This week’s guest post is from Barbara Muenzen of SignCrafters, Inc. Often, the next step after we design a logo is to create marketing support materials. Signage—whether for a building’s exterior, awning, parking lot, lobby, window, or trucks or vans—is one of the most effective marketing vehicles. Barbara provides 3 crucial tips for getting the most out of the investment your company puts into signs.
Effective Signs Have Good Looks and Readability
Featured Blogger: Barbara Muenzen, Owner of SignCrafters, Inc.
The US Small Business Administration tells us that an on-premise sign is by far the most effective form of advertising for small business. In fact, they attribute the lion’s share of retail business success rates to a visible sign. Why? Because university and other surveys have consistently revealed that 49% of new customers patronized the business because they saw the sign!
How do you maximize this invaluable resource? Here are some tips (though the entire science of signs involves much more, this will be a great start):
- Image #1 – Letter-height: Don’t make your prospective customers go through an eye exam! An effective sign must be legible from a distance. Generally, letters with a taller, wider “stroke” can be read from further away. See the official letter-height viewing charts as well. With an aging population, this becomes more important, and larger, visible signs reduce fender benders!
- Image #2 – Contrast: A lack of contrast can create big problems for any sign design. Letters that blend in with their backgrounds become illegible at moderate distances. There is no good reason to make address numbers or signage blend into a building’s color scheme. This just makes the job of fire fighters, paramedics, and clients that much more difficult when they need to find the right location.
- Image #3 – Font Choice: Make your message clear. Sans serif fonts or open typefaces like Verdana tend to be more legible. Use the more decorative fonts sparingly, as those can rarely be easily read at a distance. Limiting your sign to a maximum of two type styles is important. In almost all cases, more than two type styles does nothing to improve the sign, and often makes the message harder to read and look disorganized to the viewer.
Keep these tips in mind as you pass signs in your daily travels. You’ll be much more attuned to what works or what doesn’t. And when it’s time for your own signage to be created, you’ll already know the basics of an effective sign.