Emerging Trends in Commercial Signage

Every year, commercial businesses are finding new ways to use signage for their benefit. While some of these innovative approaches are the brainchild of inspired marketing experts, others are due to the advancement of technology and the new materials being adopted within the sign making industry. The result is that those seeking high-quality, well-designed signs have an exciting choice of options at their disposal. Here, we’ll look at some of the most important signage trends currently being employed by the commercial sector.

Building wraps
One of the biggest trends over the last few years has been the emergence of high impact vehicle graphics, often referred to as vehicle wraps. These highly visual forms of signage have transformed the way companies carry out their branding and advertising to such an extent, that they are now being used to wrap buildings.

Initially, these large-scale signs were used in major cities to camouflage unsightly building work which was going on behind them. At first, they were used to promote the construction company, then images of what the finished building would look like were displayed. It was only then that someone got the idea to wrap a building in a way that was able to enhance the brand.

Today, they are being used across the country and in all manner of ways. Commercial businesses are taking advantage of suitable space, such as glass frontages and windowless walls to install large scale wraps that contain high-resolution, full-colour photographs, graphics, text and backgrounds.

Architectural 3D signs
The trend for 3D signage is set to develop rapidly over the next year as technologies such as 3D and texture printing and improvements in architectural sign making come to the fore. 3D design, using built-up features, can be created using materials such as wood, acrylic, aluminium, stainless steel, copper, brass and titanium – and these can be embellished with LED lighting, enabling the sign to have 24 hours per day visibility.

When expertly designed, these signs can incorporate company text types, colours and even logos, helping to give your brand and building increased status and having an immediate impact on potential new customers.
Perhaps one of the key factors in its current popularity is that advances in technology have made this once very expensive signage option much more affordable for smaller and medium-sized enterprises.

Brand story signage
A brand story is a narrative that tells the history and culture of your business in order to elicit an emotional engagement with your brand: an engagement that keeps existing customers loyal and attracts those who share a bond with you. Today, we see brand stories on company websites, social media and on TV ads, with perhaps the Lloyds horse stories being the example that most people are familiar with.

With the rise of the brand story as a powerful marketing technique, we are now seeing companies turn to signage as a way to tell their brand story inside their business premises. Often found in foyers and entrance lobbies, signs are used to create a chronological timeline of your business, not just pointing out the journey of the company but of how it has impacted on its customers and the wider community. A series of signs can include a wide range of interconnected stories and topics, celebrating people who have worked for the company, charities you have helped, new products you have developed, moving to new premises, serving your millionth customer, etc. These signs can be displayed using corporate colours, logos, images, photographs and text that can have an emotional response on visitors, helping them to stay loyal. It can have the same effect on your staff, too.

Interior reception signage
While exterior branding has long been erected on the outside of commercial businesses, today, the trend is for companies to follow that up by having it on full view as soon as a customer arrives inside. This is usually done by creating a statement sign for the reception area.

The reception is the first port of call for new arrivals and having the sign there immediately puts the visitor at ease, as they know they have found the right place. At the same time, the quality of the sign on display projects an image of your brand to those visitors, it’s what helps accountancy companies look professional, investment companies appear successful or what makes patients feel more relaxed in a dental surgery.

Custom made reception signs offer a powerful way to present your brand. With designs made from metal or acrylic, you can create visually stunning architectural lettering using corporate typefaces and recreate your logo in 3D – and for additional impact, this can be illuminated, too.

Commercial businesses are stepping up a gear in their use of signage, finding ever more innovative ways to develop their brand and advertise their products and services. This year we are expecting to see more companies wrap their buildings and install evermore creative 3D exterior signs. At the same time, there will be a growth in the number of reception signs and interior brand story installations.

For more information about the types of signage available at ESP Signs, visit our products page

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