Effective signs are those that have an impact on the people who see them. They can be used to promote awareness of your brand, let people know where to find you or to advertise products, services and events. To make a sign effective, there are some basic things you need to consider and, in this post, we’ll look at what they are.
Make your colours count
Your choice of colours can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your sign and one of the first things you need to consider is where it will be erected. For example, there’s little point in using a white sign if it’s being placed on a white wall as it will blend in too much with the background and go unnoticed. If you want your sign to stand out and get seen, it needs to contrast with anything behind it.
Contrast is also crucial when designing the sign itself. For your text, branding and any images to be seen clearly, they need to leap out from the background colour of the sign. What you need to avoid, however, is using contrasting colours that clash. Some colour combinations can be hard on the eyes, such as red and green, while others are just unattractive.
With today’s materials and printing techniques, you can use a wide range of colours on your signage and this means that it is easily possible to use your corporate colour scheme and even recreate your branding.
One consideration you may not have considered is whether the colours you choose will be permitted by your local council. Town planners are often keen to ensure that any signage is not detrimental to the local area and in conservation areas, especially, they will ensure that any sign fits in with the existing style of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Be visible 24/7
One way to significantly boost the effectiveness of your sign is to illuminate it. Adding cost-effective LED lighting to the design means that you can extend its visibility beyond daylight hours and have it seen 24 hours a day.
One of the issues with unlit signage is that, even in dim light, it begins to lose its eye-catching appeal. From dusk to dawn or during times when the weather blocks out the sunlight, an unlit sign is not going to have the impact you wish.
LED illuminated signs are particularly useful for businesses that open in the evening, such as pubs and restaurants, and for those that have signs which are aimed to be seen by passing traffic. During the winter months, when the morning and evening rush hours take place in the dark, having an illuminated sign means it can still be clearly seen by all that passing traffic.
Put your sign in the right place
One of the key considerations when using a sign is where to locate it – getting this wrong could result in it having no effect at all.
While it is obvious that you will want to put it in a place where it will get seen by lots of people, there are other factors you will need to think about.
One key factor is the height from the ground that you display the sign. If you want people walking past to notice it, it needs to be at eye level. However, if you want it to be read from a distance, it will need to be higher so that it doesn’t become obscured by things which may get in the way.
If you are putting a banner sign on the side of a road, you may want to put it lower to the ground so it is at eye level with the majority of people driving by. You may also want it angled in a way that makes it easier to read. Placing it near a roundabout or traffic lights where traffic can queue for a while means people will have more time to see it.
As you can see, you need to think carefully about maximizing impact before you decide on the final location.
Simple and easy to read
A good sign is one which quickly and easily communicates an important message to the reader. For this reason, keep the message short and simple and use vocabulary that is accessible to all. Having lots of text means making the font smaller and more difficult to read while increasing the time needed to take all the information in – all of which can reduce its effectiveness.
When it comes to fonts, try to use those which are plainer and easier to read. Fancy fonts are generally more difficult, so if you have one of these for your branding, making it larger will certainly help.
If you are going to purchase new signage, you want the end result to be as effective as possible in order to maximise your return on investment. Hopefully, the four points raised in this post will help you understand how you can create a sign with more impact and get it to achieve your aims more effectively.
If you are looking for signs for your business, check out our product range to see how ESP Signs can create effective signs for you.