such as an organic grocery store.
Tips on using and choosing colors
- Use palettes, not individual shades: You don’t want to choose individual shades at random. Instead, you want to select a range of colors for each piece that blends well. This will help make the whole image more appealing. On top of this, using hues with similar effects can amplify the impact that the sign makes.
- Keep it simple: Don’t go overboard with using different colors. In the end, your image will look garish and possibly tacky. Instead, select up to three primary colors.
- Shades of one color: Using only two or three colors doesn’t limit you. In some ways, it opens up new possibilities. Palettes that use different hues of one primary color are usually far more effective. For example, you can use cool-gray, blue-gray, slate gray, and even platinum.
- Prevent fading: One potential downside of using colors on signs is that they can fade over time. Unfortunately, this can significantly detract from its appearance. But there are solutions to this. A pro tip is to ask for UV ink which is more resistant to water and fading.
Color me excited
As you can see, colors are an essential resource for business owners. They impact the people around your business in subconscious ways that are sometimes more powerful than words. There are endless ways you can cleverly use different shades of color throughout your company and particularly in your signage.
Safety should be at the top of any business’s list of priorities. But no more so than for restaurants. Any company that is in the food preparation services has quite a challenge ahead of them.
Installing safety signs are one of the measures they need to take to minimize the risk of harm for both their customers and their staff. These businesses need to follow guidelines set out by the relevant health and safety authorities.
If you own a restaurant, read below for our guide to complying with the requirements for safety signs.
Regulations for safety signs
Unfortunately, there is a lot that can potentially go wrong in a restaurant. Significantly, you need to follow specific regulations to maintain hygiene standards for food preparation. Therefore, you need safety signs to advise your staff on how to handle food correctly.
Posters are a fantastic way to help you enforce necessary rules and guidelines.
Generally, restaurants also own and use equipment that can be harmful. So you need to warn your customers and staff. In some cases, you need to put up signs with instructions on how to operate it correctly.
But not only that. Restaurants that do not comply will get into trouble with local authorities. They might issue your business with fines. Or even suspend your license and close the establishment.
Besides this, you need to protect your company from liability. Regrettably, people get hurt all the time, and it might even happen on your premises. Installing the right signs can help you to protect your business from legal action.
Note that there might be slightly different requirements depending on the specific state and location. For example, a useful resource for businesses in Michigan is the Michigan Food Safety website.
Remember to regularly check the relevant websites and publications to see if the guidelines have changed so that you can stay up to date.
Types of safety signs
For your convenience, we have divided the different types of safety signage into five categories. Each of them covers a range of signs related to specific hazards in your restaurant. They include most of the vital posters that you need.
But remember that every business and location is unique. So the requirements might be slightly different in each case.
1 – Hygiene signs
The first group we need to talk about are hygiene signs. Everyone needs reminders sometimes. These posters are necessary to help avoid unhygienic practices in aspects like food prep, food cooking, food washing, and food storage. It plays a critical role in establishing and maintaining a strict hygiene policy.
Besides this, it is an essential part of making your company compliant.
You will need to install the majority of signs in the kitchen as well as other applicable locations. All in all, restaurants need to place them wherever a hazard can be avoided adequately or reduced in another way.
You need to install signs to notify staff to wash their hands. They are necessary at every sink that your food employees use.
There are a variety of signs you can install to help keep your preparation areas hygienic. The posters include ones for:
- Chopping board and knives
- Defrosted food not refrozen
- Raw meat only
- All food must be covered
- Waste in bins provided
- Fish only
- Leave basin clean
- Hairnet reminders
Besides these signs, you also need to mark the sinks for specific uses. This is useful to maintain sanitary conditions and to prevent cross-contamination.
The main sinks are:
- Those for food wash
- Sink for utensil wash
- Those for hand-washing
Any restaurant owner knows how critical it is to store food safely. There are regulations to control the temperature at which you store the food. Plus it is mandatory to mark the date on which it was prepared. Signs can be a great way to to help enforce these guidelines.
