Designing a sign for your small business can be deceptively complicated. You will probably be working with a graphic designer and a signmaker, and yet the decisions are yours. So how can you ensure that you make a sign that will be uncomplicated and striking, while being effective at drawing customers to your business?
Simple and Straightforward
Don't overcrowd a sign with extraneous information. This is particularly pertinent if you are forced to install a fairly small sign due to the physical constraints of where it will be placed. Of course, there should be your company name and contact details, but you should be wary of including such things as a slogan or motto or even graphics (such as your logo). Simple signage can be more visually striking. You might even wish to take advantage of technology and include a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone. The look of a QR code is basic and unobtrusive so it will not crowd your sign. The code can automatically direct the smartphone's browser to your website and alert them to any special offers. Of course, this is only of use when the sign is positioned at a height where a passerby can easily scan it.
The text should be in a colour that contrasts the background colour of the sign. This ensures maximum readability, even from a distance. It's important to consider that some customers might be looking for your business as they drive past, so maximising the readability of the sign is important. Dark and light colours obviously contrast well against each other, and there are seemingly infinite variations of light and dark colours to work with.
There is no shortage of fonts to choose from when designing your sign, and yet you need to be cautious. It needs to be simple to read, even from a distance (which comes back to maximising the readability of the sign). Avoid overly complicated fonts, such as those that have a "cartoon" sensibility (Comic Sans, for example) or any font that bears a resemblance to cursive handwriting. You might be used to producing documents in Arial, Helvetica, or even Verdana. Such fonts will result in a readable sign, but your signmaker will be able to show you a number of variations on these fonts, which are visually striking without sacrificing readability.
Placement of the Sign
You might have some limitations as to where the sign can be placed. Logically, you will place it on the front of your premises, but you need to double check the placement before the sign is installed. So how do you do this? Take a look at your premises from a variety of positions. Cross the street and look at your building, and also drive past your building and look. Is there anything obvious that might obstruct the visibility of the sign? This might be due to some type of structure or perhaps a tree. Your original choice for the placement of the sign might not necessarily be the best in terms of sign visibility.
It's important to do everything you can to ensure that your sign is as good as it can be from its inception. This will prevent you from having to change it if you feel that it is not doing its job.