Article Contributed by Christina White
In this fast-paced tech-oriented world, more and more people are focusing their advertising efforts towards online and mobile marketing practices. This is perfectly understandable; as more than half of all internet traffic is now coming from a mobile device. However, when it comes to grabbing the people attention, it may be sometimes better to use an old-fashioned, well-thought-out graphic sign. And the design that goes into making a sign can have a substantial influence on the number of new customers your company could potentially acquire. That said, here are 5 signage tips you can use to help better promote your business.
1. Keep it legible and visible
You’ve probably already heard the old “less is more” saying. It is an integral part of sign design process, as keeping the message clear and short makes the sign easier to see and read its content with a single glance. Although signs come in many different shapes and sizes, choosing the appropriate one becomes fairly important once you realize that not every sign size is appropriate for every viewing distance. This is why you have to consider the location where your sign will be placed and remove any obstacles that might interfere with the sign’s visibility.
Another factor to consider when it comes to visibility is clutter. A good sign has to communicate the message concisely and efficiently. Overstuffing your sign with too much text not only makes it harder for people to read it from a distance but also moves the reader’s attention away from the message you’re trying to convey. Marketers tend to fill up any blank space on a sign in order to get the most out of their investment. What they don’t realize is that this “blank space” around words and graphics is equally important for conveying the message as the text itself.
2. Choose the right color scheme
The right color scheme is crucial for any well-designed sign. Not only does it grab the reader’s attention, it can also be used to convey the brand’s identity. Think Coca-Cola red or Starbucks green for example. Trademark recognition has more to do with the choice of color than the actual logo representing it. Avoid using background colors which make reading the message difficult. Choose a color which contrasts well with other colors, such as black on white or black on yellow. This allows for an easier reading experience, even when viewed from a distance.
3. Add contrast for better readability
It’s not the color scheme that determines the sign’s readability. Sure, it does play a great part, but if you wish to increase the readability, you have to think about the contrast. Most signs these days’ place graphics and text in the foreground, with the background being filled with a single, continuous color. This creates a contrast between the background and the foreground, allowing the reader to focus on the content more quickly and with ease. The bigger the contrast, the easier it is to view the text from a distance.
4. Find the right font type
The best fonts are the ones that are clean and easy to read. And there’s a big misconception that as capital letters are “bigger” than the lower case ones, they are easier for reading from a certain distance. This is simply not true, as capital letters produce quite the opposite effect then, let’s say, using both capital and lower case letters. As nothing is ever written using only capital letters, it’s only natural to keep the text as “normal” as possible.
You can, however, use bold, italic and extended text, in order to shift the focus towards a specific part of the message. Finally, avoid using extremely small fonts for the contact information and if you insist on using two different fonts in the same design, make sure that they complement each other and make the message really stand out.
5. Don’t forget to illuminate you sign
Whether you’re using a banner, poster, billboard or even corflute sign, don’t forget to check if they are properly illuminated, especially during the nighttime. A well-placed light source can be used to accent the sign and draw the reader’s eyes towards it. Not only does it result in a controlled and in turn, more attractive visual, but illumination increases the chance of your sign remaining effective even beyond the regular business hours.
No matter how good you make the sign look, it’s basically a pretty, but empty shell without good copywriting. The message you’re trying to convey is a direct representation of your brand and business, so make sure to write a compelling and engaging message. If you don’t have the necessary writing skills, then hiring a professional writer might be your best choice. Fortunately, they are easy to find online and usually don’t cost that much. The same can be said about graphic designers, but their services tend to be a tad more expensive when compared to hiring a writer. Never go for the cheapest option, but at the same time avoid spending your entire marketing budget on a single sign.
About the Author
Christina White is a marketing consultant from Sydney. She’s been working with different companies for 6 years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, you can find her hiking with her furry four legged companion or just sharing positivity among her friends.