If you have/are setting up a bricks-and-mortar business, you need a catchy outdoor sign that will attract passers-by and improve your bottom-line. Even if you're running a business that doesn't rely on passer-by traffic, your business sign is an important branding aspect that distinguishes you from others.
Think about businesses like Facebook or Google whose business model doesn't rely on on-foot traffic; their signs are still well-designed and an extension of their branding. If you're looking to build a name for yourself, use these tips to create exterior signage that you'll be proud of:
1. Select company name and logo carefully
Depending on the space you have, you can have both your logo and name written on the sign. As your brand grows in prominence, you may not need to have the name, and your logo would suffice—think Nike, Apple etc. Either way, carefully choose your company name and logo from the outset so that it has memorability. Eventually, you want people to immediately recognize your brand without just by seeing your logo, or even your corporate colours.
2. Be consistent in branding
It isn't just about having the logo or business name on the sign. What are your corporate colours? Try to incorporate them where you need colour on the sign. Use the same typeface (font) on the sign that is used on your website, blog, marketing materials and anywhere else your business name appears. Ensure that visual elements like swishes or lines are included in appropriate places if they appear. Consistent branding is key to building memorability in users' minds.
3. Use space wisely
Size is important with exterior signage. A rule of thumb is to raise lettering heights by one inch per 10-foot distance. Therefore, for maximum visibility at say 200 metres, your lettering should be at least 20 inches high.
Now, large companies that own whole buildings can afford all the space they need, but if you're renting a space within an arcade, you're limited in terms of space. You can make the most of the little space you have by choosing bold corporate colours (at the time of setting up your brand. Don't use colours that are not featured in your brand identity just because they stand out!). These will attract passers-by no matter how small they are. Remember that there are related expenses depending on the type and size of sign such as lighting costs, landscaping and electrical signs.
4. Get professional work done
Have your signs written by a professional sign-writing company to ensure quality workmanship on fonts and design. If your sign looks unprofessional consumers are likely to think that you are also unprofessional. Professional sign writers can also help in special circumstances, e.g. if you have very limited space or where the business complex/arcade limits your choice of material for signage. Ask for images of different sign types before deciding on the one that best suits the brand you're building.