Small business owners, particularly in B2C markets have a crucial decision to make when they are starting a business: “How and where do I spend my money most effectively to promote my business?” The most practical strategy for small businesses to avoid failure is to invest in the best sign you can afford to build awareness for your brand and do a good job for your customers, so they will keep coming back and tell others about your company. Not only is signage the most effective way to build awareness of your business, it is also the most cost-effective. At Signarama, we want your sign to do the work for you in building brand awareness. Here are a few things to consider:
Colors, fonts and typography stuff
Effective sign design starts with readability. Some color combinations work better than others. A good rule of thumb:
- Use contrasting colors for your background and your lettering.
- White lettering only works if your background is a fully saturated color. Just stay away from pastels and you’ll be fine.
- Likewise, yellow logos on a white background present visibility issues. Unless, of course, you add a drop shadow behind the letters. But, drop shadows can make a sign look fuzzy and hard to read if not applied correctly.
- The above sign for a radio station, while clever, is hard to read, especially the small yellow “freshly squeezed” type.
- Spell checking your sign is a must. Save your sign and your business from the ridicule of incorrect spelling or grammar usage. Respect the apostrophe. This sign really pushes the limit on how not to use an apostrophe. Look around; it’s everywhere. The plural form of a noun doesn’t require any punctuation, just add the letter s generally.
- Choose a strong font that’s not too busy or elaborate so your brand’s name is easy to read from a distance or from a moving vehicle. Besides the font choice, this sign suffers from a number of other issues including kerning, or the spacing
between the letters.
Too much information or not enough, where do you draw the line?
Finding the balance between not enough info and way too much info on your business sign can be daunting. Unless you are an established brand, with a recognizable logo, consumers need to know a little bit about you, to pique their interest and talk their curiosity into venturing inside. Your name, your contact info and what kind of goods or services you offer are essentials but don’t include too much as your sign will look crowded and confusing. On the left, what kind of business is this? For that matter, what is its name? Chic lettering, so let’s go with ‘salon.’
But, by the same token, what’s going on here? There’s a lot of information here, but not only do potential customers and clients not know what your business offers, an auxiliary awning obscures the sign itself.
The United States Sign Council, the USSC, recommends signs with a ratio of 40% text and 60% blank space.
Location, visibility and the competition
A word about the size of your sign. It matters. While size of your space, sign conformity and advertising regulations within a complex can determine the size of your sign for you, the distance from a thoroughfare, expected viewing distances and competition from other signs or other obstacles can affect your decision.
Signage is important for the small business owner, as it might be your major visual advertising and promotional tool. Cut to the chase! Contact your local Signarama for all of your sign needs from design through installation. Our skilled staff will guide you every step of the way. We promise.