Driving through your city or town, you undoubtedly encounter a sea of custom retail signs. This raises the question: What does a small business owner do to make their sign stand out above the rest?

When designing and installing the perfect business sign, psychology is at play. These tricks and techniques have been discussed in depth over the years, and simply put, a custom, professional sign is good for business.

According to studies by the International Sign Association (ISA), 60% of businesses reported average sales increases by 10% or more by adding or updating signs. Research also indicates that 85% of your customers live or work within a five-mile radius of your business, meaning they potentially see your sign 50-60 times per month! 

Conversely, if you don’t have an impactful or at least visible sign, you’re losing business — 54% of American consumers failed to find a business because the sign was too small or unclear.

The ISA study also found that business signage can grow your customer base by 50%, and according to the Census Bureau, 13-20% of the population moves each year, meaning you have 13-20% new customers to attract each year through signage!

When you look at those numbers, having high-quality custom retail signs is a no-brainer!

So how do you do it? By thinking through the message you’d like to convey, putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, and working with a trusted sign company, you’ll ensure that your sign garners attention, even if it’s jockeying for attention with several other custom retail signs.

Here are the top three things you must remember when designing custom retail signs.

1. Carefully Consider Your Message

Before starting work on your business sign design, consider what message you want to convey to your customers. Thinking about your business type is the best place to begin with this. Are you a restaurant that caters to families with small children or someone who crafts and sells intricate handmade jewelry? One of the top tips for designing custom retail signs is that they clearly and instantly convey your business type.

In addition to your business name, the graphics and colors you use on your sign will help send the right message. A few good tips as you work with the sign design are to play with different fonts, colors, visual elements, and even negative space to see how they change the overall feel.

2. Be Highly Visible but Not Overbearing

As business owners work to design eye-catching signs, they should consider where their signs will be located. All custom retail signs should be conspicuous and visible. A beautiful, stylish sign does no good if people don’t notice it.

When deciding where your sign will be installed, seeing it from your potential customers’ perspectives is essential. This means you must take the time to drive and (if applicable) walk past the area where the sign will be located to ensure that it will be visible to traffic heading in both directions. Ensure the installation will place the sign high enough and keep it free of obstructions from nearby landscaping, buildings, or other signage that may obscure it. 

Also, consider lighting that will keep your sign visible at night and during winter weather.

Although a sign should stand out and be noticed, it’s also important that it doesn’t do so in an obnoxious way that detracts from the neighborhood’s appeal. Some neighborhoods or shopping centers have rules requiring all businesses to utilize certain specifications. In addition, some areas have zoning laws that cover factors such as sign size, type, and placement.

3. Partner with a Custom Retail Signs Expert

Because custom retail signs are vital to success, it’s a good idea to collaborate with a reputable company to assist you with all aspects of the process. Expert guidance on design and location will help ensure you make the most impactful choices. An experienced signage company will know all the ins and outs of your local rules and the permitting process. Meanwhile, they can seamlessly handle the installation process and future sign maintenance.

Whether seeking to gain new customers or guide current ones to your front doors, there is no substitute for good design, location, and ensuring that you follow local laws before investing in manufacturing and installing a sign. Custom retail signs are an essential part of the formula when running a successful business.

Brady Signs is a third-generation family business that’s been a premier provider of business signage solutions throughout the North Central Ohio region and beyond for over 50 years. Want to learn how we can convert your brand into a statement using our eye-catching signage for business? We’re here to talk.