A business sign says a lot about a company. It can convey trust, stability, and security. It can also convey a lack of trust, cheap-quality products, and unreliable service. All this from a simple sign? Yes. That’s why fortune 500 companies spend millions of dollars designing the right logo and then hiring the best companies to create their signs. Here’s how you you can avoid common branding mistakes in your signage.
Don’t Use Cheap Materials
One of the easiest ways to save money on a sign is to cheap out and use low-cost materials. Cheap plastics fade and discolor. Thin tin-based materials won’t stand up to harsh weather. When you’re deciding on a material, go with he highest quality you can afford. If you’re willing to pay a little more now, you’ll be rewarded in the long run for making a memorable logo that lasts 20 years (or more).
Don’t Forget Protection
Signs that are not treated are susceptible to a variety of different things like weather-specific damage (i.e. damage from hail, ice, excessive sun and heat, etc.), graffiti, and accelerated wear-and tear. Many good sign companies offer special coatings to protect your investment. These coatings may include powder-coating or virtually unbreakable Makrolon SL® faces. Your sign manufacturer may also use extruded aluminum cabinets to increase durability of the sign.
Don’t Use Raster Images
Raster images refer to a type of image format made up of pixels. You’re probably familiar with this type of image since its used on most digital cameras and clip art that you find online. Raster images are fine if you never plan on altering the image. If you do, image quality rapidly deteriorates. Because most companies need to dramatically increase the size of their logo to fit their sign, they need an image format that’s capable of handling this without image degradation.
Enter vector images. Vector images are based on mathematical formulas, not pixels. Because of this, they can easily be resized and altered. You have to ask for this specific image type when you talk to your graphic designer (tell him it’s for a business sign). He’ll know what to do.
Choose a Good Mounting
Some of the sturdiest signs are mounted on a wall. However, free-standing signs can also work well. Pole mounts are typically the cheapest but they don’t always hold up well over the long-term. Pedestal mounts are probably your best bet for free-standing signs. For wall-mounting, all you really need is a sturdy surface like brick or concrete.
Ask For Help
It’s OK to be ignorant of how signs are made. You’re not in the sign business. It’s not OK, however, to walk into a deal blindfolded. Ask for advice and information from several different sign makers before choosing to work with one. Consider hiring them for a consult only. Most sign companies don’t advertise consultation services, but they will accept your money and be willing to take the time to help you make a decision. Showing up with a check-in-hand shows you’re serious, and it’s a great way to avoid making a costly mistake that could haunt you for years.
About the Author
David Kendall is a marketing and branding consultant. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on various marketing blogs. Visit Impact Custom Signs to get more marketing and branding ideas for your business.