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The Do's And Don'ts Of Creating A Sign

Creating Signs

The sign may have been the first invention in marketing strategies. Its efficiency has been proved by its continued use, and now it’s nearly impossible to go anywhere without encountering a sign advertising something. So, in a world of wall-to-wall signs, how do you make sure that yours stands out from the crowd? Surprisingly, there are a lot of mistakes to be made with such a simple marketing strategy. This article will guide you through the faux pas of creating a sign and give you advice on how to incorporate successful design concepts into the process.

The Sacred Sign HandbookSign Creation | AlphaGraphics | Idaho Falls, Idaho

The following categories will provide rules on what not to do and what to do as you design your signs, whether they be small print signs or large, neon digital signs.


Do: You only have a few crucial seconds to capture the attention of potential customers as they glance at your sign. While it may seem more cost-effective right now to go with something generic, a higher-end, customized sign will always bring in more customers. Over time, the sign will have paid for itself by incentivizing more customers to come in, generating a satisfying return on investment (ROI). Don’t: There’s nothing more insulting to your customers than pointing out the obvious. If you own a restaurant, odds are that passersby are intelligent enough to infer that your business is a restaurant without a sign that reads “RESTAURANT.”   

Someone Else’s Signature

DoIf you haven’t already, come up with a specific aesthetic for your business that’s based on its purpose. Assign preferred colors, design a logo and choose a few fonts that you want to use consistently for all text content. A slogan or motto may also be appropriate. Now, apply this style guide to your new sign and try not to stray from it. Don’t: Your sign needs to look like it belongs with your business. Often, business owners go too far in trying to capture the attention of patrons, leading to a sign that doesn’t coexist with their business’s purpose or aesthetic.   

Sign Assimilation

DoIf you are one of a few shops on a street, take a look at your competitor’s signs before making your own. While making sure that your sign obviously belongs to your business and only your business, set your sign apart by adding lights, choosing unique colors or going with an innovative shape. Don’t: The businesses around you may not share the same market or demographic, but they are still your competition. Passersby will choose the store with the most intriguing sign, and if all the signs blend together, they may not stop at all. You may use the inspiration you get from another business’s sign, but don’t make your sign so similar as to be confused with another shop’s.

Saving on Materials

DoThe quality of your sign reflects the quality of your business. Invest in a well-made sign and be sure to keep it looking new. Don’t: Your signage is not the place to cut costs. Choosing cheap materials or going with a shady sign company that gave you a deal will likely cost you more in the end than if you went with a quality sign from the beginning. Poorly-made signs have to be repaired or replaced more often, and this isn’t to mention the business you may lose in the interim between signs.  

Visual Overload

DoYour business’s name, clearly printed, is enough to fuel an internet search that can provide interested customers with other information like an address, phone number, email or website. Be sure that your sign communicates only the most important information and can do so in one quick glance. Don’t: Trying to fit the maximum amount of information on a sign is probably the cardinal sin of this form of marketing. Your sign should be showcasing one to two pieces of information and no more. Customers are not likely to bother reading a sign that requires deciphering.  

Getting Started

As you create your sign, be sure to stop by AlphaGraphics for any style, printing or promotional tools. Come by and see us in, give us a call at (208)522-2679, or fill out the form below to get started today!   [wpforms id="545" title="true"]

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