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The Art of Big Signs

Large signs are everywhere we glance. At a normal viewing distance they appear to be small. Since signs are often surrounded by visual clutter, simplicity is the key to a good design. A simplistic approach such as one image, few words, and simple typefaces, works best.

The Art Of Big Signs

Edit your message. Keep it simple, so the sign is condensed to its essential minimum. A generous amount of white space (negative space) balances a sign with its surrounding elements and sets a clear stage for the message to be seen.

Start with a short headline. Think short and simple. One to three words is ideal. The fewer the words the larger the letter size can be. This allows for the message to be read and understood quickly.

Use clear images. Good signs have images that are clear objects with little detail and distinctive silhouettes.

Design for close-up reading. Most big signs will also be seen up-close. For this distance, signs can include smaller type and more complex graphics if needed. Informational signs are for up close reading, not for attention getting. They can be designed like simple over-sized pages.

Establish a look with a series of signs. A series of signs looks best when they all look alike. The size relationship doesn’t have to be psychically identical, but they must feel the same.

Sales signs or P.O.P. signs get attention and sell at the same time. Most sales or P.O.P. (Point of Purchase) signs are seen mid-distance and at close-up range. Such signs need to succeed in making the most effective use of space, color, images, and words. These signs must stimulate the buying instinct for shoppers. A good attention getting and visually harmonious design is critical for a successful sale or P.O.P. sign.

Announcement signs are designed for quick, brief attention, and are usually seen at mid-distance and up close. Use bold letters to establish a focal point with the headline.

Way-finding signs such as large highway signs or in-store directional signs are about giving directions. Highway signs are huge so they need to be simple with a clear typeface that has a larger percentage of letter spacing (see guidelines). This adds enough air between letters to easily distinguish one letter from the next.

Indoor signs must be read easily but can be more decorative and reflect its surroundings.

Why Offer Coupons
No one can resist a coupon! Coupons can be an enticing form of advertising. They are appropriate for all businesses, especially those with special promotions during the year. Restaurants use coupons to build traffic on a normally slow day, amusement parks use them to reduce the price of admission for people who buy their tickets in advance, and dry cleaners use them to lure business. They are versatile ads that entice people to take advantage of a sale, urge them to visit a new location, or reward them for shopping in your store at any time.

Coupons can be found in newspaper ads, stuffed into customer’s bags to give them an incentive to return, on a website for people to print out and redeem, or inserted into mailed publications. The disadvantage to coupon packs are that they can get lost in the pile. A bright and intriguing coupon can help avoid this.

Coupons are great to track advertising. Different offers or different designs, in various publications, will help track the ones that are working and which ones aren’t. Be creative and find a way to use coupons in any advertising mix that can help benefit your business. Include an expiration date on all coupons. Consider all possibilities in choosing a wise offer. A coupon that offers something for free will get the people in, but they may not return. It’s better to offer something free with an additional purchase or give a 50 percent discount on the purchase of one item.

Did You Know? The latest trend for large signs is solar powered LED signs. Improvements in efficiency of today’s solar panels, both in the amount of energy they can collect and the ability to store that energy, have led to an increasing number of sign related applications including solar powered LED signage which presents a greener choice for our environment.


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If two competitors are selling the same priced product how does the customer choose between the competitors? Whichever company is offering something extra will most likely receive the sale. People love incentives and perks, so ensure the sale by offering your customers monthly, weekly or even daily specials. 

Customer Incentives


Free Shipping
If your company offers online shopping, go one step further and offer free shipping. Everyone loves the convenience of online shopping but hates paying the costs of shipping. Free shipping can actually  generate more sales than you would lose in shipping costs. Consider offering free shipping on a minimum order amount, such as all orders greater than $50.

Discounts/Specials
Discounts can help establish long-term customers the easy way. Provide customers with valuable incentives that they’ll appreciate. They will most likely repeat their business. Offer different specials each month and season. This will give customers more of a variety and new reasons to come back.

Gifts/Free Samples
Offer promotions for new products. Customers do not like to invest in a product that they do not know. If they are given the opportunity to try a sample of the product for free they are more likely going to buy it. Another option is to include a free gift to go with their purchase of a minimum amount.

Easy Billing
Another simple offer is financing or a delay on a payment for a period of time. Establish easy billing where customers can split their payments in installments for those more expensive purchases. This is a great way to attract people. Be sure that you have proper financing restrictions and policies in place before offering these options to your customers.

Giveaways/Sweepstakes
Everyone loves to win prizes. Giveaways and sweepstakes will drive people to your store with little or no cost to you. Find a prize that interests your target audience and hold a contest. 


Sales
People are more likely to buy a product if they see a certain four letters, S, A, L, E. The most basic way to advertise is to hold a sale. Having a sale is a good way to get customers to flock.

Don’t Forget!
For your next project, let sign professionals help you with concept development, execution, and installation! 

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