5 Tips for Designing Your Business Signs

First impressions count. And your signs are your customers first point of contact with your business. From point of sale displays to A-boards, banners and social distancing stickers, how you handle your commercial signage says everything about who you are.

There are plenty of reasons for the popularity of business signs. They’re an eye-catching and cost-effective way to reach as many potential customers as possible. And they’re a great way to build brand awareness and visibility. When it comes to really grabbing the attention of passers-by, business signage could be your best bet.

To get the most out of your signage, good design is critical. So how do you create great signs for your business? Here are five important design principles to think about when creating everything from banners to posters and hanging signs.

Less is more

When it comes to designing for business signs there’s one thing you need to understand - less is definitely more. There’s a temptation to keep adding elements until the clarity of the message gets lost in the visual noise. Your guiding mantra should always be ‘keep it simple’.

Think like a passer-by. What elements would capture your attention? If you were on the other side of the road would you be able to work out what the sign says?

Start by defining your must-have elements and making them as clear as possible. Make your business messaging bite size and communicate it in a few simple words. Your business signage should be understood at a glance.

Now strip back your other design elements to ensure they create a harmonious and coherent design. Graphics should be unique and bold, creating an eye-catching sign that really pops.

Repetition and consistency build branding

Commercial signs are a great way to increase brand reach and awareness. That’s why every sign from window stickers to outdoor banners should maintain the same brand consistency.

If you want your signage to reflect positively on your business then make sure they feature the logo, colours and fonts your customers associate with your company. If you have a great visual identity across your branding, don’t let your business signs and graphics let you down.

The Nike Swoosh and the Apple logo work through repetition and consistency. It’s a trick you can borrow to boost brand recognition across your suite of well-designed business signs.

Consider the context

Context is critical in business sign design. Where will your sign eventually be seen? Will you display it indoors or outdoors? On the pavement or above the door? What colour will the background be? What weather conditions will your signs need to stand up to? Where is the viewer likely to be standing? 

But context is more than just the immediate physical surroundings for your sign. You’ll also need to consider the competition and how they’re managing their branding. Does your business sign outside your premises stand out? Or does it look like a cookie cutter sign that blurs into the background?

The answers to those questions should be central to your design decisions from materials to graphics. In turn you’ll be able to differentiate from your competition and create signs that look great and are fit for purpose.

Focus on colour

Ever wondered why McDonald’s are associated with the Golden Arches or Coke comes in bottles with a bright red label?

Colour has a direct influence on how we think about a brand. Studies show that 80% of brand recognition is based on the recognition of key colours. But beware picking the colour of the year for your signage design - trendy colours may not have the longevity you’re looking for.

If you don’t already have a set of brand colours, or you’re designing new business signage as part of a rebrand, try focusing on colour psychology to reflect the personality and identity of your company.

Accessibility and readability are key

Creating accessible and readable signs can seem a daunting task. But there are a few simple tricks that can help you create a killer design that attracts attention and keeps your message top of mind.

  • Make the most of contrast: Attractive and readable signs are all about contrast between dark and light. For example, our social distancing signage is printed in black on yellow for maximum contrast and high impact. Choose one dark and one neutral colour for your signs so your design commands attention and is highly readable.
  • Pick the right font: Clean and bold san serif fonts are the best choice for accessible and readable signage because they make your message stand out. If your main branding uses a script font, pair it with a simpler font from the same family to create a consistent and readable design. 
  • Use the right case: All caps are great when you want to make an impact. But for readability opt for lower case text and keep the number of text fields to a minimum with plenty of white space.
  • Think layout: Use the largest type for the most important message in your commercial signs. Then let the natural hierarchy of reading left to right and top to bottom influence the placement of your remaining messages.
  • Size matters: There’s a direct link between letter height and visibility that will impact the design of your outdoor business signs. For a sign to be clearly visible from 100 feet it should be 10 inches high - that’s one inch for every foot of visibility. 

Invest in printing services for your business signs

Creating a strong visual identity for your business using commercial signs can be tricky. The faster you discuss your design ideas with the professionals, the higher the chance of success for your branding exercise.

Working with our team of professional business sign makers at Display01 is the quick and easy way to get the right commercial signage for the job. 

We can create a set of business signs that positively influence the way customers view your brand, so why not get in touch with us today to discuss your business sign needs across Bristol and the South West.