Letters and Signs

painted solid cut aluminum letters with white vinyl logo for bank lobby wall

Signs 101: 4 Super Simple Tips for Your Next Sign

These 4 Simple Tips will help make your next signage project bring in more customers and make it easier on the wallet at the same time! ?

#1

Keep It Simple

KISS (Not the Rock Group)

“Keep It Simple…Stupid” 

Keep your signage simple. We can’t be any more  direct with this word of advice.  Look around at all the big retailers or company names.  Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Lowes or, some of the smaller business signs in your neighborhood.  Compare them, and make judgements on which type of sign is grabbing your attention.  Be honest with yourself when you look at different types signage.   Is it the font or typestyle that draws your eye to read it?  Is it the color of the letters in the company name?  When it lights up at night, is it easy to read?

painted metallic silver acrylic letters mounted flush on panel american express lounge wall
Painted Metallic Silver Acrylic

” Can you think of a Fortune 500 company that has an elaborate logo with lots of custom graphics? We already know the answer – its no! “

I’m sure when you start to look around at the signage in your area, you will notice that a majority of them are pretty simple – and that’s for a reason! Can you think of a fortune 500 company that has an elaborate logo with lots of custom graphics? We already know the answer – its no! When it comes to signs its better to put your money towards Simpler, Bigger, and Brighter signage – not crazy graphics.

Big companies have huge marketing departments that spend a lot of time and money developing their best branding, and signage.  Just follow their lead, and follow these 3 simple steps when deciding how your signage should look: 

1. Is it Easy to Read?  

2. Will your signage be:  Easy  to Remember  

3. Does it Create Brand Awareness.

Brushed Copper Letters on hanging Painted Acrylic Panel outside restaurant
Brushed Copper Letters on Painted Acrylic Panel
thick brushed cast aluminum letters for nail salon mounted inside lobby on stone wall
Brushed Cast Aluminum Letters

#2

Say What You Do!

Don’t make the assumption that everyone knows what your business is about! Because, they don’t.

True Story:   About 10 years ago we had a customer walk into our office and declare that he needed signage for his business.  Great! 

He was adamant that his name should be on building.  Just the word:  DINO’S.   Hmmm, at that point, alarm bells went off in our heads..   Now if he was in the pizza business, we would have said: “no problem”.   But we warned Dino that people might think he’s in the Pizza business,  if that’s the only sign letters we put up on the building.  He said: “Nope!  Everyone knows Dino’s!”  that’s all the letters I need on the building!  You’re just trying to get me to spend more money!”.

” Just the word: “DINO’S”… Hmmm, at that point, alarm bells went off in our heads…”

We certainly understood his concern to keep his costs down, but at the same time, we suggested that putting the words:  Dino’s Salon would help people driving by know what your business is, especially new potential customers. 

Well, he wouldn’t listen to us, and we put the letters on the building spelling out “DINO’S.”

“6 months later – who calls our office but Dino. He asks; “how much will it cost to put up the letters: “Salon”, next to Dino’s?”

6 months later – who calls our office but Dino.  He asks;  “how much will it cost to put up the letters:  Salon, next to Dino’s.?”   Unfortunately, a lot..  When  we put up DINO’S, it was centered to his retail space, and the letters were wired for just those letters.  Adding Salon, meant that we had to rewire all the letters, and rehang everything again.  A lot more expensive than if we had done it right the first time. We never said; “we told you so” (even though we wanted to)

Illuminated Acrylic Letters mounted on Panel for pizza restaurant outside
Illuminated Acrylic Letters mounted on Panel
painted brilliant gold acrylic letters mounted on black metal panel for scooters coffee
Painted Gold Acrylic on Black Panel

#3

Go Big or Go Home!

Could be your famous last words or really help your signage!

We get customers all the time that contact us and say;  “ I want really big letters and my logo to be really big too”.   “Great”!   we say, and then promptly ask, “How big is the signage area you have”?  Or “is it okay with your landlord or the city, for what your wanting to do?”  Most of the time, the answer back is: “I don’t know”.    

“Bigger cost more. Big letters and logos add a lot to your material cost, install, and shipping.”

The next big road block to their “I want everything BIG!”, is the cost.  Bigger costs more.   Big letters and logo’s add a lot to your material cost.  Big letters and logos  will cost more to  install, and they will definitely cost more to ship and transport. 

So..  Big Letters and Logo’s  can definitely bring more attention to your business, but we always try to find the best solution for our customers, that will match their dreams and budget.   

thick painted aluminum letters for furniture company mounted outside
Fabricated Aluminum: Painted White
thick Fabricated Brass Letters with Prismatic Face for outside storefront mounted on stucco
Fabricated Brass Letters with Prismatic Face

#4

Do Your Homework

You might not be the signage expert, but you can be the; “I know what type of sign works best for my business expert”.

True Fact:  We can often tell if a customers business will fail or succeed by how prepared they are for their signage, just by them saying the following comments:

“ I want my sign to say:  XYZ… blah blah blah, and I don’t have any idea what  font or typestyle I should use, or size of letters?”

 “ I have no idea what size will work, you’re the sign expert you tell me.”

“ I kind of want my sign to look like this jpeg, and I don’t really have a design yet, hoping that maybe you can come up with some layout options”.

“ I need this by the end of the week, and I don’t have a budget in mind”.

” If your signage project falls into 3 out of the 4 categories listed above, then more than likely your whole business plan is just as unorganized. Not good.”

backlit halo letters with RGB blue LEDs in brushed stainless steel mounted inside medical lobby
Backlit Letters: Brushed Stainless Steel with Color-Changing LEDs
brushed etched stainless steel plaques with black text for commemorative donor wall
Etched Stainless Steel Plaques with Black Text

So.. “How do I become the expert for my signage project?”  Try these simple tips:

  1. Know what your landlord or city will allow for your location.  Don’t ask the sign co. to find out, you should know this even before you sign a lease. 
  2. Make sure your signage logo is a fully vectored art file.  You will need this Logo file anyways if you want to order t-shirts, business cards, letter heads – and guess what? You need it for signage too! This will help the sign company come up with exactly what your wanting and can manipulate the file to fit your needs.  This will explain what a vectored file is:  https://www.logogenie.net/blog/what-is-a-vector-file
  3. Have realistic expectations of what your signage should look like.
  4. Most importantly:  Give yourself at least 30 days to gather all your information, get your logo perfected, and have your signage made. 

The friendly signage  folks at www.lettersandsigns.com are always available  to help with any questions or comments you might have.  Please feel free to contact us at any time 1-800 804 0655, or email us at info@lettersandsigns.com

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