5 Top Tips for Designing Custom Business Signs

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5 Top Tips for Designing Custom Business Signs

Custom signage is important for any business with a brick and mortar location. Most small business owners find that store signage is very effective in attracting customers and increasing profits. When it comes to grabbing people’s attention, many times good, old fashioned signs can be your best bet. No matter what type of custom signs for business you use, whether it be portable outdoor signs, sale flag or poster stands – the way a sign is designed can have a huge influence on a business’ ability to bring in new business.

That being said, here are 5 top tips for designing and producing effective, eye-catching custom signs :


1) Logo

Your logo says a lot about your company. It gives consumers an instant visual impression of your brand. Your logo is supposed to tell a story about your company – who you are, what you do and what you stand for. This will determine what kind of colors your choose and what kind of design to go with. Make sure you think about your target market, and that your logo is consistent with your products and services. Each business has it’s own unique style, and that should be conveyed in your logo. Just remember to keep it simple, make sure it’s recognizable in all sizes and keep a constant color palette. How is your logo helpful to your company? It helps brand your business, it helps customers recognize you, makes you look professional, and helps in branding your business.

Custom Signs for Businesses

2) Application

Design your sign around it’s use. A sidewalk sign is designed for customers whizzing by at 30 miles per hour. You have time to tell them who you are, what the sale or service is and how to get there. That being said, keep it to your logo or company name, your promotion, some directional arrows, and then a phone number and website in case they want to contact you later. Is it a sign for your boardroom? Keep it clean and simple with a logo and tagline. A clear acrylic sign with and adhesive vinyl logo and stand-off screws are a tried and true reception and board room sign. Are you making a banner for a trade show? Use a retractable banner Stand with plenty of room for bullet point and images of products and services. In this case, people are there to learn and have time to stop by and read some in-depth signage.

graphic designer

3) Be Constistent

Once you have a color palette, try to stick with it. This creates constancy and helps stay within your brand. If you keep to the same colors, consumers will know to tie your printed signs, website, your newsletters, your blog and your mailings together. Your color scheme will also help convey your message. Different colors convey different messages so make sure to do your research on what colors you use for your business. For instance, red conveys emotion, passion and intensity, while blue conveys calm, trust and comfort. Black is very formal and yellow is energetic. Same thing goes for fonts. There are a ton of cool fonts out there, but don’t go crazy. Stick to one or two styles so it doesn’t look too busy. There are a lot of suggestions for font pairing on the web to get a look that’s just right for you. Another thing to think about is legibility. Even though something looks really neat, it has to be easy to read.

NLS Sign Promo

4) Less is More

Although it is tempting to want to squeeze in every benefit about your products and services, it’  just too much to take in at one time. Keep your message simple and to the point. Start with your most important element, and work your way down. Many times a cool graphic or photo can draw attention- you know what they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. Avoid anything offensive or gimmicky and if you can delete a line of text or picture and feel it doesn’t make much of a difference, leave it off.


5) Play by the Rules

Nowadays, many cities have codes that you must follow. For architectural, overhead and building signage, you’ll most likely need a permit. Check with your local municipalities to see if they have a certain criteria you need to follow. Not doing this could be a costly mistake resulting in hefty fines and paying double for a new sign that’s up to code. Window graphics are a great way to draw attention in areas with strict rules. There are often no guidelines for window graphics, and window decals are a cheap and effective way to dress up your brick and mortar location in any circumstance. Sidewalk signs are often required to be a certain size, which is why many signs shops only carry certain size sidewalk signs. Check with the city you’re in to see what their regulations are so the sign police don’t confiscate your awesome new signage.
Designing a sign isn’t always easy. If you find that it’s not your department or need some help or direction contact your local sign shop. Many shops have full time graphic designers on hand to design a sign from scratch, or doctor up a file that may need an extra hand. Graphic designers specialize in bringing your artistic ideas to life, from encompassing your business brand in a simple and concise logo, to stand out sidewalk signs and brand boosting banner stands. Custom signs are a wise investment, so make sure you have the right type of sign. Advice is always free, so feel free to call us at 888.578.8100 to find out how we can help with your next sign project.

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