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Getting Noticed with Custom Signage: Tips on Design and Placement

The forward-facing signage at your brick and mortar establishment can be considered your biggest asset in branding. Think about McDonalds, Target, Starbucks and other instantly-recognizable chains. What do they all have in common? Iconic signage. What’s more, these signs are always easily visible and ultimately tied to the brand across its many advertising mediums. Your small business may not have the clout of a McDonalds or Starbucks, but that doesn’t mean you too can’t leverage the power of well-developed custom signage. In fact, generating effective custom signage is a great way to develop a sound, solid, sustainable foundation for branding, advertisement, and brand-recognition!

Designing Custom Signage with Simplicity

Let’s think for a moment about McDonalds. The Golden Arches are just about the simplest design possible, yet today, are the most iconic example of custom signage. This isn’t a coincidence. One of the first principles to keep in mind for your custom signage is simplicity. Simple signage is effective because it’s easy for our brains to process quickly and completely. People should be able to conceptualize and remember your sign at a glance, like if they’re driving past in a car or happen to see it out of the corner of their eye. The simpler you keep your sign, the more notice it’s going to receive.

Choose Your Colors Wisely

Color is critical when creating custom signage, chiefly because of its psychological effects. Our eyes are drawn to vivid colors and we form perceptions based on how colors interact with the space around them. For example, the harmonious juxtaposition of green and yellow in John Deere’s signage makes it comfortable for our brains to process. Imagine if John Deere’s logo was purple against blue or green on pink! For your own custom sign, be sure to choose complementary colors and limit the number of colors used. Here again, simplicity is smart.

Understand Connotation and Denotation

Different traits and characteristics become part of underlying schemas in how our brains process things. For example, red letters in a blocky sans-serif font might remind us of alarm clock numbers. Many times, these associations are innocuous; sometimes, however, they can have connotative or denotative effects. Understanding how your sign could be perceived based on its characteristics will help you in designing something unique and alluring, rather than something that gives off the wrong vibe or creates offhand associations. Better still, being able to identify and leverage connotations into your signage design could instill your brand with positive traits!

A Word on Placement

Front-facing store signage needs to be visible to work. This means observing a couple of tried and true placements:
  • Above your front entrance, as a way to identify your storefront. This works well if you’re part of a strip mall or a standalone building. It’s not a great option if your building is shared or too small to be visible from a distance.
  • Pole signage near a street or other transportation area is great for buildings that might be hidden or with a sightline that might be obstructed. Avoid pole signage if you’re not near a motorway or your chief audience is on foot.
  • Pylon signage is a smart option if you’re in a strip mall or have property that’s shared with other businesses. It can be used in tandem with other signage to great effect.
In addition to all of the above considerations of design and placement, it cannot be understated that working with a designer is chiefly important, and having your sign fabricated or printed by a professional is second to none. For more tips on how to get noticed with custom signage or to start designing the ideal signage for your business, consult with an AlphaGraphics professional today! Want to learn more about how signage can help your business succeed and enter to win a $500 Visa gift card? Enter here!

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