Signs are important. They help convey information to your customers, entice potential customers to check out your business, and much more. While using basic signs may accomplish your goal, they don’t always do so in the best way possible, and they’re not always that helpful. A standard sign leading customers to the checkout may be fine, but something like that isn’t going to help bring in new customers. For that, you’re going to need custom signs.
Even basic signs are much more impactful when they’re custom. This doesn’t mean you have to completely transform the sign or add a lot of unnecessary things. Simply putting your logo on the sign may be all you need. It’s not much, but it does help reinforce your brand, and sometimes that’s all you need to do.
Designing the perfect custom sign isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be a huge challenge if you keep a few tips in mind. Here are some of the best tips for designing custom signs from the experts here at TNT Signs. These tips will also help you with banners, stickers, and even car wraps.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
The first tip doesn’t have anything to design but with time management. You want to give yourself (or your designer) enough time to create a great sign or sign template. Trying to create a sign design that you need to get printed the next day is likely going to result in a look that you don’t like but spend money on anyway because you don’t have time to make something better.
It’s always good to let yourself have at least a week for a design, though more time is always better. This is so you can let the design rest a little bit before you finalize it. Here’s an example week: on Monday, do your preliminary designs. Come up with several different layouts or ideas, but don’t pick one just yet. Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning, pull up those designs and look them over. Pick the one you like the best and make any changes you feel it needs. You may also want to get some feedback from others before you select the one you want to use.
Let this final design rest overnight, then look at it again on Thursday with fresh eyes. Is it still the right sign for you? If so, finish it off and send it over to be printed. If you don’t feel like it’s perfect, you still have a little bit of time before your end-of-the-week deadline. Leaving yourself a little bit of extra time before a deadline will give you a bit of a buffer just in case anything else comes up. You can bump back your design timeline a bit if you have to.
Do Make Signs Fit Your Brand
Branding is more than just putting your logo on something. It means using similar colors, fonts, and overall styles to create a unified look for your signs, banners, stickers, letterhead, and anything else your business name goes on. It can be hard to understand what this really means, though. For example, you don’t have to use the exact same font everywhere. There are many font families that contain multiple fonts that look good together but are slightly different. There are also coordinating and contrasting fonts that you can use. For example, Garamond and Helvetica neue look very nice together. Helvetica neue really stands out and can grab attention, while Garamond can be used for additional informative text.
Your color palette, likewise, doesn’t have to be limited to the colors used in your logo. You can use contrasting colors to help make information on your signs stand out. Just try to keep your contracting color choices the same across all of your marketing tools. Otherwise, things can start to look a little unplanned.
Don’t Overdo Text or Images
You want your signs to be very helpful and informative, even if they’re primarily aimed at bringing more customers to your business. This means you don’t want them to be so crowded with text and images that people can’t immediately take in the message of the sign within a few seconds. This is especially true for signs that are primarily informative, such as those directing people to specific parts of the office or that label what products are on which aisles. It’s okay to go with a very simple design for these signs. You don’t need much more than your logo or business name and the basic information you want to share. A border or some dividing lines are about the only type of graphics these purely informative signs need.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever use images or add extra text. If you’re doing a trade show, you may want to have signs that do contain specific images of your products and text describing what they do and who might benefit from them. These signs and custom banners are there to help sell your products and services, so they need to explain more than signs directing people to the office. Trade show attendees also have time to stop and read these signs, so it’s okay to have more text here.
The bottom line is that you need to think about your audience and the setting when thinking about how much text and how many images you want on a custom sign. If someone will look at your sign quickly to learn a single piece of information, the sign should be easy to read and not drowning in text and images. On the other hand, if you know the reader will have more time to absorb information on the sign, you can add as much as needed to convey that information.
Do Think Outside the Box
One of the best things about custom signs is that they don’t have to be basic rectangular signs with black text on white backgrounds. They can be in just about any shape with any colored background and text. This means you can get very creative and create custom signs that match your brand’s aesthetic and the audience you’re trying to reach.
If your logo is circular, you could do circular signs as a way of tying them into your overall branding. On the other hand, if you primarily sell toys and other things aimed at children, doing signs that look like explosive word bubbles might be fun. A vet’s office could have signs shaped like dogs and cats. There’s no end to what you can do creatively, so let yourself think outside the box.
Don’t Waste Money
Being a small business often means working with a small budget. While custom signs are a great investment, you want to make sure you’re working with a printing company that will provide you with durable items. TNT Signs uses high-quality ink on all of our signs and banners, so they will remain legible and vibrant for years. The materials we use for the signs themselves are also quite durable and can be used indoors or outdoors.
You also may not want to spend money on signs that you can’t use more than once. This isn’t always something you can avoid, but whenever you can, leaving off dates or other specific information means you can reuse signs. This won’t work for signs for something like a product launch or event information, but it can work for advertising the event itself without including the dates. On the other hand, you may have a banner with the event name on it and then a sign that includes specifics. It all depends on how you want to advertise the event or promotion and what information is important.
If you’re building a new business, you do want to make certain your logo and other branding designs are set before you order any custom signs. If you don’t want to buy them, then decide that your branding isn’t exactly what you want. Again, be sure to give yourself enough time to create the perfect logo, business name, and other branding before you order a lot of materials with those things on them.
Do Work with TNT Signs, a Professional Sign Company
Still can’t nail down that perfect sign design? Don’t worry, TNT Signs is here to help. We have a design team who can assist you with translating the ideas you have into final products that look great and do everything you need them to do. We also handle everything from assisting in the design to the printing to installation. Everything is done to meet your needs, and the quality of everything is always outstanding.
In addition to creating custom signs, TNT Signs can also help you build a full set of marketing materials that include banners, stickers, decals, vehicle wraps, and more. We even do full pop-up displays. If you’re ready to create amazing custom signs, we’re ready to help! Reach out to TNT Signs today at 707-528-8523.