2 – Chemical safety storage signs
Most businesses will have a variety of chemicals on location. These include substances that you can use in cleaning, operation of machinery, and even for first aid. More likely than not, some of these materials might be hazardous, meaning people need to take care when they use or store it.
That’s why you need to install signs to warn both your customers and employees. On top of this, they can provide information and instructions for safe use. And you can inform them of measures they can take if anything goes wrong like spills.
Businesses have to restrict and control access to potentially hazardous substances on your premises. At a restaurant, this will mostly involve cleaning materials.
Depending on the types of chemicals, you might need to install signs advising people to use protective clothing. It can include items like gloves or eye protection.
Cleaning in progress
Another safety sign that you need is one to notify people that “cleaning is in progress.” This can help you to restrict access to protect people from slipping or falling and from contact with chemicals.
Wash hands after
In some cases, people need to wash their hands immediately after using certain chemicals. To help prevent injury, you can benefit from installing a reminder to wash their hands after use.
As a restaurant owner, you need to make sure to install signs with symbols to warn people of flammable materials.
3 – Dangerous equipment
Another type of safety sign that you should consider are ones for potentially dangerous equipment. Once again, you have to provide warnings, as well as signs that give instructions and information for correct use.
These signs can help keep people safe. In the end, it is necessary to make your business compliant and to protect it from liability.
Signs with operating instructions are a common way that businesses help ensure operator safety. Sometimes these might even be mandated by regulating authorities. In a restaurant, for example, this might be necessary for cooking equipment like gas stoves.
Once again, you might need signs to advise the use of protective clothing like safety glasses.
4 – General safety signs
Besides all of the above, you need to commission signage for general health and safety rules. These are used for a wide variety of purposes, and you will need to place them throughout your restaurant.
Overall, the posters are there to help you create a safer environment by providing warnings and notifying people of safeguards.
Any establishment that sells alcohol needs to have a “no underage drinking sign.” If your restaurant has a bar area, this is the best place to install it.
You could also include a sign with a warning for pregnant women about drinking alcohol.
Some establishments might have a general age restriction like nightclubs. But these can also be very useful to restrict access to specific areas of your restaurant like the bar.
A few of the most important signs that you need to install in any business are exit signs. You need to clearly mark the doorway as well as the route to it. This is necessary for general emergency exits and fire exits.
Since 2010, smoking is prohibited in most public places in Michigan. These places include restaurants. Preferably you should install more than one depending on the size of your business like placing one outside and one inside.
According to the law, a food service establishment that sells solid food for on-premises consumption needs signs to help prevent asphyxiation.
It needs to have a diagram to explain anti-choking techniques that are safe for both adults and children. These need to be approved by the health department for dislodging foreign obstacles caught in a choking victim’s throat.
All businesses need to have signage to notify people of the location of your safety equipment. We recommend that you give some operating instructions too.
- First aid symbols
- Fire extinguisher
- Fire hose
Unfortunately, one of the biggest dangers of any food establishment is potential allergies. It is usual to warn your customers of common allergens in the food on the menu.
But you need to inform your staff too. On top of training, an allergy information sheet like this can be extremely useful. One of the best places to install this is usually the kitchen.
5 – Site based safety signs
The last category involves signage that is based on the specific requirements of your site. These posters contribute to the overall experience of clients and employees in your restaurant.
Therefore, they are important for risk management. But it can also help make the way your business functions more efficient.
Preventing slipping, tripping, bumping and falling
Any business has to try to prevent injuries on their premises. You need to install these warnings at any potential hazard. For example, use posters to warn people to mind their head, mind their step, or to be careful of slipping as in areas where the floor is wet.
Any business needs to create and install disclaimers to protect the company from liability. Overall, it can be helpful to tailor them to your restaurant to make sure it accounts for all possible risks. That’s why you might want to consult your lawyer on its content.
Another vital type of sign for a restaurant is “staff only” signs. These have more than one purpose.
First, they help you to keep some areas away from your customer’s eyes. Second, they can help you to keep people safe by preventing access to areas with dangerous equipment or materials.
