7 Things You Need to Know About Signs
Posted on January 31, 2014
There’s much more to signage than meets the eye. It’s a safe bet that driving to work today you read dozens, maybe hundreds, of signs and it’s also a safe bet that you don’t consciously remember having even seen them, much less reading them. Signs have become such an integral part of daily life that many of us never give them a thought. While we act upon information we receive from signs dozens of times per day, we rarely take the time to consider how those signs came to be, why they are located where they are, who put them there and why it matters.
Even when we don’t consciously notice them, we react to them and frequently make decisions based on them. So you could say signs are the most useful things that we pay the least attention to! Here are some important roles of signage that you may want to think about.
What do Signs & Signage Do?
Signs attract the attention of potential clients — You generally have at most a second or two of opportunity to get the attention of potential clients, and if you can’t catch their eye with the message of availability, it won’t matter how attractive your business is – they’ll keep passing you by. Good, well-planned and placed signage will attract attention and entice potential clients to drop in and learn more. Bad signage or signage in poor condition may attract attention, too, but not the kind you want!
Signs build name recognition — Whether you call it “branding,” “name recognition” or local reputation, it’s important to do everything you can to maintain the image you want to project. There are many ways signage can help you with this goal. Once you’ve established your corporate “look” and style the next step is to apply it consistently across all of your visual communications.
Signs educate, inform and influence — Attracting someone’s attention with a sign is the prelude to suggesting an action for them to follow. People look to signs for the information they need to act on ideas and make decisions.
Signs reinforce marketing and advertising efforts — Your signage can and should play a strong role in reinforcing every marketing strategy and campaign you develop. The fact that it can do this so effectively and at so little cost relative to other vehicles for communication, such as broadcast or print media, is a major bonus.
Signs add safety and convenience — In many instances your clients’ personal safety, convenience and comfort may depend upon the careful placement and planning of signage. The importance of signage in this role is underscored by the many building and fire codes on the books, as well as the regulatory mandates from various government agencies.
Signs direct and inform — Well-planned and executed wayfinding signage will go a long way toward providing a great experience for your clients and visitors.
Signs maintain community aesthetic considerations — To be effective in all its other roles, signage must sufficiently stand out to attract attention at the appropriate times and places, but you still want it to blend well with the community standards and conform to those regulatory codes we previously mentioned. You want your signage to stand out — but not like a sore thumb!