Salt Lake Mailing & Printing Blog

The Three Main Purposes of a Sign

Business Sign & BannerThe sign outside your business is a powerful form of advertising.  It’s one of the first things a customer sees about your business, so it has to make a good impression.  Signs can send, or even broadcast a message, so making sure they are designed to work for you is crucial.  In order to be effective, your sign has to perform three main functions; it must be attractive, informative, and persuasive.  When designing a sign, these ideas must be incorporated in order for the sign to be a valuable asset to your company.

Attract.  This is probably the most important step.  The sign should not just be visually attractive; it must also attract attention.  An attractive sign will be visually pleasing, with appealing spacing and layout.  Key words and images will be centered and spaced adequately.  Text will be large enough to be read easily, without being overpowering.  The typeset or font will be easy to read and the colors will contrast.  Most viewers will see the sign for only a few seconds, so it must convey its information quickly, without passersby having to struggle to interpret what it says.  The signs also needs to attract the eyes of potential customers.  Something needs to draw the attention of the public not only toward your sign, but also away form other signs.  The best signs have full-color graphics to grab the reader’s eye.  Adding a border may help to focus the attention of onlookers, and using different colors will emphasize important key words and increase reaction to and retention of your sign.

Inform.  As mentioned previously, potential customers may look at your sign for only a few seconds, especially if your sign is viewed from behind a steering wheel.  The sign needs to grab and hold the attention of viewers long enough to obtain the information contained in the sign.  This also means that the sign needs to only have enough information to be absorbed, and remembered, with only a glance or possibly a few seconds of reading.  An effective sign will use something that will pique the interest of the public and maintain a spot in their short-term memory.  This is done with key words, shapes, colors, pictures, and graphics.  Choose something that makes the public interested in what you have to offer, and leaves them wanting more.  If the reader knows all about you or your services, they have no reason to look you up again later.

Persuade.  Your sign needs to persuade potential customers to take another step and find your company online, make a phone call, or even stop in your store.  Ultimately, they will need to obtain your services or buy your goods in order to have the sign be effective.  Just like you did with the information piece, you will want to leave a potential customer hungry and wanting more.  Persuasion is an art, not a science.  Persuading onlookers to become customers with a single glance of your sign is a desirable skill that yields great rewards.


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