Flat Cut Lettering – A Sign of the Times

If you’re looking for a sign that has a genuine impact and presents your business as contemporary and relevant, then flat cut lettering is certainly an option to be considered. Using a combination of modern materials, the latest design tools and state of the art manufacturing equipment, flat cut lettering can be created in almost any design. Here, we’ll take a close look at why they have become one of the most popular choices for businesses.

Spoiled for choice

Combining high-quality computer design with laser cutting technology means that you can have whatever choice you want when it comes to the design of your flat cut signage. Regardless of whether your chosen typeface is simple or complex, it can be created with precision in any size you require.

Indeed, your sign can contain much more than just lettering. You can add all kinds of embellishments from your corporate logo to various other cut-out shapes. You can have flat cut fish for fish and chip shops, flowers for florists and lamps for light shops.

Wide range of materials

Your choice of letters, shapes and logos can be manufactured using a wide range of quality materials. Acrylic is the most popular choice because it comes in many different colours. However, aluminium and aluminium composite are also much sought after because their wonderful mirrored or brushed finishes have such a visual impact. Acrylic signs can also have a number of finishing options, such as plain colour, matt and high gloss. When you consider all the possible font, colour, material and finish combinations, the possibilities of flat cut signage are almost endless.

Layer it up

Another design possibility with flat cut lettering is that you can apply a layer of vinyl on top of it. The benefit of this is that vinyl can be printed on. This means you can add high-quality detailing to your letters, including computer graphics and even photographic images. This can be used for clever designs that make your sign look like it has been cut out of a giant photograph. A cheese manufacturer, for example, could have lettering that looks like its actually made out of cheese while a travel agent can have letters using the image of a tropical beach.


There are various ways to illuminate a sign made from flat cut letters and these can create various visual effects. Whatever your choice, the impact will be stunning. Even during daylight, illuminated signs have been shown to attract the human eye, however, at night, they can make your business stand out like a beacon. Although you might consider this is something only needed for businesses that open in the evening, like restaurants, it is actually beneficial for any kind of business. Even those that operate 9 to 5 will, during the winter months, find that it goes dark during opening hours. A lit sign also operates as an advertisement even when your business is closed, reminding those that pass by that you are there.

With modern LED lighting, you can choose from a wide selection of light colours for your sign and be confident that LED lights are inexpensive to run, easy to maintain and last for up to 50,000 hours – that’s 25 times more than an incandescent bulb.

The go-anywhere sign

One of the great things about flat cut signs is that you can put them anywhere. They can be installed onto all kinds of surfaces, including brickwork, stone, timber and the corrugated surfaces of modern industrial units. What’s more, they are ideal for both internal and external use.

And with there being no limit to the size in which they can be manufactured, you can make the most of your available wall space in order to have your desired impact.

An affordable option

Many would consider such intricately designed, quality finished signs to be expensive to purchase. While they certainly look like they cost a small fortune, they are, in fact, very affordable. The reason for this is that the technology involved in the design and manufacture of these signs has significantly brought down the cost of making them.

Versatile uses

This type of signage has proved useful for a wide range of applications. Its incredible versatility means it has been used by all kinds of businesses and for many different purposes. These include exhibitions, hotel signage, internal displays, monolith signs, reception signs, shop fronts and more.


The endless possibilities that cut out signs present, together with their easy installation and affordability, have made them one of the most popular choices for UK businesses. Whether used inside or out, they project real presence and have instant customer appeal.

If you are looking for cut our lettering or signage check out our Flat Cut Letters page.



School Signage – A Class Act

Many of today’s schools are large, densely populated campuses where significant numbers of people are constantly moving around and where there is more and more important information to be displayed. In environments like these, getting the message across in the most effective way is absolutely critical and great signage is the key to doing this successfully. In this post, we’ll look at the widening use of signs and how they are benefitting schools.

Creating the right first impression

The good use of school signage begins outside the building. It starts with an external sign that presents the school to those in the wider community and to staff, students and visitors who enter the premises. This is the sign that depicts the school brand – its values, its status and its identity – and sets the tone of what people should expect at the school. A well-designed school sign doesn’t just have impact; it forges a perception of what your school is like. These signs, which can incorporate your logo and motto and be designed using school colours, can be mounted on posts, affixed to walls and fences or even be created from cut out 2D or 3D letters that are attached in prominent places at the entrance and illuminated for 24-hour display.

Banners are another common form of signage seen at the school’s exterior and are used for a variety of reasons, such as to promote events like open evenings, summer fairs and drama productions or to advertise your successes, as many schools do with outstanding Ofsted inspections or fantastic exam results. Made from robust materials, these highly versatile signs can incorporate everything from the latest graphics to eye-catching photographic images and are easily affixed to railings and fences. They are also reusable and can be rolled up and stored for safekeeping or transportation.

