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Don’t Make These Sign Mistakes

Think about why some signs grab your attention while others go totally unnoticed. If you are not giving serious thought to your business signage, you will lose business. Your signs need to spark the interest of your customers.

Businesses spend money every day on signs that aren’t really effective. Custom signs, banners, vehicle graphics – all these types of signage can bring you lots of business and pay for themselves. While making these mistakes will cost you business – more ongoing business than you may realize.

Mistake #1 – Not Considering Your Brand

A great sign starts with a clear vision of your brand. The idea of “branding” may sound like a trendy buzzword, but it’s far from it. Branding is a way of distinguishing your business. It’s how your current and future customers recognize and experience your business. A strong brand is a lot more than your business logo – it’s should be reflected in your customer service and policies, how your staff interacts with your customers (and each other), as well as your marketing and advertising materials. Business signage is a key visual component of your brand.

Mistake #2 – Not Having a Clear Purpose for Signage

People will come into the shop and ask us what they should do for a sign. Although we have been in business for many years, and created thousands of signs, this is not a question that can be answered easily. The needs and goals of business signage vary greatly. Here are some important questions to consider:

  • Whose attention are you trying to attract?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the primary purpose of your sign (a sign can only do so much, don’t have a dozen purposes for one sign)?

When you know your core purpose for a sign, determining what you want to say becomes a lot easier.

Mistake #3 – Trying to Put Too Much Information on a Sign

You only have about 3 ½ seconds to deliver your message. Seriously! Overcrowding a sign is one of the most common mistakes a business makes. People expect instant gratification nowadays, and signs are no exception. Overcrowding your sign with too many words, too much information, or too many graphics will make your core message too difficult to read and/or comprehend. If it’s too much effort, people just won’t take the time to read or figure it out.

Mistake #4 – Not Having a Clear Message

We’ve had customers come in and want a sign with just their business name on it. They were positive that their business was so recognizable that’s all they needed. When it comes to business signs, don’t leave anything to chance. It’s far better to be sure people can tell what type of business you’re in by your sign. If you have a business name that doesn’t make it obvious what you offer, you can always add a descriptive word or short phrase. Otherwise, you will miss attracting new potential customers who are looking for your products or services, but aren’t familiar with your business!

Mistake #5 – Creating a Sign that is Hard to Read

Of course, this is where our expertise comes in when advising customers in the design of their sign. However, we’ve certainly had the customer intent on using a script font or all capital block letters for their sign message. While these elements may seem like they would make a sign stand out or look unique, they are really only making it difficult for customers to read. The choice of fonts, colors, graphics and layout is essential in good sign design. Back to that 3 ½ second rule – if it’s too difficult to figure out what your sign says, your potential customers will move on to your competition.

Mistake #6 – Your Sign is Boring & Uninteresting

Now, while we’ve talked about how important it is to keep your signs simple, easy to read, and clear, that doesn’t mean it should be boring! A good sign should have some contrast to distinguish the different elements. Ways to achieve contrast include: use of color, different sized fonts or graphics, different shapes, borders and negative space.

Mistake #7 – Making Your Own Signs

Many businesses think they can save a lot of time and money by just making their own signs. This is usually a mistake. The use of a professional sign shop will help you avoid all of the above mistakes. You will benefit from years of experience in sign design and have access to professional graphic designers. We have a lot of expertise in sign materials, and the best applications depending on the purpose of your sign.

Let the design and sign production experts at Sebago Signworks help you with business signs that get the job done! We hope you will contact us or stop by the shop to talk about how we can help you with all your business signage needs.