Tapping Into the Power of Physical Signage for Retail Businesses
Signage is something the average customer doesn’t think about when pulling up to a store, but without it, most customers wouldn’t know whether they were in the right place. From a business perspective, getting your signage right requires more than merely making it visible.
How to Make the Most Out of Physical Signage
Physical signage, particularly exterior physical signage, is more important to your business than you’ll ever know. It does more for your business than most of your other marketing and advertising methods combined.
“Signs are always on the job repeating your message to potential customers,” Sign It explains. “Your on-premise sign communicates to potential customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, week after week, month after month, year after year. Every time people pass your business establishment they see your sign. The mere repetition of the message will help them remember your business.”
The question is, how do you make the most out of your investment in physical signage? While there’s no cookie cutter answer, the following tips will help:
1. Make it readable.
The first step is to make your signage readable. This seems like obvious advice, but it’s astonishing how many businesses spend time and money designing signs that simply aren’t legible to a large percentage of those passing by.
Stick with simple, clear script that can be read from far away. This means limiting curly-cues and multiple colors, while sticking with a consistent font and scheme.
2. Use compelling color.
The color scheme plays a critically important role in the overall appearance and visibility of retail signage. You need to pay particular attention to contrast.
“Most signs will include either text or graphics in the foreground, with a continuous background color,” expert Sapna Budev says. “The contrast between these two items is critical to the viewer’s retention of the content.”
If you have a weak color contrast as a result of the brand’s existing color scheme, drop shadows around the foreground lettering is the best way to make the company name stand out.
3. Consider placement.
Placement of exterior retail signage is quite important. It’s also highly dependent on your location. For example, if your store is on a main street in a downtown sector, signage directly above your storefront is probably your best bet. If, however, you operate a business that’s off the beaten path, you may need to invest in signage that’s closer to a main road and directs people towards your store.
The key is to get as much exposure as you possibly can, while clearly setting the tone for your brand and showing prospective customers where your store is.
4. Size matters.
The size of the lettering on your signage is one of the more significant aspects of retail sign design. For reference, here’s a list of some sample letter heights as they correspond with the best impact distance:
- Letter Height: 3 inches; Best Impact: 30 feet
- Letter Height: 6 inches; Best Impact: 60 feet
- Letter Height: 12 inches; Best Impact: 120 feet
- Letter Height: 30 inches; Best Impact: 300 feet
Keep these size guidelines in mind as you attempt to create signage that has a positive impact on those who pass by.
5. Lighting for the win.
If you want your sign to be visible at night, which you presumably would if you’re interested in maximizing exposure, lighting will need to be incorporated into the signage. Think about this and make sure you calculate this cost into your projections.
Set Your Business Up for Success
Physical signage might not be something you think much about, but it should be. From the design, color and placement to the size, lighting and everything in between, the details of your retail signage matter more than you know. Set your business up for success by paying attention to these finer elements.