Taking the confusion out of campus design

Modern schools, especially larger secondaries, often have more than one building for people to find. For new students and staff and for visitors, it can often be confusing where things are. External wayfinding signs provide a simple yet effective solution combining helpful fingerpost signs, that point people in the right direction, with reassuring building signs that identify each separate location. With these latter signs in place, people know when they have arrived at the right building without having to go inside to check. External wall signs with directional arrows can also be incorporated into this navigational system.

Internal navigation

Internally, schools are never the easiest buildings to find your way around. With a sprawling network of endless corridors, often repeated over several storeys, it’s not only hard to get to where you’re going; it can be easy to get completely lost. For newcomers, a single wrong turn can take them to places that make it impossible to find their bearings, which is not good in environments that look unfavourably on the lateness of teachers and pupils alike.

Improved punctuality and the benefits that come from it can all be achieved from ensuring that the external wayfinding system mentioned above continues indoors. Good school wayfinding can include ceiling hung corridor signs, signs at corridor junctions and stairwells, directional wall signs, departmental entrance signs and the obligatory door signage. These can be created affordably in acrylic or even Foamex and easily attached to the structural features. They can also be colour coded and be used for branding purposes by including the school or even the department logo.

Reinforcing values

Over the last few years, it has become popular for schools to use signage to reinforce their values throughout the building. Some schools use large and prominent signs to depict important keywords, e.g., tolerance, respect and responsibility, while others create signs listing their main school rules for placement in classrooms or display excerpts from their core value statements to put in places like assembly halls. These important signs serve as a continual visual reminder to all members of the school community of the expectations on students and staff with regard to how they conduct themselves when in the building.

Health and safety

Health and safety are paramount in any working environment but one can argue that they are even more important when the majority of people in the building are minors. Children’s natural tendency to play around can put them at risk of harming themselves and others, especially in subject areas where potentially dangerous equipment is being used, such as in technology, science and PE. Prominent signage can reinforce important health and safety rules and lessen the risk of injury.

At the same time, schools have certain signs that they are legally required to display and maintain, such as those which identify the location of fire extinguishers, emergency exits and mustering points. Often the type of health and safety sign used, its location, mode of display (e.g. whether it needs illumination) and maintenance are prescribed by legislation.


School signage plays a number of important roles, from helping to promote the school and its brand to keeping staff and students safe. There is a wide selection of signage options available to carry out these functions, many available in a range of colours, sizes, shapes, designs and materials. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find the right combination of signage options to improve your school.

For more information, visit our Schools Signs page.


6 Benefits of Projecting Signs

Projecting signs have been in use for centuries and with good reason; they are proven to be highly effective. However, it would be untrue to say there’s nothing new about them. With modern materials and the latest technology now available, this hugely popular form of sign has undergone something of a renaissance that has seen it become used far more widely than ever before. Here, we’ll look at some of the benefits of using them.

What are projecting signs?

The terminology used in the signage industry can be confusing at times so, for clarity, a projecting sign is one which sticks out from or is perpendicular to a wall or post rather than being fixed flat against it. The most common example you’ll see is the traditional, old fashioned, pub sign.

The benefits of projecting signs

  1. Easier to read

One of the main advantages of a projecting sign is that they are easy for people to read. Most people first notice a sign on the street as they are walking towards it, not when they are stood right outside. When a sign that is flat against the wall of the building is seen from this angle, the perspective is distorted. The letters which are nearer are bigger and easier to read while those further away are increasingly smaller and harder to make out.

A projecting sign that is perpendicular puts all the letters at the same distance from the eye and thus makes them the same size. This makes it easier to read.

  1. Readable from a distance

In some cases, depending on the distance a person is away from the sign or the angle at which they are viewing, a flat sign can disappear from view completely. If you are a business vying for custom on the high street, this can put you at a serious disadvantage.

A projecting sign, however, displays its message at an angle that faces those walking towards it. This means it can be seen clearly from a distance and can draw the attention of customers further away, giving you a competitive edge.

  1. Viewable from both sides

Of course, sticking out from a wall or post at 45 degrees means the sign will have two visible sides and this enables you to effectively target people coming in both directions towards your premises. This also means passengers in vehicles that drive past your sign can turn for a second look even when they have moved further down the road.

  1. Can be placed away from your business premises

Projecting signs don’t need to be affixed to your actual building and this makes them ideal for businesses which are situated away from the roadside but which need to attract the attention of passers-by.

