How Should Small Business Owners Approach Signage?

How Should Small Business Owners Approach Signage?

When it comes to starting a small business, nothing’s easy. Even if you’ve developed a competitive skillset and an innovative product, challenges will arise in the form of marketing and customer conversions, something that is unfamiliar to many first-time business owners. In this regard, quality signage is key, and the design phase may be one of the most enjoyable projects you undertake in your journey to open for business – certainly better than signing registration forms and struggling to train new hires, anyway!

Unfortunately, in this age of digital marketing, some entrepreneurs overlook the value of quality signage in their overall marketing campaigns. This is a huge problem that is often born of ignorance rather than laziness – the internet has global reach, so why bother with a locally posted sign, right?

In reality, your ability to design and produce compelling, attractive retail signage both in and outside of your physical location will determine your company’s ability to build trust and express a brand image to potential clients. When clients visit your office, they want to feel that your company’s value is consistent with what you’ve described. Physical signage is not the only variable in this equation, but it can help you quite a bit in this regard. A strong sign is like a knight’s banner or coat of arms – it shows that you’re committed, loyal, and proud of what you have to offer.

Negotiating the sign design process

Your sign’s efficacy will be based on its message and aesthetics. Placement and implementation matter, but they won’t do much for a poorly designed sign. During the design phase, keep the following things in mind:

  • Studies have shown that 80% of trademark recognition has to do with color. McDonald’s evokes visions of the red-and-yellow arches. Pepsi makes us think of red, white, and blue. Establish your palette early and stick with it.
  • Your sign material must suit its purpose and location. How will it be supported? What elements will it be exposed to? What kind of look are you going for? These questions must be answered before you can choose between acrylic, glass, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and brass options.
  • Have you done all you can to maximize your “contrasting opportunities”? Contrasting colors, outlining, and shadowing can make foreground text and images pop, so take advantage of every opportunity.

Placing your sign

  • Think from the customer’s point of view. Drive up to your business using generic GPS instructions and take note of where your eyes go searching for information. Though sky-high billboards are common, that eye line won’t suit every business or location.
  • Maximize your lighting. Your sign’s location should be well-lit, whether that means naturally or with lighting installations. If your sign doesn’t have a backlight, consider adding spotlights for full exposure at any hour.
  • Mind local regulations. Permits, building codes, and signage regulations can get you into trouble if you’re not mindful of them early on. Furthermore, if you’re leasing a building, your landlord may not like certain styles or sizes of signs dangling off of his building. Practice due diligence here so you don’t end up paying for a sign you can’t use.

You can learn more about sign design and book a free consultation with our team by visiting

About Signworld

Signworld is a national organization with more than 300 independently owned sign companies, which provide commercial custom signage and graphics. It’s personable, creative, rewarding and ideal for people-oriented individuals who have the desire to learn how to manage a sales and production business. Signworld has been a part of the industry’s profit and fun since 1988. With over 28 years in the business, Signworld has established itself as the leader in the no-royalties and no-rules sign business concept. The ongoing support and training along with state-of-the-art equipment helps leave the competition behind. For more details visit –


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