What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Business Sign?

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Signs don’t have to flash in neon for customers to take notice, because several common characteristics of effective business signs ensure visibility. How well a sign — whether indoors or outdoors — brings in business depends on the colors, graphics, fonts, message and size of the sign, among other elements.



Without getting attention, a sign is worthless to a business. Several factors go into how obvious a sign is, such as size and height of the sign, sign placement or geographic position, color choice, brightness of colors and color contrast, quality of graphics or photography used, contrast between background color and text, font size of text and whether other media are used, such as lighting. Effective visibility means a sign is physically viewable by as many people as possible.


A sign that provides information of some benefit to the viewing audience makes it more effective. Useful contact information includes the business name and logo, phone number, website and physical address. A sign could include announcements of special sales, events or promotions — such as free coffee served during a particular week. Effective signs placed inside a business might display store policies for refunds or descriptions of products for sale.

Close Proximity

How close an outdoor sign, such as a billboard, actually is to the business also determines its effectiveness. A sign that is too many miles away could cause the potential customer to forget he saw it, unless numerous repeat signs are placed along the way. Indoor signs need to be placed according to the appropriate areas — for example, return or exchange information signs need to be directly near the cash registers or customer service area, while signs with buying tips and product or service information should be placed directly by the product on the shelf or the office of the person providing the service. Likewise, warning signs need to be placed close to the source of a potential hazard or its solution, such as signs to wash hands in a bathroom for restaurant workers.


Because signs have limited space and might only be seen once by any person, the messages they bear need to be brief and legible. Too much text for a sign that can’t be viewed up close for long will render the sign ineffective. The longer the message is, the smaller the font has to be, making it harder to read, and the longer it will take for a viewer to read it. This is particularly true of outdoor signs. Signs inside a business can have more details, because they are viewed by people who already have chosen to enter the business.


Source –¬†http://smallbusiness.chron.com/characteristics-effective-business-sign-56934.html