The way to do this is to create a freestanding projection sign that is affixed to a rigid support structure. These can be purposely built to ensure that the sign is safe and secure and can be positioned anywhere on your business premises. As a result, you can put your projecting sign in the place that is most advantageous for your needs.

  1. Modern graphics and materials

While traditional projecting signs were made out of wood and hand-painted, those of the 21st Century come in a much wider range of materials. One of the most popular choices of material is Opal Acrylic and the reason for this is that it can be manufactured to any size and can have any graphic design printed on it – enabling you to display your branding in intricate detail on the street.

It’s not just the sign that’s versatile, you can also choose the material needed to fix your sign, whether that’s a traditional wrought iron swinging sign, a standard fixed bracket or something a little more contemporary.

  1. Be seen at night

For businesses which ply their trade during the dark hours, such as pubs and restaurants, it is absolutely crucial that your projecting sign is seen at night. Even for those which operate standard business hours, come the winter months when it gets dark in the late afternoon, a non-lit sign can be ineffective. And for all businesses, a lit sign can operate as an effective 24/7 advertisement even when you are closed.

Today, it is possible to create bespoke designed LED projected signs that give your business real presence during the darker hours. And with LEDs being long lasting and low on power consumption, it’s a great way to make your sign work much harder for you.


A familiar feature of the British high street for hundreds of years, projecting signs have proved their usefulness to countless business owners. With today’s modern materials, design techniques and illumination methods they are proving more beneficial than ever before.

For more information take a look at our Projecting Signs page.







Door Signs: Putting the Last Dead Space to Good Use

Companies are making increased use of every type of space to promote their business, with everything from vehicles to windows being seen as valuable advertising real estate. Doors, however, have tended to remain untouched – until now that is. Recently, there has been a huge increase in the numbers of companies wanting to put the last dead space to good use. Here, we’ll look at why doors are good places to put signs and how you can use door signs to your benefit.

You can’t miss door signs

One of the biggest advantages of door signs is that they are unmissable. We can walk past walls, windows and vehicle graphics without taking too much notice. A door, however, is something you have to go through, something you have to physically interact with to get to the other side. So, when that door has a sign on it, anyone walking through will see it as they approach – and this makes it have many practical uses.

The right sign for your type of door

There are a number of factors that will affect the type of signage best suited to your door. The first of these is the material that your door is made from. Opaque doors are usually made of wood or composite materials and these enable you to use signs that can be mounted onto the door surface, such as acrylic, Foamex or metal signs. Glass doors, on the other hand, require the use of adhesive graphics, which aside from being available in multiple colours and even as photographic images, can be semi-transparent and have decorative patterns.

The shape and size of your door will also affect your choice of sign. There are single doors and double doors, sliding and swing doors, automatic and manual doors and various other combinations, sizes and shapes – including glass fronted entrances where the door and surrounding glass wall are all part of a single, architectural feature. To create the most effective sign, it is best to design one which makes the most of the type of door you have. For example, a large graphic logo, split across two automatic glass doors, can look very impressive as it opens and closes.

How door signs can make an impact

The location of a door will affect the type of sign you may want to put on it. The signs used on external doors, for example, will have a different function to those on internal doors. Those used on main entrance doors are particularly important and may need an impactful design to promote brand identity, attract new customers and create a welcoming entrance. In addition, they may be used to display things like opening times or contact details.

Internal door signs may be better suited to displaying information about location, e.g., bar, gym, restaurant. In this way, they become an integral part of your wayfinding system. They may also be used to display important information, such as ‘members only’ or ‘children must be accompanied by an adult.’ Aside from the names of the room or important information, these signs can also be designed to incorporate your logo or corporate colours and, in doing so, extend your branding throughout the building.

In retail outlets, internal door signs make a great space for advertising products or promotions. Poster cases can be affixed to opaque doors to display temporary signs that promote short-term offers. On glass doors, it is possible to put up temporary adhesive graphics for the same purpose.

Doors also make ideal locations on which to put health and safety signs. Someone entering an area where hearing protection is required is unable to miss the warning if the sign is facing them at eye level as they enter. Similarly, the back of the door is the ideal place for putting emergency evacuation signs – something that has long been done in hotels. If someone is leaving in an emergency, the sign on the back of the door is there to remind them where the nearest emergency exit is located.

Cubicle doors in changing rooms have also been used to display signs. These can vary from helpful information, such as ‘Don’t forget to take all your belongings’ to advertisements. Health clubs and gyms, for example, could find these useful places to promote membership deals.

Summing up

When is a door not a door? When it’s a sign. The potential benefits of putting signs on doors have long been overlooked. The simple fact that people have to go through doors make them the ideal place to put signs; they cannot be missed. Hopefully, this post will have shown you the types of signs you can use on doors and the purposes for which you can use them.

