Signs and your business

Signs are a key part of branding your business. They let customers know who you are and invite them in from the street. A sign can be the first impression someone has of your business. It is therefore important to make sure that you are projecting a consistent and appealing image to customers.

What is a sign?

A commercial sign is any kind of physical display containing text or images that you use to communicate the brand of your business to your customers. Signs come in many shapes and sizes — from counter top displays to highway billboards — and generally feature your business name and/or logo. They are often used outside of buildings to direct people in from the street. Inside your place of business, signs help customers navigate, and let them know more about your offerings.

What can signs do for your business?

Signs perform a number of communication functions:

  • Build and reinforce your brand
  • Attract new customers
  • Create impulse sales
  • Provide directions

Signs establish your brand

Your sign lets people know what goods or services you are selling. Its design and placement should be part of your branding and marketing strategy. A sign helps people remember your business name and what you have to offer. With a variety of signs or designs, you can target different groups of potential customers, and reinforce your brand with repeat customers.

Signs attract new customers

In order to grow your business and increase profits, you must continually attract new customers. It is important that your sign gives a good sense of what your business is selling. You can include things like your telephone number or website address so that people who do not have time to stop can still contact you. You may also want to add current promotions, events, or contests to signs that are easily changed or updated.

The information you choose to include on your sign will (in part) dictate its format and size. Decisions should therefore be made before you begin the design.

Signs generate impulse sales

Customers who are busy don’t always plan to visit your location; however, they might notice your sign, realise that your offerings meet a need they have, and will stop and come inside. Maybe you’re a restaurant and a hungry family is looking for a good meal; maybe you’re a hair salon and a shopper decides they want a bit of pampering on a day off. People often look for what’s convenient first. If your sign is the one that stands out, you will be the one who gets their business first.

Signs provide directions

Signs are especially helpful if your business is not in a high-traffic area. For example, if you’re located inside a building with multiple tenants, you will need a sign outside the building to draw people in. If your business is on a quiet street or is difficult to get to, you can place a sign at a busier location nearby to direct people your way. Signs can also be used inside your business to let people know where they can find the things they’re looking for, and alert them to specials, events, etc.

What will your sign look like?

Your sign is made up of many elements: size, structure, materials and design. A sign should match its surroundings, but still stand out enough to get noticed. You’ll need to balance costs and benefits when it comes to the appearance and durability of your sign.

Think about the readability of your sign, and when it will be viewed. What kind of lighting conditions are there in the area? Is your business open at night? Are you competing with others in the area? Think about the lettering type (font), size, elevation, and anything else that might affect how people see your sign.

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