It’s something that’s often underestimated or forgotten about, but the sign you choose to advertise your physical place of business can actually have more of an impact than you might think. Here are just a few ideas which may help you stay on track with your signage, whether you are a retailer or any other type of business with a shop front of some sort.
Use professional shop sign makers
Firstly, remember that dedicated business sign makers will be able to create something really special that’s much more impressive than something you can throw together yourself, so don’t go for the false economy option. Using retail signage professionals to dress the front of your shop gives you scope to use much more advanced features, such as illuminated shop signs and custom made lettering, which you wouldn’t be able to achieve with a basic DIY approach.
Make a great first impression
An ineffective sign is sometimes even worse than not having one at all, because first impressions really do count. Perhaps when business owners become too familiar with their own premises, they stop noticing their sign altogether, but this is missing something crucial New customers will probably see your sign every day, and each one of those people could represent a missed opportunity if you fail to impress them.
Keep it snappy
Don’t feel the need to explain your entire business model on your sign. You just need to make it clear who you are and what you’re offering. Once people are hooked and you have their attention, they will be more receptive to learning more. A jumbled message won’t come across when someone looks at your shop for just a couple of seconds.
Make it smart and up-to-date
Unless it’s completely intentional to suit your branding, the vast majority of old-fashioned, overly fussy fonts and styles tend to look messy and create a poor first impression. Simple lettering that’s easy to read from a distance should be a high priority. Your colour scheme and any logos used should also be modern and professional looking. If your sign looks old and weathered, you’re making it look like your business is on the way out.
Express your brand’s values
If possible, you will want your brand’s core values to translate in everything that you do. This includes your retail signs, which are an extension of how you communicate with your potential customers. Therefore, everything here needs to be consistent. If you want your brand to come across as exciting and fun, you might be better off with a very bold sign and illuminated letters could be a good way to grab attention. For more serious businesses you may want to keep it more classy, but still make sure your branding stands out for the right reasons.
Ever notice how some text looks much more appealing than others, even though the content is the same? Well, chances are the text you liked better had some typesetting work done on it to make it look better. Typesetting is the process where the size, weight, alignment, spacing and other aspects of text are modified to make the entire block of text more readable and attractive.
Nowadays, there are several software options you can use for typesetting text and make it more personalised to your needs. Some of the software such as Groff, Troff, LaTeX, Lout and Scribus can be downloaded for free while some of the more premium software such as Adobe InDesign have to be purchased.
Whichever software you decide to use; there’s no question that typesetting is important on some level for every company. It is a subtle way of distinguishing your company from others, but beyond the distinctions you have to remember that everything you choose to show the world is representing you visually and conveying a message about everything you offer or stand for. Whether you want them to or not, potential customers and business partners (as well as everyone else) are going to be making a judgement about your company whenever they see a piece of your visual marketing or branding. Your typesetting choices, and everything else about your graphic design, has to be saying the right things if you want it to be successful.
Once you find a typeset that works for you, based on whatever you need to say about your overall brand, you can use it in books, letter heads, brochures and even web design to create a uniform brand for your company. Your signature typeface and every aspect of it can become synonymous with your brand eventually, and this can be an easy way to unify all your visual branding efforts.
Whether you like it or not, branding is a key element of any business. It doesn’t all have to be visual, but in most cases this is the easiest aspect to take control of from the beginning and plan out in advance to ensure consistency. There are a range of reasons why any branding is so vital, and some of these are:
1. Easier recognition: you want your company to be instantly recognised by everyone ideally, if not at first then further down the line. Just like in politics, no one ever votes for the unknown candidate. This extends to more than just the logo but also the primary colour scheme of your company, just like Apple’s all-white packaging and accessories.
2. Creating trust: having a well-recognised brand builds your credibility and makes your business look much more legitimate. Although this may be unintentional sometimes, you have to take your potential customers’ perspectives into account. They are going to look for visual cues subconsciously and if you can identify which of these will build trust, you’re on the right path. Continue reading
After you have gone through the process and finally arrived at the final design for your logo, typesetting, overall visual style and everything else, the next question becomes how you are going to apply it to your benefit. The simplest but most expensive method is to have it printed everywhere, but a more effective strategy could be implemented which will be more effective and save you money.
The key is to know your audience. For example, a tailor who makes custom-made suits can use his logo on business cards and letter heads which will be exchanged among his corporate clients.
However, a summer and beach clothes shop could display their logo on exhibition stands and tags, which would require an entirely different implementation strategy. Similarly, for those with a focus on digital marketing and web design, the way you would roll out your branding would be different.
If you have gone down the route of a professional graphic designer, you have probably already discussed how your branding requirements are going to be met by the actual design process, and you have should have some options, for example different forms and versions of your logo and style for different purposes. “Designs for digital and offline marketing should be in harmony,” says Colchester graphic and web design company, Luminous Design. “Professional designers will ensure that the client’s branding and corporate identity can be applied seamlessly on all mediums.” If you’re handling it all in-house or you’re still at the ideas stage, this might be the next thing to consider. Continue reading