For more information, visit our Door Signs page.



6 Tips for Creating Effective Office Signs

Unlike shops and restaurants that have eye-catching glass frontages to attract customers, offices are often located in more pedestrian looking buildings. This makes it hard to catch the customer’s eye; especially if you are just one of several businesses sharing the space. So, how do you make an impact both externally and internally? The answer lies in having effective office signage and, in this post, we offer some useful tips on how to achieve this.

  1. Choose an optimum location

The money you spend on office signage should be seen as an investment. It’s there to promote your brand and bring new customers. To optimise its impact, you’ll need to think very carefully about where to place it. In the wrong location, it can be ineffective; in the right location it can seriously boost your trade.

Ideally, the sign needs to be where lots of people can see it. Internally, this could be in a reception area, a public foyer or on a busy corridor. Externally, you’ll need a sign by the building’s entrance; however, if this is somewhere quiet, you should consider additional signage on the busier side of the building or even a freestanding sign by the roadside.

An effective office sign should be clearly visible from a reasonable distance. To make sure this happens, don’t put it where it can get obscured by other things, like road signs, trees and street furniture.

Another important factor to consider is the height at which the office sign should be placed. Externally, the further away you want it to be seen, the higher it should be. Internally, signs often work better at eye level so that those walking past can easily spot it.

  1. Colour choice is crucial

Colours have both a practical and a psychological impact. Practically, the colours you choose can be the difference between the sign being highly visible or of it going unnoticed. Psychologically, people have an emotional response to colours; different combinations can make a sign attractive or repulsive.

The first factor you should consider is the colour of the background where the sign will be displayed. Put a red sign on a red wall and it will melt into the background. Put a red sign on a green wall and the colour combination will be difficult for people’s eyes to look at. What you need to find is a contrasting combination that makes your sign stand out but in a way that is appealing.

The next important decision is how to use the colours associated with your corporate identity. Putting these on your signage is very desirable and can be a way to extend the reach of your brand. If these colours clash with the wall on which the sign is put, an easy solution is to frame the sign with a plain colour. Alternatively, a good designer can come up with a range of designs that remove any colour clashes.

  1. Design for easy reading

An eye-catching sign is not just one which is instantly noticeable, it is also one with information which can be immediately understood. When people walk or drive down a street, they don’t purposely look out to read every sign they see and this means that those which lack the right design elements often go unnoticed.

For this reason, it is important to choose fonts, font sizes and letter spacing that make a sign easy to read for someone giving it a casual glance. Highly cursive fonts, while attractive, can be difficult to make out, especially at a distance. The less elaborate sans-serif typefaces, which look less handwritten, are more effective for visual communication. If your branding contains cursive fonts,   you can make it easier to read by making the text larger.

  1. Be bright at night

Why spend money on a sign that’s not visible at all times? If you want an effective external office sign, one way to give it much more impact is to have it illuminated. This can be done either by directing LED lights onto the sign or by incorporating them into the sign itself.

LEDs are cheap to run, long lasting and ensure your sign is seen 24 hours a day. This way, even when the office is closed, your brand is still being promoted to those passing by. There is a wide range of designs you can choose from, including individually illuminated letters.

  1. Always double check for accuracy

Most office signs don’t contain too much text; however, it is still vital that you thoroughly check for accuracy before having yours manufactured. The internet is full of photos of signage bloopers and while these may be humorous for observers, they can do damage to your business’ reputation. Misspelt words and apostrophe errors are the most common mistakes and make your business look unprofessional. Incorrect contact details, on the other hand, such as getting telephone numbers or email addresses wrong, can lose you customers.

  1. Get an expert to design your sign

There are a lot of considerations to be made when creating a sign and it can be difficult to combine all your requirements into a finished design. The simplest solution to creating an office sign that does everything it needs to is to work with a sign company that both designs and manufactures the finished product.

A designer will seek to understand what you want the sign to achieve before creating a bespoke design based on your requirements. They will ensure you get the best sign for your purposes and design it in a way that is most effective.


Office signage plays an important role in your business, helping customers find you and promoting your brand to a wider audience. Creating a sign that does both these jobs effectively requires you to consider many things, from where the sign is being placed to the colours, fonts and illumination needed to help it communicate your message clearly.

If you are looking for new office signage, whether it’s a simple sign or one with illuminated, 3D architectural lettering, check out our Office Signs page.


school signs at Castle Hills Primary

5 Things to Consider When Buying a New School Sign

Over the last few years, school signs have become increasingly important. They are usually the first thing that pupils, parents and visitors see on arrival and how they look often reveals more than the important information that’s displayed upon them.