Do you have CCTV surveillance on your premises?
If you do, remember to put up signs to notify people of this. You have to hang some of these on the outside as well as inside your restaurant.
Other important posters
Not everything you are required to display will necessarily come in the form of conventional signs. In the case of licensing, you might have to hang the actual certificate or license that was printed by the specific authority.
However, because they are such a crucial part of keeping and showing that your business is compliant, we will cover the basics.
In short, here are some of the vital certificates and licenses that should be on display somewhere in your restaurant:
- Sidewalk cafe license
- Certificate of occupancy
- Foodservice establishment permit
- Sales tax certificate of authority
- Place of assembly certificate of operation and permit and maximum occupancy
- Liquor license
- Permits for equipment use
Creating the signs
Now that you know what signs you need, you need to find out more about the fabrication process.
As with all signage, one of your first steps should be to reach out to sign companies. Luckily, because these signs are so common, you might be able to buy some ready-made. Of course, you may need some of your signs to be custom made.
One benefit of a professional company is that they will be able to give you solid advice on the types of signs you will need. It’s likely they’ve had experience in creating these products for other restaurants.
Overall, a sign company can make the process much easier and help you stay on top of things.
One area that they will be able to assist you in is making sure that the design and build of the signage are also compliant. This involves the following:
- Signs have to be clear and legible.
- In terms of content, every sign needs to identify prohibited actions, safeguards, warn of hazards, or direct towards safety measures such as fire exits or equipment for fire safety or first aid.
- All signage needs to have round or blunted corners.
- Different signs need different backgrounds. Red is for prohibition, yellow for caution, green for positive action, and blue for mandatory action.
- The shapes also differ, like discs for prohibitions and instructions, triangles for warnings, and squares and rectangles for emergency and information signs.
A complete package
No doubt signs are one of the crucial tools in any business owner’s toolbox. Part of their significance lies in their versatility and flexibility. As we’ve said, safety signs play a critical role in making any company, including a restaurant a safer and more effective space.
But this isn’t the only essential use of signage. Besides this, one of the most significant uses of these products is in advertising. You can use them for both on-site and off-site promotions.
If you are looking to update your promotional signs take a look at these tips & tricks to designing eye-catching business signs.
Some signs and symbols are so common we simply take them for granted. For instance, the iconic red and white stop sign is everywhere—and we’re quite used to it. But have you ever thought about the fact that some signs may appear in one area while not in others? Similarly, some areas could have a higher concentration of one type of sign than other areas. Today, we thought it would be fun to explore some fascinating sign info you may never have considered!
Head south for stops and billboards
Florida is more than just a popular vacation spot. It’s also notable for having a lot of two types of signage, comparatively. But it does have to share some of the distinction with a non-contiguous US state. Read on for details.
What state has the most stop signs?
Since stop signs are so common and recognizable, let’s begin here. My Parking Sign and its affiliates used their sales data to come to some fascinating conclusions about stop signs. Their conclusion? “Hawaii has more stop signs per mile than any other state…” Next up was Florida, with Delaware coming in third.
Think your own area has too many stop signs? Well, maybe you should take some inspiration from the city of Paris—which has none.
What state has the most billboards?
We all know these popular outdoor message boards. They spangle America’s highways. Sometimes, they’re advertising luscious sandwiches available at a restaurant off an upcoming exit. Other times, they’re promising a drink to slake a traveler’s thirst. Still, other billboards promote community events like a 5K race or a play at a local theater.
These signs are a great way to reach consumers whether they live in your community or are simply passing through. So, which state has the most billboards?
According to BMedia, “Florida leads the pack with a whopping 11,109 active permits on file for billboards throughout the entire state.” Who knows? Maybe the rampant outdoor advertising has something to do with the fact that Florida is a popular tourist destination. Not to mention a common target for snowbirds.
Hit the curves in one New England State
Can you have too much of a good thing? Connecticut just might.
What location has so many curve signs that it sparked protest?
