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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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Fresh and New


What better way to celebrate the spring season than to do some cleaning? With the warm weather arriving, now is the perfect time to freshen not only your closet but also, your business’ look. Whether it is inside or outside there are so many ways to give your business a spring-cleaning.

Revamp To Revive
After the harsh winter your outdoor signage is beginning to look outdated, faded, cracked, peeled or dirty. Instead of giving off the impression of rundown or careless, new signage will imply, fresh, pristine, and inviting. Revamping the outside look of your business will help to revive your business. With new outdoor signage helping to draw customers inside, new secondary signage will help sell your product once your customers are inside. Point of purchase displays, banners, and event signs are great ways to highlight your latest promotions. Another impressive way to generate an influx of business without breaking the bank is with new posters and cutouts. To get the most out of your new advertisements, keep in mind placing the signs in optimal viewing places with great light. Phenomenal signage plus amazing products equal guaranteed success.

Elements of an Exceptional Sign
An exceptional sign is an important part of a prosperous business. It will increase your company’s visibility, answer customers’ questions and provide cohesiveness with a sense of identity. Incorporating the important elements of a sign will improve business and most importantly make you more money. To successfully create an exceptional sign you must keep in mind these four different elements:

Message
Make sure your sign has a reason to exist and is not just taking up space. An exceptional sign only has one purpose: to deliver a message. This message can be anything meaningful but in some way it must inform, alert, or direct your customer.

Comprehension
Keeping the sign simple and direct will allow customers to easily understand an exceptional sign. A sign that reads, “50% Off All Items” immediately tells consumers that all goods in your store are half-priced. Another effective way of sending your message is adding imagery. A sign with a picture of a mouth-watering ice cream cone will signal to everyone that tasty frozen treats are available at your store.

Speed
An exceptional sign rapidly sends its message to customers. Humans lack patience; they don’t want to take time to study a sign with lots of words or pictures trying to figure out what is being said. Therefore, use just enough text and images to effectively communicate your message, in the shortest time possible.

Attention
People pass by hundreds of signs everyday but only exceptional signs will capture the attention of potential customers and cause them to stop and read your sign. It is important for your sign to stand out and make sure it is seen.

Did You Know?
Whether you’re opening a new business, or expanding a current one, it is important to be aware of the zoning ordinance that governs commercial signage. Compliance with these regulations will help ensure safety and appropriate aesthetics…and will ensure that the money you spend on your signs won’t be wasted in the case of violations that require the sign(s) to be taken down.

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

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