Friday, December 28, 2012

Recognizing Bad Signage to have Good Signage

Walmart sign
For any brick and mortar, retail or wholesale business, good signage is essential to a business's success and image. A consumer frequenting a store of most any kind for the first time will agree that it was the superior quality of the signage that initially attracted him and peaked his curiosity to enter the store in the first place.


The color combinations of bad commercial signage are truly awful. Bland, dull colors are usually used. They have no visual power or impact. They don't attract the eye and they're not the least bit enticing or exciting. Two of the most studied colors for powerful signage are red and yellow. Think of McDonald's. Red on a yellow background or yellow letters on a red background are probably the most visually impressive, potent and readable. These colors make customers want to enter the store; they draw them in because the human brain reacts in such a positive fashion to the colors red and yellow.

Font Style and  Word Length

If the font style is too thin and skinny, the sign will come across as weak. If the font is too slanted or angled or is too swirly or artistic, this too can render the sign completely unreadable. And if a sign is unreadable, what's the purpose of having the sign in the first place? The best fonts are large-sized, thick letters in all uppercase, and in the aforementioned colors. Signs with this type of font are the most noticeable and the easiest to read. They make an impression immediately after only one brief reading. Moreover, if a store has too many words in its name, that will also definitely hurt a sign. One or two words at most come across strongest. Think of Sears, Walmart, Burger King, Target, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks and Taco Bell.


The strongest signs are also illuminated ones, whether the source of illumination is neon gas or some other type of glowing, lit background that's built into or embedded into each letter of each word. Signage that's not iluminated comes across as weak, ineffective and not persuasive. They don't draw in customers, even if the business is well known. Without illumination, it'll rarely, if ever, be a busy store, no matter what kind of business it is. If all the major retail stores in the world have illuminated signs, whether they're franchised or not, then there's a justifiable and proven reason for it to be so.

Sources/Hyperlink References

When a company or organization wants to ensure that its signage is powerful, persuasive and highly visible, they should definitely contact a trusted, highly reputable signage professional in their local area to ensure good signage. 

Posted by Eric S. Burke, guest blogger

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