Getting the right sign for your school can be a challenge so, in this post, we’ll look at five things you need to consider when buying a new school sign.

  1. Communicating the brand message

Every school is unique and central to this are your vision and ethos. For schools, these are often epitomised in the school’s branding, which includes your logo, school colours, typeface and motto. Ensuring these are faithfully represented on your exterior sign is vital as it gives an important first impression to those visiting the school, be they prospective parents and pupils, potential new staff coming to look around or the Ofsted inspection team.

  1. Getting a complete design

Incorporating your branding onto your school sign is only part of the process. Your design will need to include other essential details. Today, it is common for most school signs to include the telephone number and website address. Others show additional information, such as whether the school is part of a larger multi-academy trust or is voluntary aided, while there are some which are embellished with pertinent images.

Once you have a list of all the required information and branding, you will then need to consider the appropriate colours for the background and the text as these will help ensure your sign gets noticed and is able to be read from the desired distance.

You will also need to think about the shape and size of your sign. Although square and rectangular signs are the most common, modern materials and design techniques mean there is no requirement for it to be a regular shape if you want to go for something a little bolder. The size of your sign will depend on how far away you want it to be seen and on how practical a specific size is for your needs.

For schools in conservation areas, there may be restrictions on the size and design you are allowed to display as you may need to keep these in fitting with the local area.

A final consideration is where to put the name of the headteacher or principal. Putting this information on the main sign means that when, inevitably, a new leader takes charge, a new sign will be needed. To save costs in the long term, it is usually the practice, these days, to display the head’s name on a matching sign that is placed beneath the main sign.

  1. Choosing the right materials

There is a range of different materials you can use to create your school sign. The most popular include printed acrylic signs which are hardwearing and can be created in a wide variety of colours or shapes. Some schools also opt for more elaborate signs which incorporate cut out 2D or 3D lettering made from acrylic or metals.

It is even possible to use LED lighting to ensure your signs are visible at night, which can be useful when holding open evenings, parents’ evenings and school productions or simply for use during the dark mornings and afternoons during winter.

  1. Placing your sign for greatest impact

Key to the success of any school sign is where you put it as this will affect who can see it and from how far. The most common location is at the main entrance to the site, as this tells people they have arrived at the right place. However, there are many schools where the external design of the site means this is not the most practical solution. Sometimes, it needs to be displayed adjacent to a playground or on the actual wall of the building. On occasions, schools may wish to have a multi-directional sign created so that it can be seen for people travelling in different directions. For large schools and those operating on multiple sites, it can be necessary to require more than one sign.

Placing a sign will require you to choose the appropriate methods to display it. These may include freestanding posts and poles or more complex structures that need to be installed safely before the sign goes up, or for the sign to be securely attached to an existing building.

  1. Picking the best signage company

With all these considerations in mind, it’s important to choose the right signage company for your school sign. Ideally, you will need a company that has prior experience in creating school signs and has the capacity to handle the complete process from site survey to design, manufacture and installation. This should include providing you with a designer that understands your requirements and can turn the desired visualisation into the finished sign.

Importantly, you should also choose a company whose installers are fully DBS checked, safe to work in schools and who undergo safeguarding training.


As you can see, getting the right sign for your school takes some thinking about. It needs to encapsulate your brand, display the necessary information, be designed to have a presence and displayed where it can be clearly seen. The best way to achieve these things is to choose the right signage company, one that will produce the sign you need and carry out the entire process for you.

If you are looking for a new school sign, check out our School Signage page.




Developing Trends in Construction Site Signage

Advances in design and printing technology, together with the adoption of new signage materials mean that there are far more options when it comes to construction site signage. This is enabling construction companies to communicate in far more effective ways to those in and around the site. Here, we’ll look at the latest trends in construction site signage.

Showcasing a renovation

Renovation sites can be notoriously ugly to look at and are often a blot on the landscape that can temporarily affect the local amenity. Indeed, in city centres, both local authorities and neighbouring businesses will be concerned about the impact of such projects on the local trade.

Although it is impossible to completely conceal the construction work taking place, what many companies are now doing is to use large scale printed building wraps, attached to scaffolding, which hide the façade of the building behind an image of what the finished project will look like, together with the branding of the company doing the work.

Not only does this improve the local environment for the benefit of local businesses and the general public who pass by, it also acts as an exceptionally eye-catching showcase for the construction company, letting passers-by see just what they are capable of.

Final product hoardings  

While building wraps are great for renovations, they can’t be used on sites where the building is not yet erected or where there is a multitude of smaller buildings, as in a housing project. In these situations, the use of printed hoardings is becoming much more popular.