Curve signs can be useful, without a doubt. They alert drivers that they’re about to engage in some serious steering wheel cranking & braking action. And anyone who’s ever swung too far into the other lane because a curve caught them by surprise can imagine the accidents that curve signs are designed to prevent.
Still, if there’s such a thing as too many curve road signs, several Connecticut communities have that problem. At least according to certain residents. The News Times reported that “Officials in Sherman, New Milford and Ridgefield are now trying to remove some of [the signs], saying the number is excessive, especially in the bucolic areas. In New Milford, there were 339 signs installed on 14 roads and Ridgefield now has 86 signs on two roads.”
Even the mayor of New Milford had concerns. Speaking about a specific road, the News Times quoted him as saying, “‘Definitely, a few signs are needed on it, but there’s 52,’ he said. ‘To me it’s the number of the signs impacting the roadway. Residents want it scenic too.’”
Major midwest city needs cautionary cold weather signs
If you think about ice and snow as a problem for states like Alaska or Maine, think again. Don’t forget to count Midwest cities in as potential problem areas.
What major US city places “Caution, falling ice” warning signs in their downtown?
While there may be other major cities with the exact same problem, one city’s warning signs made the news earlier this year. It seems Chicago has placed these signs for quite a few years—since an ice-related tragedy. Check out the full story at the Chicago Tribune.
Don’t forget the non-contiguous US. Here’s an Alaska-specific sign.
Let’s face it, there are plenty of hazards you could confront while driving in many different areas of the US. But some dangers are a bit more location-specific than others. So, it would stand to reason that some signs might be unique.
And in Alaska, there’s one sign that the Anchorage Press called “the most unique of Alaskan signs, the rectangular one depicting a cow and calf crossing the road and a changing tally of how many moose have been killed by cars in that area so far that year.”
Alaska should surely get bonus points for that creativity. But it’s not exactly a sign idea they can share with the world. After all, we don’t think they’ll have much success convincing Florida or Texas that they too need a moose tally sign.
Zeroing in on Michigan
It wouldn’t be right to leave without taking a quick look at our home state. You don’t need us to tell you what Michigan winters are like, but you might be wondering how many ice warning signs for bridges our chilly state has.
Looks like you’re not the only one talking about this. Ice warning signs for bridges in Michigan became the subject of a discussion on Ask MetaFilter last year.
Here’s what one poster had to say, “Well, I was all set to do some napkin math, but while gathering the necessary facts I stumbled on this MDOT page that claims Michigan has “10,754 roadway bridges”. It isn’t entirely clear what counts as a bridge (are overpasses bridges?), but an estimate of 20,000 signs seems reasonable on this basis.”
While it’s certainly not an official statistic, it does prove that there are other curious minds out there wondering about Michigan road sign statistics.
More fun sign information
If you’re looking for more fun sign topics, check out our Is It Okay To Use An Emoji In Marketing? Can I Have One In My Logo? Plus, have fun looking at 3 Of The Most Creative Signs & Banners In And Around Detroit.
You know what they say. Change is the only constant. It can be hard to keep up with everything. And in the process of life of your businesses signs might fall along the wayside.
Depending on the specifics, a sign can last quite a while. You can benefit from a well-made sign for years to come before you need to replace it.
But damage and age aren’t the only reasons to make changes to your signage. Read on for our guide to things you need to update on your signs as soon as you can.
When is it time to update your signs?
Before we look at the updates you should make, we will help you find out when is the right time to make those changes.
Over the years, it is obvious that your business will change. It can be as small as a new office number or as significant as a new address or name. You need to update your signs to reflect these details to make sure you don’t lose out on any potential sales.
New brand identity
More likely than not, your company will grow and evolve. Because of this, your brand’s identity will probably change too. Your signs should reflect this. Consistency is a critical part of effective branding.
Your brand includes the following features:
- Business name
More than five years old
Even if nothing else is wrong, you might still want to update your signage. It can be helpful to use some kind of standard, like saying that you will change them after five years. The advertising industry and the general market is continually changing, and you want to stay ahead of the curve.
It will help you to get rid out outdated elements and also help you to keep up with current trends and styles.
