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Make a Great Statement with Your Signage

Signage Tips

One of the simplest concepts we try to get across to our clients is that – regardless of what else it may be and what complex purposes it may be designed to fulfill – signage is at bottom a form of advertising.

And the twin points of advertising are: 1) to get noticed, and 2) to convey a message. Basically, you want your signage to make a statement. The better the statement, the more effective your signage.

Fair enough. Let’s look at some of the many ways you can get your signage to make a powerful, persuasive statement that helps your business succeed with your prospects and customers:

Go Visual With Your Signs

Aside from the material you choose, a sign can make a statement just by virtue of its look, including its shape, its dimensionality, its color, its graphical elements, its text, and the juxtaposition of these elements through creative design.

Visualize 30 foot concrete donuts, statuary in the shape of winged angels, pilots flying giant keys, the Fenway Park name sign, or the Rainbow Swash on the National Grid storage tank off Interstate 93 (see accompanying photo).

The three keys to making great statements with your visuals are to avoid clutter, identify your brand, and please the eye. The better you can accomplish all these, the more favorable the statement your signage will make.

Find an Unusual Sign Placement

The ceiling of a hotel bedroom, the floor of your showroom, the side of a large-scale structure, the skin of a motor vehicle – the more unusual the place where you locate your signage, the more likely it’s going to make a memorable statement.

The artist Christo first made his reputation by wrapping 5600 cubic meters of air – essentially creating a giant balloon that could be seen from 15 miles away – back in  1968. There was no message, but nevertheless the wrap certainly made a huge statement. Later wrappings by Christo included a bridge, a coastline, a valley, and the footpaths in a public Kansas City park.

Use Unusual Sign Materials

People are a tactile species. We love to touch, and barring touch, we love to look. We appreciate the substances, in and of themselves, that we use to make things. Forget for the moment what your sign says, the material of which it is made can make a major, memorable statement to all who experience it.

The good news is the sign industry has made great progress in recent years in developing materials that can help your sign make a statement, and we haven’t lost touch with the old materials, either. Everything from tree trunks to stone to glass to plastic to light itself can be fabricated into a sign and – property utilized – can help your sign make a powerful statement that impacts all who see it.

Many of the signs you see around town are made from MDO, or medium density overlay material – essentially treated plywood covered by a weather-resistant resin layer. As soon as you step away from this and other conventional materials, your signage starts talking a different language.

Consider metals like aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, or brass. These materials have a strong, heavy presence that – with the proper fabrication and finishes – can create unforgettable signage.

Think about acrylics. These plastics are strong, durable, and can have a visual appearance – like the bullet-proof sheeting in your local bank – that makes a powerful statement all by itself.

Fabric can also be used to make a great statement. Whatever message you print on the fabric, a large banner can grab viewer attention from even a long distance, simply by its size, color, and placement.

But don’t be limited by these few examples. Modern signage technology can put your message on almost any material. The more unusual or remarkable the material, the stronger and more helpful to your business will be the statement your signage makes.

Go Controversial

You may not have the stomach for it, but positing signage that stirs up strong feelings is a sure way to make a statement. Sometimes, as with Dunkin’ Donuts, the statement may not even be intentional.

Whether you already know the statement you want to make, or you’re hoping to find a good one, we’re the team who can help you – as we have helped countless others – every step of the way.

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