Signs are necessary for just about every business. You may just need a few custom signs to help direct your customers, or you may need dozens of them to advertise products and label aisles. No matter how many signs you need, you want to make certain that they’re effective. If people have trouble reading them or they’re not informative, they aren’t doing you any good. In fact, poorly designed signs or signs made from low-quality materials could actually harm your business. 

What does it take to create effective custom business signs? It does depend on what you need them for, but there are some general tips that apply to all signs. Once you’ve followed these five effective signage ideas, you can reach out to TNT Signs to print and even install the signs. 

1. Effective Custom Business Signs Must Be Readable

One of the most important components of a sign is readability. If no one can tell what your sign says, it won’t help them. Creating a readable custom sign involves a few things. First, you need to use the right font. Some fonts are very clear and easy to read, but some aren’t. Signs aren’t the place to use script fonts or fonts that are overly complicated. You want something that is simple and clear even from a distance.

Don’t fall into the trap of using a cute font or an overly ornate font just because it seems to fit with your business. For example, wedding planners may be tempted to use a really elaborate script font because people use them on wedding invitations. However, these fonts are often hard to read from across the room, and the letters may not be as distinctive as they should be. 

Color is another important factor. If you decide you want your signs to be a dark blue, you don’t want to use black for your text. It’s not going to stand out very well. The opposite is also true: white text on a pale yellow background won’t be readable. If you’re going to do that, you should outline each letter in black so they pop against the background. Otherwise, follow the basic rule of using dark text on a light background or light text on a dark background.

Size plays a part in readability, too. If you plan on hanging signs above sections in your store or over aisles, they need to be large enough to be read from a distance. The bigger the sign, the larger the font you can use, and the more readable the sign will be overall. Larger signs also allow you to add more images or decorative graphics to the sign. With a small sign, there’s not a lot of room for extras. Crowding a sign with a lot of graphics or images can make it hard to read, too, so you want to avoid putting too much in the space. A larger sign can accommodate more.

2. Signs Should Have a Clear Purpose

When you sit down to design a custom sign for your business, the first question you should ask yourself is this: what’s the point of this sign? That’s your guide to the sign’s design. If your sign doesn’t fulfill its purpose, it’s not going to be very effective. A sign that points customers to the restroom has one purpose: information. Someone should look at it and immediately know which way they need to go. These signs are typically fairly basic because they don’t need a lot of extras. 

On the other hand, signs that are placed outside your store or are designed for marketing events may need to have a little more to them. Including your brand logo, location, contact number, what products you offer, and other helpful information helps these signs fulfill their purpose of telling potential customers why they should shop with you or use your services. They need to grab someone’s attention, so using color and graphics is more appropriate. 

What if you don’t design a sign for its intended purpose? While the signs may still work, they’re often not as effective and don’t give you as good of a return on your investment. An overly colorful, fancy restroom sign can still get the job done, though customers may not be looking for something over the top. On the other hand, a basic sign at a marketing event may get overlooked or may not stand out. 

3. Effective Custom Signs are Branded

When someone looks at your sign, do they know it’s for your business? If the sign is inside your office or store, that may not matter as much. People are already there, so you don’t necessarily need to market your brand to them. Instead, you can focus more on marketing your products or services. However, if your signs are in the windows, outside on a banner, or in any other area, they need to reflect your brand. 

Creating effective custom signs that reflect your brand doesn’t take a lot. In many cases, simply adding your logo or business name to the sign is all you need to do. However, while adding a basic logo is enough to connect the sign to your business, you can do more than that. By using the same fonts, colors, and images you typically use in marketing materials, you can reinforce your brand. In fact, you may be able to drop your business name completely. You may not always want to do that, especially if you’re trying to raise awareness of your brand. 

Having a consistent look and feel for your business, even down to the signs, will help create a cohesive look and feel. Your customers may not be able to tell you that you’ve used the same font on your signs, postcards, and website, but they will unconsciously note that everything feels very cohesive and professional

4. Effective Signs Address Your Audience

In order to get a good return on any investment—whether it’s in products you buy, the services you offer, or the advertising you do—you must know who your audience is. Your signs need to reflect who you’re talking to. If you have a toy store, signs in fun shapes and with bright colors may fit perfectly, but if you’re an upscale jewelry store, that’s not at all the audience you’re trying to reach. 

Take some time to think about the atmosphere you want to create with your brand. Your signs will help create that atmosphere, so it’s important that they present your business to your customers in the right way. If you’re going for high-end clients, your signs should look professional and high-quality. If you’re aiming for children, go with something fun. It’s a small thing, but it adds to your overall feel and brand, and that helps sell products. This should apply to all of your marketing materials and even the setup of your store or office. Everything needs to cater to your audience, whoever they are.

5. Work with the Right Partner

The quality of the materials used in your sign is important for a few reasons. First, customers don’t want to see signs that are broken, bent, or coming apart. That doesn’t reflect well on your business or brand. It looks cheap and gives the impression that you don’t pay attention to details or aren’t willing to invest in quality signs. If you won’t pay for good quality in your signage, what else are you cutting corners on? You don’t want people thinking that.

The second reason you need to work with a sign manufacturer that uses high-quality materials is that they last longer. Your signs are an investment, and the longer they last, the bigger your return on that investment. Some signs may be for a specific event and don’t have much use after that, but other signs may need to last for years. While no sign will last forever, you should expect to get a good amount of use out of basic signs used inside your store. 

That’s where TNT Signs comes in. We use high-quality materials in every sign, banner, sticker, and other products we make. Your signs will be printed on sturdy material that will last for years. The ink used will resist fading, keeping the sign looking great even after repeated exposure to direct sunlight or other weather. If you need help with your installation, we can assist with that, too. 

Contact Us Today to Learn More

Whether you need a few custom signs made to direct customers in your store or want to advertise at an event, TNT Signs is here for you. Our team of designers can assist you in putting your ideas to paper, or we can take your submitted files and print them. It’s all up to what you need. In addition to signs, we also print banners, stickers, decals, POP displays, and even full vinyl car wraps. We can create a full set of coordinating marketing materials for you.

To learn more, contact us today at 707-528-8523 or email us.