After a few years, the sign will look a bit worn down and faded as well.
Not attracting customers
Overall, the primary goal of promotional signage is to gain new business. You want to increase your profits by increasing sales of your products or services. That’s why you have to make some changes if they are no longer serving this purpose.
It can happen if the signage becomes outdated, or perhaps it wasn’t impactful from the start.
Wear and tear
Signs are the face of your business. They are the first thing that most potential customers will see about your company. Therefore, as a direct representation of your business, you must keep it in tip-top shape. Or else it can reflect poorly on your business.
So if your signage has been damaged and even vandalized, it is time to replace it. And this is the perfect opportunity to make any necessary updates.
How should you update your signs?
The burning question for most businesses is probably, do you have to replace the entire sign?
If this is necessary, it will clearly require additional expenses, time, and effort. The answer will depend on the type of sign and the updates you need to make. It also depends on the condition of the signage.
You will probably need to replace it in the following cases completely:
- There has been severe damage to the product. Due to vandalism, weather, or age, parts of the sign might have torn off or broken off. Or the design of it might no longer be visible or legible.
- The updates that you need to make should last long term. They aren’t only for a short term events like a sale.
- You have rebranded your business, so you need to make extensive cosmetic changes.
- Your sign is not the type of sign which has parts that can be replaced. It is all or nothing.
If you are lucky, you don’t need to replace the entire sign. There are a few possible alternatives to this.
Some signs are made with panels that you can replace. For example, sign companies often make monument signs with slots into which you can slide new sections.
Another product that you can easily update is magnetic signs. This might not be the ideal solution, but you can put new magnet strips onto the board over the outdated sections, For example, this is an excellent option for restaurants that regularly change their menu.
One short term solution for making updates on your signage is to use stickers and decals. It won’t last long and probably won’t look as attractive. This can work well for once-off changes like advertising a sale. And it can be a good temporary fix until you can replace the entire sign.
Overall, the most flexible type of sign is digital signs. There are far fewer limits to making changes. You can usually update them with less effort and lower costs. So if you will need to make regular updates, we recommend looking into digital signage.
Without further ado, here are some of the updates you should consider making right away.
1. Outdated elements
What was in style five years ago, usually isn’t anymore today.
That’s why it can be a great idea to check over your designs every few years to see how it is holding up.
You also need to make sure that elements of your signs haven’t become cliched. Unfortunately, some features like fonts might become so overused that they lose all their impact.
2. New products or services
One of the things that often changes are the products or services that companies offer. It can be an excellent idea to change your signage to reflect this. These updates will be particularly impactful if the new item is high in demand.
Of course, this will also be an essential update for a business like a restaurant that might seasonally change most of their offerings.
3. Trading information
This next update is critical. No one can see into the future. So you might not have foreseen the upcoming changes to your business when you created your signs.
Two of the most common changes are to your trading hours or address. In both these cases, outdated information can directly cost you business. Therefore, you have to update this as soon as possible.
You can even create some hype for the changes like a new location by announcing them on your signs before they happen.
4. Be friendly and clear
In many ways, people have more access to your business than ever before. And your business should show that you are welcoming to everyone. Or, if you aren’t able to accommodate everyone, that should be clear as well – without being rude.
Check your signs for any unfriendly language or graphics.
If you cater to families and those with disabilities, say so. If your business (for example, a retirement facility) only serves senior citizens, make sure your signs say so clearly, but in a friendly manner.
5. Your contact information
In the super-competitive world of business, the smallest detail can cost you. One example is having outdated contact information on your signage. Customers are unlikely to follow up if they struggle to reach you.
So you must update your signs if any of your communication channels aren’t in use anymore.
But you should also make changes if you’ve added some new ones. For example, did you create a Facebook page? Does your business have a new online store?
There are more and more opportunities to communicate with existing and potential clients. And it can lead to a significant increase in business if you give them different ways to engage with you.
As we’ve said, one of the key reasons to update your signs is if you have updated your business’ visual brand identity. You need to keep your branding consistent across all your platforms.
