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Your Guide to Signs: Part 2, Sign Effectiveness

An effective sign helps your brand stand out and gain customers

Now that you know what types of signs there are to choose from, you might ask yourself which sign is most effective? Well, part of that is subjective to the type of business you have, but overall, there are some key elements to consider for an effective sign including:

Let’s dive into the first of these with how your sign defines your brand and how to create a seamless aesthetic.


Part of an effective sign is how attractive it is. You’ve done the research; you know the market. Now it’s time to put those elements into action with one of the most important functions of getting your customers through the door: your signage.

Your sign is the first impression that expresses who you are, what your customer can expect, and the mood you want to create for your customers. That impression should be carried out through the interior of the store with matching, complimentary signage and colors.

The thing about customers these days is they notice everything. In our social media laden world, visuals convey more than they ever have before, so sign effectiveness is directly correlated to what they see online and what they expect to show up in their in-store experience.

And speaking of interior signage, it’s important that your directional signage is clear, visible, and easy to see from any given location. Is your space large, or multi-tiered? Utilizing a program to help map out the perfect location for signage will keep your customers from wanting to rip their hair out when looking for something—a good sign company (we might know one), will have a program, like Wayfindit™ that will create a seamless map for your signage that guiding your customers through your business with ease.

Visibility and Legibility

We know the importance of having a sign be visible from a road or parking lot, even if that means having multiple signs that lead from point A all the way to your storefront.

But what does visibility mean exactly?

We’re talking about the size and placement of the sign. Your sign company can help you figure out what the minimum size is needed for maximum visibility.

It also means clean, clear text that is legible from that maximum distance. Sure, most clients will be familiar with your brand, but don’t forget another function of your signage is to have advertising 24/7, 365 days a year—so make sure you come up with sign-specific branding if your aesthetic is a bit difficult to read on anything but a label.

Visibility also means choosing colors that draw the eye and is easy to read. The color chart below shows some basic examples of the most legible signage to least legible.


Finally, and perhaps most importantly, having a properly, well-lit sign is one of your best tools for effective signage. It might be a given, but it’s also one of the things you need to pay attention to after the sign is up and running and has been running for a while. Because nothing says dingy and unkept more than an out light. The right sign company will also have an in-house service department that can meet your needs quickly or is equipped to come out before any issues arise to check on things on a regular basis.

Signage Mistakes to Avoid

Now that you know what to do, here are some key things to avoid

  1. Don’t assume your sign company will work with permitting offices.

Make sure you know exactly what service you will get and what to expect from your sign company. Things like permitting can put a big, annoying wrench in your plans, and even delay openings.

    1. Don’t go overboard with text, colors, or font.
      • Be clear and concise. Your brand name only, with maybe some small subtext if needed to clarify, like “salon” or “spa.”
      • Colors should be kept to under three, with the most common and ideal being two.
      • While you might have a cute, curly signature font for your labels, your sign will likely be clearer with a secondary brand font. Keep in mind your brand aesthetic, but be ready to pivot if it’s not going to be clear enough for your customers to easily see.

      1. Steer clear of poor, ineffectual lighting.

Like we mentioned above, lighting is probably one of the most key elements to the clarity and effectiveness of your signage. Whether lit internally or externally, lighting says a lot about your brand and can make or break how your eye is drawn to any given sign while also setting the mood. Bottom line: don’t cheap out on this. And don’t forget to have your lighting checked and serviced on a regular basis.

The effectiveness of any sign comes down to how well it can be read and how well it sticks to your brand. Working with dedicated professionals who know and care about your brand will ensure you’re putting your brand’s image best foot forward each time. Connect with us to see how we can help you strengthen your brand image.


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