Featured Column in Whistler Question ~ April 5, 2016: Signage for Your Business
Do you remember the 1970’s song, ‘Signs’ by The Five Man Electrical Band? The lyrics went like this:
“Signs, signs – everywhere there’s signs.
Blocking out the scenery. Breaking my mind.
Do this! Don’t do that! Can’t you read the signs?”
This song was written after the band’s lead singer took a road trip on Route 66 and noticed a plethora of signs that obscured the beautiful scenery.
As the years have passed, the same holds true right in Whistler’s backyard. Did you know that there are over 70 signs on the pedestrian-only Valley Trail from Alpha Lake Park to Alta Lake Park? And through the Village, an abundance of ‘sandwich boards’ compete for the attention of passersby.
It seems businesses believe that more signs mean better communication but all too often, the opposite is true.
From a business perspective, a sign is a type of advertising that can make an incredibly strong impact. The top priority of signage is to make a first impression and create a visual experience, whether via online retail or actually enticing a potential customer through the door.
Why Do You Need Store Signs? TWEET THIS
Following are key reasons why businesses should invest in high quality signage:
- A sign is an effective, cost-efficient method to advertise your business 24 hours a day all year round.
- Designing your sign to also promote your online presence can provide potential customers with a method to reach you when your physical location is closed. Adding your website or QR code to your sign enables your customer to learn more about your products or services.
- Many people judge a business by its sign, therefore it’s imperative that it be in excellent condition, reflective of your brand promise and communicates your differentiation.
- Signage ensures that you are constantly attracting new customers and in a resort environment, that is imperative since you are likely to extend your message to people that aren’t necessarily regular clients.
How to Develop Attractive Retail Signage
When you design signage for your business, you will want to create that visual experience that entices people to enter your store.
Here are a few tips to create outstanding signage:
- The message on permanent signage must be short, succinct and to the point. People will spare only a few seconds so make sure a cursory glance will be enough to catch their attention. It’s better to have one sign done well than a bunch of them causing visual overload.
- Your sign should reflect your brand with the right fonts and colors. Make readability the most important consideration when making design decisions. Creative cursive fonts may be tempting, but are an obvious drawback if prospective customers cannot read them.
- And yes, sandwich boards or some type of temporary signage can further promote your offerings. Keep it fun with tasteful puns and jokes to grab attention. Use the words ‘you’ or ‘yours’ so customers can visualize using your products and what they will experience.
Memorable signage can engage people so they want to learn more about your product. Ineffective signs (and too many of them) can have the opposite effect. Putting attention, effort and creativity towards good signage can entice people with a warm welcome at your storefront.
At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and the popular Open Forum speaker series. She is founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She writes this column for the Whistler Question newspaper.