One of the key reasons for this trend is that hoardings can be used to prevent crime. Unlike mesh fences, which are easy to cut through or climb, hoarding boards can be far more robust and difficult to get over. In addition, they block off the view to the site, preventing thieves from eyeing up vulnerable equipment.

Aside from these crime-reducing features, printed hoardings open up lots of potential communication possibilities. One of the main trends now being used is to print full-colour images of what the finished site will look like on the hoardings. These are often embellished by adding people and in the case of housing estates, gardens and vehicles, to give an impression of what it would be like to live there. The intention is not only to show potential buyers what the project will look like but to show the standard of the construction company’s work.

PR signage

When construction work necessarily involves disruption to the local area, such as when it blocks off access to roads or stops people parking near businesses and amenities, the company can get a lot of complaints. Today, the trend seems to be for construction companies to pre-empt any issues with a well-organised PR exercise. Often this involves writing to those in the neighbourhood before work begins to explain what will happen and backing this up with the use of PR signage.

Essentially, PR signage involves using signage on the exterior of the site to apologise for any inconvenience, give details of the approximate length of any disruption, provide contact information and thank those affected for their patience and understanding. In some circumstances, the sign will also give the reason for the work being carried out, e.g., for essential improvements to roadworks. These signs are usually erected at the places where they will have the most impact.

Advertising opportunities

In many instances, the buildings being created during a construction project are for sale or for lease. From a financial perspective, it is in the interests of everyone concerned for the selling or leasing to be carried out as soon as possible. The use of advertising hoardings often means interest can be generated and, in some circumstances, offers accepted before construction has even been completed.

Advertising signage can be placed on the outside of the site during construction showing what the building will look like, with the addition of internal images created from architectural drawings or, if possible, from previously erected buildings constructed using the same designs.

Once construction work has been completed, signage can be used to help sell or lease the properties with actual photos rather than computer-generated ones, together with images from show homes, etc. Additionally, the signs can show prices, contact details and any offers, such as those for first-time buyers.


The phrase ‘it looks like a building site’ has long been synonymous for an eyesore. Thanks to the signage technology and materials available today, that saying is becoming a thing of the past. Construction site signage enables companies to hide the unsightly work taking place and instead, display a representation of the finished building. This allows them to promote their services, showcase their abilities, sell or lease the properties they are building and improve relations with those temporarily affected by the work taking place.

For more information visit our construction signs page.


7 Tips For Creating Effective Wayfinding Signs

Wayfinding signage is important to a lot of organisations. If you have large premises with a complicated layout or simply have visitors who don’t know their way around, wayfinding signs are the solution that helps people get to where they need to be without getting lost.

They help students get to class on time, patients make appointments and customers find the products or services they are looking for.

Putting together an effective wayfinding system, however, requires some thought and forward planning. To help you create a better system, here are seven tips for creating effective wayfinding signs.

  1. Design for the first-time visitor

The aim of a wayfinding system is to ensure that everybody can get to where they need to be. To ensure this happens, design your system for those who have never been to your premises before. To do this, you need to think like a visitor. What things would they be looking for? Where would they want to go? How would they try to navigate through the building?

  1. Survey your premises

Before making a wayfinding system, you need to have a complete and accurate record of where everything is. There are some premises where no single person has complete knowledge of the space and without a full overview, potentially important places are going to be absent from the system.

You also need to engage other people’s opinions about which places need to be included on the wayfinding system and which, if any, can be left off. For example, managers might not consider the boiler room a necessary inclusion, whereas the contractors sent to service it might find it very useful.

  1. Display signs at decision points

One of the key aspects of an effective wayfinding system is putting the signs in the right places. Generally, we are very good at finding things if we are travelling in a straight line: it is when that straight line deviates that we expect to find a sign to help us on the next part of the journey.

This usually means putting a sign at a place where we need to decide about which direction to go and, in most cases, these are at entrances, exits, staircases, lifts, crossroads, junctions and larger spaces where there are multiple exits each leading to different places.

  1. Maintain consistency

Wayfinding signs need to be recognised as such and should, therefore, all have the same design. This means using the same colours, shapes, fonts and symbols consistently so that people can spot them easily and know immediately that they are wayfinding signs.

Another important consistency feature is to ensure that all places are labelled according to their officially assigned names. This requires all places within a premises to be given an official name and for the use of that name to be encouraged by staff. The typical example of this is where building extensions are sometimes referred to as the ‘new block’ but have an official title that nobody uses. Someone sent to the ‘new block’ would have difficulty finding it when it was labelled as something else on the signage system.

  1. Display information succinctly

The best practice in creating an effective wayfinding system is to keep information limited to what is necessary. This means labelling the destination, pointing the direction and, if required, showing the distance or travelling time. Always aim to use the minimum number of words and where possible, e.g., for toilets, use universally understood symbols.

