Smiling woman holding up an "open" sign on the door to her business.
Choosing an alluring design for your business's signage is challenging, with many elements to consider. Start by analyzing your target audience and then follow these other tips. — Getty Images/andresr

If you run a brick-and-mortar business, professional business signage can be an excellent marketing tool for your company. The right signage helps it stand out from competitors, draw in new customers, and promote your brand. Here are 10 tips for choosing your business signage.

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Determine a realistic budget

The first step is to determine how much you can afford to spend since this figure will influence the material, size, and complexity of the design. You also need to consider the cost of installation and whether you’ll need indoor signs or banners to go with it. Fortunately, business signage is relatively affordable, costing between $2,000 and $3,000 on average.

Choose a full-service signage company

If you can afford it, you may want to hire a full-service signage company to handle the design, printing, and installation for you. The right company can guide you through the entire process and ensure you have a finished product you’re happy with.

Choose the type of sign you want

Next, consider the type of sign you want and the placement. For instance, will the sign be mounted on your business or installed in the ground out front? The type of sign you choose will largely depend on your business and the customers you’re trying to attract.

Monument signs are common for retail stores, restaurants, and hotels and create a lasting impression for your business. In comparison, channel letter signs are a good option for storefronts and office buildings.

Most cities require businesses to obtain an annual permit for custom business signage.

Think about your target customer

You should design your signage with your ideal customer in mind. Thinking about your target audience’s demographics will help you design something that will appeal to them. For example, if you target a younger demographic, you may want to choose a colorful, more lively design.

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Keep your brand in mind

Your signage should reflect your company’s brand identity, so the colors, fonts, and overall messaging should be consistent with your logo. Your business signage should be consistent with your overall marketing message.

Choose the right materials

The materials you choose depend primarily on where the sign will be located. For example, you’ll want weather-resistant materials if the sign will be located outdoors. Here are some popular options you can choose from:

  • Acrylic and plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Wood
  • Neon or LED

Make sure it’s easy to read

Your business signage should be easy to read from a distance, otherwise, you risk missing out on potential customers. The size should be proportional to the space it occupies, since choosing a sign that’s too big could overwhelm people.

And make sure you use a clear, easy-to-read font with contrasting colors. If your business operates in the evening, consider choosing an illuminated sign like an LED or backlit sign.

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Keep it simple

Everyone wants business signage that’s unique to their brand, and it’s easy to get carried away during the design process. Remember that less is more when it comes to the design — be sure to include plenty of white space, and avoid a design that’s too busy or contains too much text.

Check on local zoning laws

Your business sign may be subject to local zoning laws and regulations. Most cities require businesses to obtain an annual permit for custom business signage. Check with the city to find out if you need a permit to comply.

Ask for feedback

Your sign will continue to market your business for years to come. Before the final design is complete, ask for feedback from your customers, employees, and friends. This feedback will give you insight into potential errors or missed opportunities.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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