At first glance, it may seem as if signage is all relatively the same. Sure, there’s different ways of presenting messages, whether it be brightly lit in neon or pasted to a storefront window with window graphics – but each of these methods serves virtually the same purpose, right? Wrong.
Signage is used in many ways, some very obvious and others very subtle or even unnoticeable on a conscious level. Is your sign guiding customers to a specific location? Advertising a sale or event? Simply adding a pop of color or a decorative feel to your space? Regardless of what type of sign you have, there are 6 basic functions that it can serve; knowing what the purpose of your sign is can help you to create a more intentional, functional design that will better help accomplish your goals.
- Advertising and Marketing
Two of the most important skills for businesses are advertising and marketing. These two things by themselves can help boost sales, better your company image, and get your name heard. Advertising techniques can range from radio ads to commercials, to standing on the side of the road handing out flyers. Of course, signage also plays a key roll in advertising. While the first thing that comes to mind may be large billboards on the side of the ride, other forms of signage such as vehicle wraps may actually help you get maximum attention for your business. For smaller events such as yard sales or car washes, a simple yard sign will do the trick.
In the most basic sense, signage is designed to help people recognize places. Most commonly, this form of signage is used to identify businesses or organizations simply by advertising the name of the location.
When designing signs intended to help people “recognize” your business, there are several things to keep in mind. First, where your sign is going to be seen from; if it’s going to be seen from far away, make sure that there is good visibility with nothing blocking the view and that its large enough to actually be read. Second, when designing your sign keep in mind that it’s best to use colors that are contrasting so that they don’t blend together from far away.
Another component of this that relates back to marketing is the idea of branding. When you recognize McDonald’s golden arches or Starbuck’s green mermaid logo, that is a result of good marketing. Creating an iconic logo can help people recognize your brand with nothing more than your brand symbol.
- Entice customers to shop from the outside
Generally, this type of signage comes in the form of window graphics, and is meant to encourage people to come in to your store. Advertising things such as sales, new products, or top sellers can help catch peoples’ eye and draw them in to the store.
- Entice customers to shop from the inside
This is where signage really becomes your key sales pitch. It’s great to get customers’ inside the store, but that alone is not enough; you also want them to buy things while they’re in there. One of the simplest and most popular ways to draw customers attention to specific products or sales is by using point of purchase signs, which direct your customers in the direction that you want them to go and spotlight top sellers or sale items.
Check out the 9 steps to an effective point of purchase display to help spark your creativity when designing a point of purchase sign!
- Directional or wayfinding
This form of signage is practically a necessity in large office buildings or retail complexes. Whether its a mall, hospital, or large corporation, wayfinding signs ensure that clients aren’t lost and helps avoid a frustrating situation that could reflect badly on your business.
Although wayfinding signs are typically associated with interior signage, they can also function outdoors, especially at locations where there are several entrances or buildings designated to different things.
When creating a wayfinding system, be sure to incorporate the 4 types of wayfinding signs to ensure that it flows smoothly and covers all of your bases.
- Simply for eye candy
Not all forms of signage actually have to actively function as a form of advertising; sometimes they can be installed with no other purpose than to enhance the overall appeal of your space. Some of the most popular forms of “eye candy” signage include frosted glass window graphics, wall murals, or floor graphics.
Knowing the 6 different forms of signage can help you during the design process to make sure that you are very intentional about your design, and that it truly does serve the purpose that you need.
Contact us here or give us a call at 832-688-8709 for help with all your signage needs.