Keeping information to what is necessary ensures it is presented in a clean and precise way that is easy to follow. This is especially important if there are several signs, all for different places, placed next to each other.

  1. Giving distance and time information

Not all organisations will need to provide distance and/or time information but those with large or multiple buildings or which have outdoor spaces may find it helpful. Providing information about the distance to be travelled and the approximate time it can take to get from A to B can be particularly helpful in university campuses, theme parks, zoos, hospitals, transport hubs, holiday camps and so forth.

  1. Maintain up-to-date signage

Places change over time: rooms get reassigned for different uses and internal building work can mean some rooms and even routes disappear. As anyone who has ever used an out of date Ordnance Survey map will tell you, this can be very confusing. To prevent confusion amongst your visitors and staff, make regular checks of your premises and ensure that any changes that might affect the wayfinding system are notified to the person responsible for its maintenance.


When properly designed to meet your needs, wayfinding signs can bring many benefits to your organisation. They cut down on wasted time and missed appointments, improve customer satisfaction, reduce confusion and stress, and help people find the products and services they want quickly and easily. Hopefully, the seven tips provided here will help your organisation design a more effective wayfinding system that is truly fit for purpose.

For more information, visit our Wayfinding Signs page.

The Trawlerman - Illuminated Sign

5 Key Design Elements of Restaurant and Takeaway Signage

Getting the right design is essential when you are investing in restaurant signage or for your takeaway business.

With so much competition on the high street, you need more than a sign that simply stands out from the crowd, it will need to evoke the right feelings and send the right messages in order to attract customers to your door. With so many design options to choose from, it can be difficult to get it right. Here, we’ll look at the key design elements that restaurants and takeaways need to consider.

Essential illumination

Illuminated signs are a necessity for restaurants and takeaways simply because they do much of their business in the evenings when it is dark. An illuminated sign enables your premises to be seen from a distance both at night and in poor weather conditions, ensuring all that passing business knows where you are. A lit-up sign also acts as a beacon to hungry passers-by telling them that you are open for business

Designs that connect with your customers

As a restaurant or takeaway, you’ll go the extra mile to create the right setting for your customers. Restaurants, especially, will invest heavily in interior design to create the right ambience for customers to enjoy their food.

Creating a stylish interior may not have the desired effect if you have an exterior sign that frightens customers away rather than encouraging them to come in. You want a sign that matches your restaurant or takeaway and which connects with the customer on an emotional level. This could be something that communicates that you are a stylish, upmarket restaurant serving the finest cuisine, an intimate bistro perfect for romantic couples or a relaxed, informal ristorante that’s ideal for family and group outings.

Whatever audience you are aiming to market to, your sign needs to convey the message in a way they find attractive and which gives an indication of what is to come once they walk through the doors.

Communicate information clearly

The whole purpose of a sign is to inform customers about your restaurant or takeaway. While the aesthetics are there to create the right image, the information on the sign is just as vital from a functional point of view.

To get this right, you need to consider what information a customer would need to know to make your sign effective. Obviously, as you cannot put every key piece of information on a sign, you need to trim it down to the essentials – and these may be different depending on whether you are a restaurant, a takeaway or both. The essential requirement is the name of your business and often this is followed by the specific type of business you are: Thai restaurant, Chinese takeaway, fish and chip shop, burger bar, etc.

Takeaway signs tend to have more information than restaurants and can include details such as opening times and even list some of the foods available, especially if they sell a range of food styles.

Aside from the actual information presented, an important consideration is the legibility of the text. Text needs to be easy to read from a distance and this affects both your choice of font and the size of the actual lettering. Overly cursive, script-like fonts can be a challenge to read, as can opting for smaller fonts in an effort to cram in more information. If this prevents clear communication, the sign won’t work effectively.

Extend your brand’s reach

Your brand’s reputation is critical if you are a local restaurant or takeaway and incorporating your branding into your signage can be a very useful way to build brand awareness. There are various ways you can achieve this, such as including your logo, brand colours, strapline and typography in your signs. This can help create the uniformity, continuity and balance needed to establish and extend a brand’s reach, especially when it ties into the design of your interior, the signage you use on your vehicles and any branding used on other items, like staff uniforms, pizza boxes, carrier bags, etc.

With the modern materials and manufacturing techniques available today, there is a wide range of options when it comes to creating branded signs, from simple, multi-coloured acrylic signs to the grander architectural signs made from 3d metal lettering. Whatever image you are wishing to convey, there is a way to achieve it.


