All around the country people instantly recognize the golden arches on McDonald’s® signs, and immediately identify Volkswagen’s®, Wal–Mart’s®, and even Ben and Jerry’s® signs. By following a few easy tips, your business’ sign can become highly visible and recognizable, and promote your business more than you may realize.
According to experts at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), signs are a terrific way to reach consumers on the go. The organization adds that case studies continually show that signs increase awareness, influence purchasing, and sell products.
To maximize the power of signs, experts recommend following these design guidelines:
Be sure your lettering is large enough to read from a distance. Gail Finke, a freelance writer who specializes in sign design, stresses, “if people can’t see what the sign says then you’ve just wasted a lot of money.”
Kathy Morrison, a sign designer, recommends the following industry standards:
|Reading Distance||Letter Height|
|100 ft.||1¾” to 2″ or above|
|200 ft.||3½” and above|
|400 ft.||7″ and above|
|600 ft.||10½” and above|
|800 ft.||14″ and above|
|1000 ft.||17″ and above|
|1300 ft.||22″ and above|
Sticking to simple fonts will make your sign easier to read. Finke suggests Times Roman, Sans Serif (not too much flare), Frutiger, and Universe fonts. OAAA also advises allowing for adequate spacing between letters and lines, as well as using both upper and lower characters.
According to OAAA, “research demonstrates that high color contrast can improve outdoor advertising recall by 38 percent.”
|Black on yellow|
|Black on white|
|Yellow on black|
|White on black|
|Blue on white|
Experts agree that when it comes to signs, less is better. OAAA recommends brevity — seven words or fewer, and no more than three elements per sign.
Designers at Global Sign and Awning in Roseburg, Oregon say your sign should quickly and clearly state three important points:
- Who you are — your company name and identity
- What you do — this section usually highlights your industry or trade, and is given the greatest prominence
- How well you do it — a short slogan or company motto might be used in this area
Graphics and pictures are still worth a thousand words, according to Global Signs. A picture of a mouth–watering cake may make a greater impact on potential customers than any slogans about baking the best cakes in the county.
Now you can design signs right from your desktop with companies likeMarkTheWorld.com that offer online, step–by–step sign templates.
If you hang a vinyl banner to announce a sale or grand opening, take it down when the special period concludes. Perpetually posted signs will not make the impression you expect; people may begin to ignore the banner’s message.