Signs are everywhere. Streets, buildings, foyers, restaurants. Where there’s a business, there’s a sign. And when they’re done right, signs can be powerful promotional tools.  

But what’s in a sign, and how can we utilise them in the most effective, persuasive, and powerful ways possible? Well, keep reading for some top tips on how to make signage work for your business. 

Location, location, location 

Most of the time signs act as visual markers for physical spaces. They can indicate store locations, rooms, and directions to areas within larger business complexes. This means that location is really the first factor when it comes to successful signage. 

But it’s not just the actual location that counts, rather it’s the context necessitated by the location. In other words, where will your sign be, and what sort of sign will that location require? 

For example, if you’re installing a series of signs throughout your office building, you may choose to focus on images and quotations that are relevant to your company as opposed to just using the logo itself. The obvious reason is that once people are inside your office, it’s likely they’re already aware of your brand. 

If, on the other hand, you’re creating an exhibition in an external space where your brand is less well-known, then you may opt to display nothing but your logo.

In any case, it’s always important to ask: What’s the context? What’s the focus of the space? What purpose will the signage serve?

Be consistent with your design

It’s easy to forget that signs are as much a part of branding as business cards and websites. So it’s important that they remain aligned with the overall aesthetic of your business. 

One way to ensure that your signs accurately represent your brand is to make sure that the person designing them is the same person who designed your logo. 

This is an important point to consider, because specialist signage companies, though good at building signs, won’t necessarily understand your brand. Tone of voice, colour schemes, and imagery all need to remain consistent. You need to be certain that whatever your sign looks like, it looks like it belongs to you.

Engaging with a designer who understands your business will guarantee the proper treatment of your brand, regardless of the form it takes. This will maximise its impact in a large physical format. 

Take care of the details 

All too often a business will use hand-written ‘No Entry’ and ‘Out of Order’ signs, despite going to great lengths to create a consistent and professional visual tone throughout the rest of their building. But this can seriously undermine the visual standard set throughout the rest of the space.

By neglecting even the simplest of signs we risk projecting a distinctly DIY aesthetic, and often not in a positive way.  Hand-written signs can often evoke a sense of carelessness and indicate a lack of attention to detail. And though it may seem like splitting hairs,  Emily Dickinson summed it up best: 

“… take care of the small things, and the big things take care of themselves.”

 A sign apart

If done well, signage can have an enormously positive impact on your business — it can help to validate and cement your position as a confident and quality-oriented organisation.

Considering using signage for an upcoming project? Get in touch to see how Red Square can help you own your space!