Overall, it will make your company and your promotions much more memorable. And your customers will be able to recognize your signs at a glance.
In the end, your signs will usually be more attractive and eye-catching, thanks to the rebrand.
Remember that this needs to include all the aspects of your branding like the color scheme, logo, slogan, etc.
7. More languages
While English is the official language of the United States, it by no means has to be the only one that you use on your signage.
People speak more or less five hundred languages in the country. This is pretty extraordinary. Significantly, the second most spoken language is Spanish.
You might want to consider updating your signage if you cater to more than English-only speaking customers. This can be helpful, especially if most of your customers speak a different language. On top of this, you might want to try this out if your business is popular among tourists.
8. Stay current
Some days it seems that the world is changing at a rapidly increasing pace. It is all you can do to keep up. But it’s crucial for your business that you try to stay on track. This counts for your signs too.
One update you need to make involves smoking and vaping. Your business will probably have the appropriate signs to prevent smoking in certain areas. However, you may need to change them to refer to vaping and e-cigarettes specifically.
9. Correct spelling mistakes
Mistakes happen. The key is to address them by fixing it. In the case of signage, if you don’t, it is almost as if the mistake keeps on happening as every new person sees it. So you should update your signs to get rid of any grammatical or spelling errors.
It can happen to everyone. Even big corporations aren’t immune. Just take a look at these examples if you don’t believe us.
These mistakes can slip in at any stage of the process, brainstorming, design, or fabrication. That’s why you need to proofread the content of the signs every step along the way — next time double or even triple check to prevent issues.
10. The size
An essential part of the design is deciding on its size and dimensions. You have to make sure that it is large enough for people to see and read it.
You need to do some careful planning to get it right. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out the way you want it too.
Once the fabricators have made the sign and you have mounted it, you might find that it is just too small. The fault might lie with the font, the graphics, or the sign as a whole. You don’t want to lose out on advertising just because people can’t read it,
Pro tip: Print out the design in the right dimensions on paper. Test whether the size is suitable by holding it where you will place the sign.
Another crucial thing that you should think about updating is lighting.
First, the light bulbs might have faded, or some of them might no longer be working. Unfortunately, this will mean that your sign will be less visible. But it can also seriously detract from its overall appeal.
Secondly, you might want to change the type of illumination that you use. In the past, most fabricators made their products with neon tubing. However, now they mostly use LED bulbs. They are more energy-efficient and require less maintenance. So you might want to make the switch.
On the other hand, your signage might not have any illumination at all. In this case, you might want to add some lighting. It will not only help you attract more attention throughout the day and night but can help enhance its appearance too.
12. Highlight events or milestones
Special events and milestones like company anniversaries can offer you brilliant opportunities to promote your business. Therefore, you should consider including them as updates on your signage.
Showing off can help you draw in new customers but also boost your sales among existing ones.
Optimize your signage
The point of all these updates is to get the best out of your signs. You want them to be as effective as possible. They should help you get more business, not lose any.
That’s why you want to build and maintain a good working relationship with your signage company. Undoubtedly, they can help you keep your signage in tip-top shape.
For more advice on making the best out of a sign, check out these tips and tricks to creating the most effective signs for marketing.
Believe it or not, choosing a font can be the most daunting parts of designing signage. There are thousands to choose from with new ones added every day. However, you should know that not all fonts are equal.
You need to put careful thought into choosing the typography for your signage. Read on to find out about the best professional fonts to use on your signs. To help you avoid mistakes, we’ll also look at ones that you should avoid at all costs.
Guide to fonts on signs
Thankfully, there are fundamental principles that can help you make the right decision.
We often want to gravitate towards the more exotic typefaces. But interesting isn’t always the right choice. There is a reason why companies use some fonts over and over again.
Above all, you should pay attention to the visibility and readability of the sign. Unfortunately, too many people choose typefaces that are almost illegible. It benefits no one if your audience can’t read the sign.
You need to be wary of thin letters, script, and ornamentation.
