That may be the best question we’ve ever been asked about signs, because the purpose of a sign IS to stand out and be noticed. Branding, calls to action, and directions are all secondary to being seen. If a sign doesn’t grab your prospect’s attention, it won’t accomplish any of those purposes. Although some of what makes a sign stand out may be limited by local ordinances, there are several key points to consider.
Location, location, location – Your sign should be where it’s seen by the most traffic, and it should be as large as local restrictions and your budget allow. We recently completed signs for a business where the back of the building sat on a major interstate. We completed two signs—one at the front entrance for identification, and a larger lit sign at the rear, facing the highway, greeting thousands of motorists daily.
Color – The lack of color contrast can make a sign difficult to see. If you want your sign to stand out, be sure both the elements within the sign, and the sign’s surroundings contrast well with each other. Why do you think a famous hamburger fast food chain uses bright yellow letters with their golden arches on a red background?
Stick to the point – Don’t try to share TOO MUCH information, loosing your message in the confusion. The sign should tell consumers who you are, what you do, and how to contact you.
Give enough information – I recently saw a sign that simply said, “Master Sounds.” Music is a hobby of mine, so I was interested in knowing what they offered. Was it a recording studio? Did they sell or repair equipment? No. They gave music lessons. Their sign didn’t share enough information.
Design – Images, typefaces, and layout all impact how your sign is seen, and it’s almost always best to keep it simple.
Don’t get lost in the secondary purposes of your sign. Identification, way-finding, and advertising all take a second seat to standing out. Signs often go unnoticed because the secondary purposes override the primary purpose of being seen. An overloaded busy sign, a directional sign located in the wrong spot, or an identification sign lost in the color of the building are ineffective, regardless of how well it’s been executed. By considering location, color, design, and its message, you can create a sign that stands out above the crowd. If you’d like a few ideas, we’d be happy to help you stand out.