It’s the 21st century and your startup may be one of the many companies that do the bulk of their business online. There is a good chance that the technology and connectivity provided by the internet gave you the resources and reach you needed to take your idea and make it the backbone of an entrepreneurial venture. If this description is accurate, then there is also a good chance that when you think of marketing and branding, you think of online advertising and social media reach.
However, even if your business is tied inextricably to the internet, more tangible branding and marketing materials still matter. Unless your business operates exclusively out of your garage or living room, then you probably have a physical address where your company is based. Perhaps you have a small office where you and your employees or fellow entrepreneurs work. Maybe you have a brick-and-mortar retail store. Either way, there is one thing you need if you want your business to look professional and legitimate. That “thing” is an aesthetically striking business sign.
Why Business Signage Still Matters
Why do business signs still matter, even in the age of the internet? Consider this: in a survey commissioned by FedEx Office, 76% of consumers said they decided to go into a store or business based on the sign alone. In other words, these customers were not familiar with the brand and had never visited the business before, but because a sign caught their eye, these individuals made the decision to walk into a business with no prior knowledge and learn more about it.
The same survey discovered that more than two-thirds of all respondents (68%) believe that, generally, a high-quality sign is the mark of a high-quality business with high-quality products. Not only can an attractive business sign be a way to bring new customers through your door, but it can also make those customers put their trust in your brand. Needless to say, using an outdated or unappealing sign design—or not having a sign at all—can have direct negative consequences for your business.
The Key Elements of Great Sign Design
The question is, what makes a great sign design? How can your business find the balance between aesthetics and professionalism that will bring prospective customers flocking? Which key elements define the art of a stellar business sign? Below, we’ve outlined a few of the essential steps for creating a successful business sign.
- Incorporate Your Logo: Does your business have a logo? If so, you are going to want to find a way to integrate it prominently into your design. Consistency of branding is important: if your logo appears on your products or online, then it needs to be featured prominently on your sign. This consistency will create a sense of recognizable iconography for your brand which can help you to grow and reach more customers as they become comfortable with it. If you don’t have a logo, take this opportunity to design one that looks great in a variety of contexts—from your business sign to the top corner of your website to your business cards.
- Pay Attention to Color and Contrast: The color of your sign (and your logo) will go on to define your trademark brand identity and influence public perception, so don’t choose it lightly. If you already have a logo, then your job will be a bit easier. The colors of your logo should directly influence what your sign looks like. If you don’t have a logo, start thinking about your brand’s values and target audience to determine which colors can appropriately represent these factors. Alternatively, look at what colors are on-trend right now and make a commitment based on the feelings those colors evoke. Finally, don’t forget about contrast: the visual element of your sign is important, but you also want customers to be able to clearly read your brand name. Choose contrasting colors for text, graphic, and background to ensure readability.
- Hire a Business Sign Company: Having your logo, your color preferences, and your basic design concept is a strong start. However, hiring a business sign company to help you finalize the design and handle the printing steps is a smart idea if you want to guarantee professionalism. The right company will have the graphic designers to render your concept and the resources to produce any type of sign—from banners to illuminated signs and beyond.
Your sign is the visual signature of your brand for people driving or walking by your brick-and-mortar business headquarters. Don’t skimp on the design. As the FedEx Office survey proves, though so much branding and marketing has gone digital, signs still matter to consumers and influence their lasting impressions. It already matters to your target audience, so make sure signage is a priority for your business, too.