Great Signage on a BudgetWhy cheap doesn’t always mean nasty – How a budget sign can still look good
Amongst all the other expenses you have whether you’re starting, expanding, or rebranding your business, there is a balancing act between achieving a great looking sign, and keeping in budget. Having a plan in place however can help keep this as a focused goal. Your sign is one of the most important and significant ways of promoting your brand to passing trade. It is also an opportunity to create a landmark and stand out among other business’s and distractions to potential customers.
There are a few factors to consider when trying to achieve a great looking sign project. Your end goal is to have something which fits in well with your brand, your surroundings, and also your budget. How much will your signage cost? most people retort with – “well, how much do you have to spend?”
Put a plan in place
Begin with your design. A well thought out design, relevant to your brand can have a great benefit to chosen materials. whether you have just started your business, are freshening up your brand, or are developing a brand for a company, This stage allows you to think about style, layouts, and colours without making costly mistakes afterwards. Ditto for your choice of typeface (font). Keep your logo design simple and relevant to what you’re selling. This lets customers quickly digest what you’re about, your ethos, and most importantly what you’re selling. Trying to catch the attention of people walking or driving is more difficult than when they are static.
A great source when considering colour combinations is: https://www.canva.com/learn/100-color-combinations/
Look at your surroundings
A good designer will want to know how you plan to apply your brand. Will it only be on a business card, or will it eventually be featured on a huge building banner wrap? This will determine the style and legibility of your name, and colours to a certain extent. How does your shop front fit into its surroundings? Are you competing with other similar business’s, or are you placed in a difficult position where your signs need to work harder to get attention? Does your business have potential to expand and open in other areas? It may be wise to think about the simplicity of design and colours (for instance, painting a shop front or business unit to your brand colours can create impact on a budget).
Whats already out there?
You’re looking for a sign, and now all you can see is signs. Its like when you buy a new car, and every car you see seems to be that same one. We’ll bet your snapping away at all the great looking signs you see while walking down the street or browsing Pinterest. Can you also recall a sign you have seen, and you just thought “wow thats really awful”. Most likely, its been designed by a sign company in-house, with very little consideration for your brand and how good design will benefit a company. At this stage, you will most likely like to emulate what you like, and avoid what you don’t like. This is a good step to take when working with your designer. See whats out there, see what works and for what reason, and see what your competitors are doing. Can you do better?
A great source for choosing the right typeface is https://www.logaster.com/blog/how-to-choose-font-for-logo/
These guys explain how your customer will read and relate to your typeface
So how do I keep my signage costs down?
With your super design in place, you can now start looking at materials to produce your signage from (this may have been considered when you were developing your brand, but not entirely necessary). There are a myriad of options when it comes to signage design and production. The simplest and cheapest option is a self-coloured vinyl material. These come in a wide range of vibrant colours, of which your signage company will have a chart for you to choose from. From a designers point of view, it’s a good idea to get in touch with your sign company to review these colours as it may impact on the final colour palette you use for your brand. Vinyl film options also come in a range of qualities, from exhibition monomeric vinyl which are designed to last 6 months, to polymeric vinyl, which is designed to last 7 years or longer when installed on external surfaces. This will always be the cheapest form of signage, and the most value for money. The down side is it can look a bit cheap. How do you avoid a cheap looking sign? Pick the right mixture of colour, typeface (font), and layout – and you will have all your customers wowing at your new shop front.
Other ways to compliment your sign includes work on your shop facade. Painting a shop fascia can be a relatively inexpensive way of complimenting your sign. Coupled with some well selected lighting, your shop front will be a hit.
Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean nasty, but taking the right steps can ensure you have the best potential at getting the right customer through your door