Every business needs a sign announcing their presence in an attention grabbing way with a clever design that represents their values and personality as a company. A good business sign must stand out and leave a lasting impression on potential customers to inspire interest and awareness. 

By Luke Markey

But knowing exactly what to include in a new business sign design can be tricky, so here are six of the best ways you can make your business sign stand out…

1. Choosing Colors to Represent Your Business Brand

Colors can have a significant impact on how people perceive your business brand so it’s the first thing to think about when designing your business sign. The colors you use on your sign can be a powerful branding tool as well as your first opportunity to make a positive impression on potential customers. The colors will be the first thing registered by people who see it so it is important to choose a blend that represents your business and will appeal to the type of customer you are trying to attract. For example, if your business sells construction equipment then a business sign in soft pink probably isn’t a good idea.

What is a good idea is to research the psychology behind certain color choices, as many colors are often subconsciously associated with various feelings. Some examples are yellow usually being perceived as happy, orange as energetic, red as exciting and blue as dependable. Green gives an impression of freshness and health, while purples and pinks are often perceived as creative and imaginative.

The background color  should always be kept simple to prevent it distracting from the message of the centerpiece text or image. The main text should also contrast nicely with the background color, so the message is clear and people immediately understand what your business is all about. Also ensure there is a good balance between the text size, font and any graphics you include. You must maximize the readability of the sign while ensuring you don’t overload the customer with unnecessary information or visual noise.

2. Use Shapes to Create Strong Impressions

Another element that has a significant subconscious impact on brand perception are the shapes used in the design of business signs. Different shapes can convey different meanings and potentially trigger different emotions, so be careful not to choose shapes based on convenience as you might accidentally associate your brand with an unsuitable emotional response.

Also be aware of unintentional shapes in your sign’s design. A colored block containing text might help highlight the text, but it also introduces a rectangle or square as the dominant shape on your sign.

Squares are subconsciously associated with reliability and stability, which are good things, obviously, but are they what people want from your particular business? Circles represent completeness and harmony, while triangles can represent power or instability depending on whether they point up or down. Of course, these are just very basic shapes and their subconscious perceptions, and there are many other geometrically intriguing signs for you to explore the potential of.

3. Keep Your Text Clear and Concise

Few people are going to spend much longer than a quick glance at your sign, so keep the text punchy and to the point. Too much text on a sign makes it look cluttered and lessens its overall impact. Also try to choose a font that aligns with the product or service that you are offering. For example, avoid fancy typography unless your business is selling antiques, and steer clear of curvy fun fonts if your business is of a serious nature.

4. Match the Material to the Conditions

The material you choose to make your sign will depend partly on where exactly you plan on locating the sign. Outdoors will obviously require something that can withstand all the different weather conditions your area experiences, with another consideration being how you will attach it to the place you want it located. The material itself can also act as an additional representation of your business brand.

5. Incorporate an Attention-Grabbing Element

A bland or boring sign is not going to bring in much custom so make sure the design features an attention-grabbing element or two. Also try to be as unique as possible in order to make your business sign more memorable. Always avoid being too subtle, even if your business or brand is somewhat understated by nature. An understated sign risks blending into the overall visual noise of the area and thus disappearing into the background. Using design quirks such as illumination or 3D lettering can turn even a simple sign into a much more attention-grabbing representation of your business.

You will also do well to pay attention to the surrounding environment. If your location is in a busy commercial area and you are competing with lots of other businesses for attention then you may need to turn up the volume on your sign, so to speak. You can afford to turn it down a notch if you are located somewhere quieter and your sign has little competition for people’s attention.

6. Identify the Ideal Location

Where you choose to place your sign is just as important as the design. You may need to place it higher up if there are other signs close by, or find somewhere else that will maximize the amount of eyes that see it. Multiple versions of your sign in different sizes might be a good option so it can be seen from afar and from close-up.

Also consider other factors that might affect the visual impact of your sign, such as whether the sun’s reflection off your sign makes it unreadable during certain times of the day. Also check the general flow of people traffic to ensure the sign faces a direction that makes it easy for people to see it.

Luke Markey is the co-founder of custom business sign company Shield Co. You can connect with them on LinkedIn.

Main street stock photo by Sean Pavone/Shutterstock