Remember that research has shown that people only spend about 3 to 7 seconds looking at digital signs or perhaps up to 8 seconds with other signage.
In saying this, you still want the words to look good. Part of this is to avoid using fonts that have been so overused that they’ve become cliche.
Additionally, you want to use typography that fits into your brand identity. That’s why you don’t want to use fonts widely recognized as “belonging” to a specific company.
Fonts to avoid
Now we’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Here are six examples of typefaces that you should avoid on your sign. They don’t work for a variety of reasons.
Let’s start with the notorious main culprit for an overused font, Comic Sans. This typeface has gotten quite a bad rap over the years. It’s creator Vincent Connnare designed the font for a children’s software program. From there it spread like wildfire. That should give you a hint at the problem.
So not only has it become cliched, it is child-like too. Never, ever use it for any critical or formal communication. People won’t take it seriously.
Because of all this, your audience will usually associate Comic Sans with amateur graphic design. It can, by extension, make your business seem less professional.
The celebrity of bad fonts is undoubtedly Papyrus. It’s one of those faces that many of us feel a bit ashamed about having used one time or another. You will find it all over anything to do with Egypt and the Mediterranean.
And now it has forever been linked to James Cameron’s Avatar. If you use this on your sign, you risk looking unoriginal.
All this aside, Papyrus isn’t very attractive nor pleasant to look at.
Don’t be tempted by the exotic quality of this typeface. Just leave it in the past where it belongs.
You can’t get much more whimsical than Curlz. It is beloved by many little girls for its fantastical ornamentations. Bakeries, toy shops, and kindergartens often feel that Curlz can help give them that playful character. But sometimes there is something like too many curls!
Sadly, this “happy” font can look immature and too flashy.
Above all, it doesn’t translate well to signs. The ornamentation can make it more challenging to read, especially if your audience sees it from a distance.
Flowing or script fonts are always popular. But you have to be extremely careful in using these on signs. They are undoubtedly less legible than other typefaces.
However, this isn’t the only problem with Brush Script.
The typeface was in its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. However, designers in all types of industries used it for decades before and after. That’s why it holds some nostalgic appeal for people.
However, it is better to avoid this piece of the past that people have revisited too often. You would be better off looking at the variety of newer typefaces that are made to have a vintage feel.
Courier is a widely used serif font. Similarly to Brush Script, it has one of those typefaces that has a vintage feel. It resembles the typesetting for typewriters.
In general, Courier can still work well for other types of media like plain text documents. Compared to some of the alternatives, it is quite legible.
But it doesn’t work for signage. You might be able to read it. However, that doesn’t make it exciting or appealing. Besides, it mostly looks outdated and behind the times.
The best fonts for signs
Now that the bad is out of the way, we can get to the good stuff. Thankfully, there is a cornucopia of different fonts that designers can choose from. No doubt, you can find the ideal one for your business’ sign.
We’re going to look at ten of the top professional fonts to use on different types of signage.
If you know anything about graphic design, you have probably heard about Helvetica. It’s a great all-rounder sans serif font. Overall, it looks neat, professional, and easy to read. It looks attractive too.
Because of this, it is hugely popular. You can use it successfully on all kinds of platforms, including signs.
One downside of its popularity is that it doesn’t look as original or unique as it once did. Nevertheless, it will still make a sound choice for your sign.
Helvetica doesn’t necessarily evoke strong associations or emotions, so it gives you the chance to create meaning with it.
Another excellent font for signs is Bodoni. The typeface is exceptionally stylish. It’s a serif design with contrasting thick and thin lines that creates a wonderful aesthetic.
In the end, it will convey to your audience that your business is sophisticated and modern. Bodoni looks professional as well.
All things considered, it can be a great choice for you if you own a classy restaurant, cafe, or retail store like a boutique.
In the list of the worst fonts, we gave playful and script fonts quite a bad rap. But this doesn’t apply to all of them. Some of the most exciting and engaging fonts combine both of these like Boomerang Script.
You can buy it in a bundle that comes with uppercase, lowercase, and hand brush style characters.
