Five Tips for Choosing the Perfect Business Sign


While digital marketing makes up a significant portion of modern businesses marketing efforts, it’s not the be-all-end-all of marketing. For brick and mortar stores and physical locations, it’s important to have other visual components that tie into the overall brand.

A sign not only indicates where your business is but can also be a powerful tool for capturing the attention of bypassers and getting your business noticed. Here are five tips for choosing the perfect business sign.

Know Your Aesthetic

If you’re looking for something that stands apart from the cheap plastic open and closed signs that so many businesses use, you’ll first want to consider your aesthetic. This should tie in with the visual components of your brand. If you haven’t developed a brand strategy, this might be the starting point.

Think about words that describe your business, beyond what goods or services you offer. What emotions do you want your customers to leave with? A gourmet soda and candy shop may wish to convey feelings of whimsy and nostalgia, opting for a piece from a Custom Metal Sign Company. A lumberjack-themed tavern might opt for a large wooden sign that replicates their logo. The sign acts as a preview of what’s inside.

Find a Skilled Custom Sign Maker

When in doubt, leave the details to the experts. Custom sign makers are both artists and craftsmen who know how to take what you want and turn it into something that will look good. Many modern sign making companies have crafters, marketers, and design experts working together to create a masterpiece.

Like with many things– tattoos, murals, etc.– someone’s vision may not translate well to a finished product. By working with someone who has knowledge and skills in this trade, you can trust that they won’t always give you what you want; they’ll give you what you need.

Keep it Simple

If you have a world-renowned brand that requires no explanation, you can have an abstract sign that doesn’t provide much information. If, however, you’re a small business owner who doesn’t have instant recognition, it’s important to keep your sign simple.

Legibility is key when crafting a sign. Ensure that people can read what you’re conveying in the instant they walk by. This means prioritizing clear typography, simple colors that contrast, and just the facts. Keep it to the business name and a quick call to action that entices people to walk through your door.

It’s also important to keep it simple when considering the materials used in the sign. Signage is an asset that will need to be maintained. Wooden signs require additional treatment and upkeep to prepare for the changing seasons, while metal signs may require coatings to help prevent rust.

Know the Regulations

Different places have different requirements pertaining to signage. Some cities have size limitations while others require applications and permits that must be kept up to date for the sign to be displayed.

Take some time to research the requirements in your area before investing in signage and keep permits current to avoid any unnecessary issues with local regulatory bodies.

Consider the Placement

In addition to considering how the sign will fit with your business, you need to consider how it will fit in the physical location while adhering to regulatory restrictions.

If you’re looking for a sign that will sit on a sidewalk, you may need to consider having something that’s heavy enough to withstand the elements while being visible from both sides. If you’re using signage that will be flush against the wall, how will you ensure that it catches eyes as people pass?

Take time to consider these various components of choosing the perfect sign before making a significant investment. With the right elements, a sign can be used to pull traffic into your business.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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