As a nation, we are eating out and ordering takeaways more than ever before. An effective sign can attract hungry eaters off the street or inspire them to book a table or order from you at a later time. Indeed, even when we order a takeaway from an online service like Just Eat or Deliveroo, it’s often because we’ve remembered seeing the sign when driving by and liked the look of your business.

If you are looking to create a successful sign for your restaurant or takeaway, take a look at our restaurant and hotel signs page.


6 Clues Your Vehicle Signs Need Upgrading

Vinyl wrap vehicle signage is an increasingly popular way for companies to promote themselves while out on the road. These eye-catching signs can draw the attention of thousands of potential customers every day and, with today’s modern materials, are a highly durable and practical way of adding signage to your cars and vans. However, although wraps can last for many years, they do eventually begin to look tired.

At the same time, changes to the business, innovations in communications technology and various other factors may mean your vehicle livery has become out of date. In this post, we’ll look at six clues that it’s time to upgrade your vehicle signs.

1. Your vehicle graphics are showing signs of wear and tear
Just like your vehicle itself, your vehicle wraps will eventually show signs of getting tired. Although vinyl wraps are strong and hard wearing, years of travelling on polluted and dirty roads in all weathers will take its toll, eventually.
Tell-tale signs that your graphics are ready for an upgrade include faded colours where the sun has bleached the printing, scratches around areas which get used the most often, such as doors, handles and bonnets, and peeling of the edges of the wraps, especially where things may have rubbed up against the vehicle or at the bottom where road spray can have the most impact.
A shabby looking vehicle graphic does not present your business in the right way. So, if you find that these problems are affecting the quality of your sign, then it is time to upgrade to something new and smarter.

2. Your vehicle signs no longer have the right information
Today’s vehicle graphics can contain a lot of useful information about your company. Typical details can include phone numbers, physical, email and web addresses and even QR codes. With so many people using smartphones, interested passers-by will often take a photo of these details so that they can contact you. However, if any of these details change it means your vehicle signs will be ineffective if they aren’t updated – and this means losing sales.
So, if you have moved to new premises or changed your phone number, you should update this on your vehicle as soon as possible. Luckily, this doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to change the entire wrap. If the existing graphics are still in good condition, you can simply use a matching vinyl decal to cover the old information.

3. Your signage doesn’t cater for new communications technology
Technology is changing at such a pace that, during the lifetime of your vehicle, new ways of communicating can be invented that we haven’t even considered today. It wasn’t that long ago that all a company put on the side of their vans was their name and phone number. Today businesses are putting email and website addresses, Twitter handles, and usernames for Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat on their vehicles. Who knows what other popular channels will be around in the next few years?
In addition, some vehicle graphics have QR codes printed on them, while others put NFC chips under the vinyl with the words ‘Tap Your Phone Here’ so that anyone that does can be taken directly to their website page, a booking form or be shown a video.
With modern technology, the opportunities to connect with customers are far greater than ever before. Updating your vehicle graphics to benefit from these technologies can help open up your business to a whole new market.

4. Your signage has gone out of fashion
Fashions come and go quickly and what attracted attention yesterday might turn people off today. Take fonts, for example, those that depicted being ‘on trend’ just a couple of years ago may now show your business to be behind the times. This is also important for those companies that use images in their signage. A bathroom fitter that puts an image of a bathroom on the side of their van might discover, after a few years, that those types of bathroom are more commonly seen in the skip than in the showroom. If that’s the case, it’s a definite indication to upgrade.
5. Your signage doesn’t address shifting attitudes
Brands across the globe are having to up their game when it comes to addressing shifts in public attitudes towards things like gender, race, disabled and sexual equality. Vehicle graphics, like any other form of public display, needs to take this into consideration. Any image or slogan on your vehicle which portrays outdated stereotypes or which may cause offence can have a serious impact on your brand. At the same time, it is important that images are inclusive and represent demographic diversity.
If you find your vehicle signs are out of step with today’s attitudes, then more socially acceptable livery might be called for.

6. Your business has changed
Successful businesses evolve over time, adapting to the changing environment in which they operate. As your business moves forward, you may need to change your branding and marketing to attract new customers and open up new markets.
One aspect of doing this will be to update your vehicle graphics. For example, if you started out as a general builder but have specialised in commercial projects, your vehicle graphics need to show this to stop you attracting the wrong customers and help you attract the right ones. The same applies if you have diversified. You may have begun as an electrician but may now also offer lighting design. Updating your vehicle so that it promotes all your services will help you reach those new customers.

Vehicles signs are a great way to promote your business. They’re an affordable, long lasting and highly visual way to attract the attention of many people. However, for the various reasons shown here, it may be necessary to upgrade them from time to time.
If you are looking for new signs for your vehicle, check out our vehicle graphics page.