Boomerang can help you to make your business look fun and creative above anything else.
We think that this font will be ideal for a burger shack or any other hangout spot.
Some people might be put off by the fact that they will have to buy the font bundle. However, if it suits your brand identity and vision, it should be worth it.
Bodoni is by no means the only choice if you are looking for a sign to show your customers that your business is stylish and elegant. Gatsby can be a brilliant alternative too.
Unlike Bodoni, it is a sans serif font. Gatsby’s characters are elongated and thin. Altogether, it looks very tasteful and professional. It’s an excellent option if you want a typeface that looks vintage but not outdated.
You need to note that Gatsby only has uppercase letters. But this means that it stands out even more.
In general, it’s perfect if you are designing a sign for a luxury retail store.
You can download it in a bundle with single weight and four additional styles normal, outline, retro, and distorted.
Next up, we are going to look at another sans serif font. Indigo stands out from the previous options on the list for its bold characters. It’s a combination of the ‘Indigo Regular’ and the outline version ‘Indigo Outline.’
The mix makes its letters chunky and thick. Thanks to its curvy shape, Indigo looks edgy and casual, but by no means amateurish.
You can use it on your signs to let them know that your business is contemporary and fun.
Indigo is quite versatile. And it’s one of those fonts that look just as fabulous in lowercase as in uppercase.
The next typeface is a fantastic alternative to more overused stencil fonts. You can buy the font in a bundle that comes with a version without the stencil-like effect or the stylish version that comes with these elements.
Luna is a slab serif typeface which means that the designers created it with thick block-like serifs. Its letters are quite angular and straight.
We think that this font will work brilliantly for a camping, or hiking store or something similar. Your audience will interpret the sign as saying that your business caters for people who love adventures like experiences the outdoors.
It is the right mixture of rugged with a bit of polish that will make your sign stand out from the crowd.
Opinions differ widely on the use of this font. Some designers feel that it looks too stiff and that it’s no longer original.
But others still adore its minimalist style.
Paul Renner created the font and released it in 1927. In the spirit of Bauhaus, he based the design on geometric shapes like circles, triangles, and squares. It’s a credit to its creator that Futura looks progressive and contemporary today.
All in all, you can use this typeface on your sign to tell your audience that your business is efficient and forward-thinking.
Another option if you are looking for a minimalist font is Modeka. The letters of this typeface are clearcut and also geometric.
However, where the geometry of Futura is more understated, that of Modeka makes a bold statement.
By using this font, you will let everyone know that your business is creative, unique, and certainly edgy.
Best of all, you can get it for free.
Garamond is a very popular font for bodies of text like textbooks, magazines, and websites. However, you can use it just as successfully for your signs too. It’s a serif font with a timeless aesthetic.
There are several versions of Garamond. For signage, it can be a good idea if you choose the bold version of this font to make sure it is clearly legible.
The font has quite a long and rich history that dates back to the original versions that were designed by the 16th-century Parisian engraver named Claude Garamond.
By using the typeface on your signs, you can suggest to your customers that your business is reliable and trustworthy.
Buttermilk Farmhouse is another wonderfully whimsical font. It is a hand-drawn calligraphy script. You can get it in a bundle with multiple versions which each put a unique twist on its aesthetic.
Undoubtedly, rustic chic is in vogue. Whether it is home decor or sign design, people go nuts for this style. So if that is the look you are going for Buttermilk Farmhouse might be the font for you.
The homely textured style still looks soft and delicate. With this charming font, you can let your customers know that your business is relaxed but yet stylish. That is why this typeface is excellent for a cafe. But it works wonderfully for something like a farmer’s market as well.
Say it right
The most important idea in signage is that it is not just about what you say, but how you say it. Experts know how important it is to choose the right professional font to use on your sign.
You need to make sure that its meaning and association enhances your image and identity instead of clashing with it.
Remember to always ask your sign making company for their opinion and advice.
The font you use is one of the crucial elements and terms in design. But if you want to create signage there is far more you need to know. Take a look at our article on sign terminology: negative space, optimal distance, typography & more.