Small Business Tips: The Elements Of A Good Sign

Factors necessary for creating good signs that will improve business and make more money.

A good sign is an important part of a successful business. It can increase your company's visibility, answer your customers' questions, and provide your organization with a sense of identity. But what are the elements of a good sign?


A good sign has only one purpose: to deliver a message. And this message, in some way, must inform, alert, or direct us. Make sure your sign has a reason to exist and isn't just taking up space.


A good sign will be easily understood by the majority of potential customers. A sign that reads, "All items are 50% off" immediately tells consumers that all goods in your store are half-priced.

Also, using images is an effective way of sending your message. A sign with a picture of a mouth-watering ice cream cone will signal to everyone that tasty frozen treats are available at your store.


A good sign rapidly sends its message to consumers. Customers lack patience. They don't want to study a sign with lots of words or pictures. Therefore, use just enough text and images to effectively communicate your message, in the shortest time possible.


What good is a sign if no one sees it? A good sign should capture the attention of potential customers, but never eclipse everything around it. It manages to stand out, and at the same time, be a part of its surroundings.

Also, a good sign can be easily read from a distance. It can also be clearly seen at night and from different angles. And size is not the important factor-- visibility is. A huge sign can be a distraction, or just a plain eyesore.


A good sign is kept clean and presentable. Remember, the quality of your sign represents the quality of your business. Renovate or replace your sign, if necessary, but keep it neat.


A good sign is not offensive to racial, religious, ethnic, or disabled groups. And it doesn't insult people of a particular gender, size, or sexual orientation. Avoid using violent or sexually explicit imagery in your sign, even if it accurately reflects the nature of your business. And profanity is a no-no; a good sign should sell, not shock.


A good sign should, in some way, promote your business. Maybe it contains your company's name or logo. Or maybe it has your organization's address or phone number. But no matter how you choose to do it, you must use your sign to advertise your organization. It's important that customers can associate your sign with your business.


A good sign should be aesthetically pleasing. Ill-chosen images, colors, and shapes can easily turn away potential customers. So if you don't have the necessary skills, hire a professional to design your sign.


A good sign meets with community standards and regulations. There may be local restrictions limiting the size or type (i.e., neon, flashing, or animated) of sign you wish to display. A little research can lessen your chances of violating the law.

Never underestimate the impact of a good sign. It is more than just a representative of your business-- it is your business.

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