5 Creative Ways to Design a Sign

Without proper signage, people passing your store won’t know what you’re selling and therefore won’t buy anything from you, regardless of how good your product/service is. A sign is what drives traffic to your store and what introduces your brand to customers. Take the most successful franchise in history, McDonald’s, as an example. It’s a subtle “M” with a curvy font and yet you know it’s McDonald’s just by seeing the sign from a mile away. But how do you design a sign that attracts customers? This is where your creativity and resourcefulness comes in handy:

Ask For Design Input

Go online and ask for help from creative people and design professionals. Asking for input is often ignored but a simple technique that can yield fast and positive results. Post your business or project details including what product/service you’re selling, location, and store size. A lot of people would be happy to spend a few minutes of their time to sketch out what they think your sign should look like. You can even launch a contest that rewards the best-looking sign a $25 cash prize or gift card to their restaurant of choice. This improves the participation rate and quality of input that you receive, not to mention it does some viral marketing for your brand. Whenever there’s prize money involved, customers are often more excited to share the details with family, friends, and colleagues.

Look At What Other Signs are Missing

One of the simplest ways to outdo your competition is to look at what they’re doing and figure out what’s missing. Is their sign overwhelming the storefront? Is it too colorful or dull? Are the shapes or font used unappealing? Gauge which competitors thrive in the industry and try to format your logo and sign based on their design. That being said, you shouldn’t copy their logo as this can cause confusion and even legal action to be pursued by your competitor. Look through different galleries of favorite or top-listed signs submitted in by consumers themselves and try to look for patterns that you can repeat or add to for your sign.

Know Which Mistakes to Avoid

Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean you should forego the common industry mistakes that competitors make when creating a sign for their brand. You should draw the line between what’s acceptable and what to avoid in terms of spacing, font, and artwork included. There are reasons why some signs are ineffective in attracting the right people into your establishment, and knowing what these reasons will help you decide the right sign.

Use a 3D Printer

3D printing your sign gives you the flexibility to experiment on a bunch of different sizes and patterns. It grants more flexibility compared to ordering your signs from a third-party company. There are various reasons why you’d want to 3D print your sign including fast prototyping and cost-effectiveness. 3D printing allows you to develop from idea conception to production on the same day. Injection mold equipment produced through additive manufacturing are far cheaper than conventional machining practices. You may also need more than one sign, such as if you have new store locations or is producing mini versions of the sign or logo for merchandise. In both cases, a 3D printer may be a better fit for production of such scale.

Find Inspiration in Uncommon Places

If you try to find inspiration for your sign design in the same places that you go to or where your competitors go to for ideas, then you’ll likely spit up the same unoriginal design and layout for your business’ signage. Find inspiration in unique places, such as flea markets, fashion shows, history museums, and art centers. Read through style blogs and magazines. Even board games can be a source of inspiration for design elements that you can incorporate to your sign as they bear incredible color schemes and graphic elements.

Designing a sign that best represents your brand can be a huge undertaking. Work with design professionals who have the experience and expertise in designing a sign that appeals to your specific audience. That being said, don’t forget to enjoy yourself when coming up with a business sign. This is the time to express your creativity and vision for your brand.

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