Whether you own an independent clothes boutique, a quaint tea room or a large trade supplies store, making sure your shopfront attracts the right attention is essential to enticing customers and making a profit.
After all, your shop or office front is likely to be the first thing your customers see, and will help them form the first impression of your business. In fact, a great front display – including an engaging business sign – could be the deciding factor between customers stopping to pay attention or moving onto the next establishment.
With this in mind, it’s clear that brick and mortar shops, offices and other businesses need to invest in their front display, including well-designed signage that attracts customers and gives the establishment a sense of credibility. But, with so many different types of signage available and design factors to consider, where should you begin?
Here’s our guide on what not to do when designing corporate signage, with a list of common mistakes you’ll need to avoid if you want to be successful.
Whether you’re designing a brochure for your shop or a training document for your marketing company, adhering to your business’s brand guidelines and ensuring all documentation looks consistent is an important step towards creating brand loyalty and developing a credible company image. Of course, the same is true for corporate signage.
Failing to pay attention to your business guidelines could make your signage look sloppy and unprofessional, and isn’t likely to instill trust in your brand. For this reason, it’s important to make sure all corporate signage includes the same trading name, company logo, contact details, font and colour scheme.
You may not think something as seemingly small as font could make a difference, but if your shopfront and A-boards are both sporting different typography, your signage won’t look as professional as it should.
When designing your business signage, undoubtedly one of the severest mistakes you can make is including incorrect information. An incorrect phone number or a mistyped website will not only look extremely unprofessional, but it will also prevent customers from being able to contact or find you.
It’s imperative that every piece of information you include on your business’s sign, whether an exhibition sign or fascia sign, is correct and up-to-date, so you’ll need to have a new sign designed every time you switch up logos or change your trading name.
Before you finalise your signage designs, you’ll need to check, double check and triple check all the information about to be printed. You don’t want to lose valuable custom over a missed digit in your contact number or something equally as simple to prevent.
Another surefire way to leave your customers and clients less than impressed is to make spelling and grammatical mistakes on your business signage. After all, spending time making sure your spelling and grammar are top notch shows that you value your business and, most importantly, pay attention to detail.
However, don’t worry if spelling and grammar don’t happen to be your forte. You can always ask a friend to help you out, use an online spellchecker, or even hire a proofreader for advice. They’ll be able to point out any obvious errors and provide a second opinion on the copy you’ve written.
Of course, when designing a sign, there’s more to think about than aesthetics. You also need to make sure you think about the functionality of the sign, as failing to do so could limit its impact. For instance, if you want to continue promoting your business around the clock, you might consider investing in an illuminated sign.
Depending on your business requirements, the type of signs you need will vary. Always discuss your requirements with an established sign manufacturing company as they’ll be able to offer invaluable advice regarding the types of signs you need and any important functionality features to consider.
Signs have a clear purpose – to attract and inform your business’s target audience. Whether you’re designing direction signage to assist customers in finding their way around your premises, or internal signage to promote a particular sale or discount, you need to make sure your message is clear.
By overcrowding the sign with unnecessary information, you’ll make it difficult for your customers to find what they’re looking for. If they’re too difficult to understand, your customers may ignore them entirely.
When deciding what really needs to be on your sign, think about its function and the location of the sign itself. For instance, if you’re designing a shop front sign, you don’t need to put your address on there – this information is already clear to the customer.
Similarly, if you’re designing an A-board, do you really need to include your company’s contact information? Make sure you only include what’s really necessary to avoid a chaotic and cluttered design.
On the other side of the coin is the mistake of not including enough information. As we mentioned previously, signs are designed to spread a message – if this isn’t clear, you’ll simply be wasting your money.
Although you don’t want to overcrowd your sign, you certainly want to put important information in front of your customers – and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.
While keeping it simple is often recommended, there are some pieces of information you definitely need to add. For instance, when designing a fascia sign, you should include your company name, logo, website and phone number. You may also add a short slogan to make it clear what services you offer, helping to bring new customers through the door.
For a truly professional-looking sign, you’ll need to make sure you don’t forget to pay attention to dimensions. This is a mistake that could ruin your entire sign; a stretched out logo or fuzzy text won’t make you look like an established company and could deter customers from trusting your services.
Attention to detail is key when designing signage so we always recommend hiring a reputable company to assist you. Hiring a professional business sign maker will ensure that all dimensions are taken into account and nothing appears disproportionately sized.
Unfortunately, business premises do get damaged or vandalised from time to time. From graffiti to smashed windows, damage inflicted upon properties can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful to deal with. This is especially true for your signage, as certain signs may have to be replaced entirely depending on the extent of the damage.
For this reason, it’s important to invest in signage that can stand the test of time. When choosing what material you’d like your signage to be produced in, discuss your options with your chosen sign company. They’ll be able to advise on which type of material is best suited to your requirements, depending on the type of sign in question and its location.
For some signs, producing them in cheaper materials is likely to be a sensible idea – especially if they’re in a location where they may be prone to vandalism or are just a temporary addition. For instance, when designing direction signage for a festival, you may opt for cardboard due to the likelihood of it becoming vandalised.
Again, it’s recommended that you discuss your requirements with your chosen signage company, as they’ll be able to offer you industry-specific advice regarding materials and much more.
Ainsley Signs Manchester: High-quality corporate signage, including office signage, exhibition signage, direction signage and more
If you’re looking for professionally-designed signage for your business, look no further than Ainsley Signs Manchester. We produce a vast range of indoor and outdoor signs for business, including illuminated signs, fascia signs, direction signage and much more, to allow companies in Manchester and beyond to give their customers the best possible service.
We also offer a range of other printing services, such as t-shirt printing, roll-up banners, vehicle graphics, vinyl lettering, window graphics and much more. With over 50 years of experience in our field, we’re proud to have developed a reputation for excellence throughout Manchester and further. We specialise in designing, manufacturing and installing each product, ensuring a seamless service from start to finish.
For more information about our range of services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ainsley Signs Manchester today.