Small Businesses Need Effective Signs

June 22nd, 2014

small-biz-signsA recent study conducted by FedEx Services determined that small businesses rely on signs to market and promote sales. Specifically, small businesses rely on signs, banners, and posters to economically attract customers or clients. Creating effective signage, however, involves some essential elements. The following tips can help small businesses create the signage they need to grow their business.

Be Brief

According to marketing experts, people will not spend more than twenty seconds reading a sign. Therefore, signs need to be bold in order to attract attention and short in order to communicate the necessary information. Businesses use signs or posters to share the most essential part of their message. If they try to say too much in one sign, customers may not read a sign with too much text.

Call to Action

Effective signs provide some instruction for potential customers. They might tell people to visit the information desk for more details or register with a customer representative to save money. Subtle direction can be helpful for customers. Businesses must decide what it is they want customers to do upon reading their signs and design their signs accordingly
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Attracting Customers with Signs

June 19th, 2014

signageAs it turns out, according to a recent survey, there are generational preferences when it comes to indoor signage. Yet in spite of the variations, all small business owners seem to agree that signage is a must in order to attract customers. Business owners also agree that it takes attractive and readable signs boasting clarity in order to get traffic through the doors.

Generational Differences

Many young business owners have increasingly begun to favor banners, window clings, and posters when it comes to indoor business signage. Infused with intelligent humor and bold graphics, signs created for younger generations of business owners boast their own styles with appealing characteristics.

Business owners of the Baby Boomer generation also favor the use of signs–nearly as much as any other tool, but tend to favor designs that complement a simple call to action. Differences aside–and there’s certainly plenty of overlap–both newbies and veterans are well aware of the benefits of employing indoor signs to promote various aspects of business.
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Costa Mesa May Impose More Business Sign Limitations

June 17th, 2014

costa-mesa-welcomeCity leaders in Costa Mesa are discussing proposals to employ more limits and regulations for business signage. This, not surprisingly, has angered the business community. Small and mid-sized businesses, in particular, have balked at the idea of new limits that could decrease their ability to drive traffic to their doors. According to reports, disagreements about business signs in Costa Mesa have been an ongoing issue.

Signs Are Too Big

The mayor of Costa Mesa has stated that many monument-size signs around the city are simply too big. Short of calling them eyesores, the mayor believes these large signs are not attractive. The mayor and city council, for instance, think it’s time to revisit their sign regulations and to design some new rules for business signs. While the changes would be more restrictive, it’s still uncertain as to how restrictive the new rules may be. The council is still discussing various proposals. Some of the council is bothered by the fact that some businesses have multiple signs. One proposal would limit not only the size of a sign (in proportion to the size of the business property), but also the number of signs that could be posted.
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Laurel Business Owners Take Umbrage with Sign Removal Along I-95

May 28th, 2014

I-95It’s hard enough to get people to see a sign for your business off the highway, but business owners along I-95 in Laurel, Maryland have been especially concerned by the potential removal of signs that direct drivers to “food, lodging, and tourism” options they benefited from. State Highway Administration (SHA) officials have gotten more than an ear-full over the course of several months of back-and-forth between them, politicians and local business owners. The talks started back in November 2013, when the owners learned that part of the Intercounty Connector construction along northbound I-95 (at exits 33A and 33B) would include removal of service-specific signs during its final phases. Beyond the typical “gas, food, lodging”, these signs were site-specific and logoed, boosting crucial traffic to Laurel or Burtonsville businesses.

The current construction will combine Contee Road and the ICC into one exit, diverting drivers along a side road for each. Southbound signs will remain in place, but northbound ones would be phased out, due to lack of space. For small towns like Laurel, these roadside signs mean the difference between drivers pulling over there or down the road. Consequently, Sen. Rosapepe asked SHA engineers to consider other options, in a bid to prevent the same kind of desolation that has rendered towns along Route 66 obsolete, bankrupt, and ultimately abandoned.   (It was only a few years back that the town of Amboy, CA – along that famous corridor – put itself up for sale.)

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Desert Renaissance: Twentynine Palms gets a Facelift

April 22nd, 2014

welcome to twentynine palmsAt the mouth of the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Mojave Preserve, lays the town of Twentynine Palms, CA.  The small desert community, an artists’ enclave for decades, renowned for its murals and stunning natural beauty, recently approved plans to substantially improve the face of the town.  Business owners along a main corollary of the town, Adobe Road, will be able to apply for funds to make substantial improvements, such as repainting or acquiring new monument signs, thanks to the city’s Community Reinvestment Program.

The funds will not be available to any businesses currently under construction, improvements that were already required by city regulations, or retroactively for work completed prior to the launch of the program (April 14, 2014). Potential upgrades include:

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You Are Here: Using Signs to Help Visitors When the Visitors’ Center’s Not Open

March 20th, 2014

Welcome to Zanesville OhioThe town of Zanesville in Ohio, with a population 25,487 (according to the 2010 census), is by most standards a quintessentially small town.  But it thinks big.  And the recent implementation of signage to help bolster its tourist activity is just one example of that. Recently, the Zanesville Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Association put their heads together and came up with a scheme to improve tourism in the community.

The two drew inspiration from online research and trips to the “Over the Rhine” and “short north” (in Columbus) districts, models of revitalization, which have been very successful in engaging visitors in the state. The plan involves using signs to give full play to what the city offers, using design themes and cues from those bigger cities.

To make more information available to visitors, when the welcome center is closed, signs are now displayed to direct visitors to various areas: restaurant, arts and culture, recreation, and other relevant business sectors.  Each sector – restaurant, shopping, etc. – is color-coordinated, so that people can easily identify which type of businesses are located where.

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Going Public: How Austin Small Business Signs Got Plugged on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

March 18th, 2014

In a recent taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, several local businesses were treated to some high-visibility advertising – for free!   The show’s taping of Austin’s SXSW incorporated signs of local iconic businesses beloved by locals.   Landmarks such as Rounders Pizzeria, the Continental Club, and Hut’s Hamburgers, each known for their eye-catching neon signs, got their 15 minutes of fame (or more) in front of millions of viewers throughout a week of taping.

A lot of local love was bestowed upon venerable local eateries and foodstuffs, like the queso omelet at Magnolia Café, and Bird’s Barbershop, which offers patrons a nice cold one with each hair cut.  As local band White Denim played, signs of seminal local institutions were displayed behind them on stage, where they were clearly visible.  Most businesses interviewed had no idea that was going to happen, but were glad it did.   The daily rate for advertising on a late night show such as Jimmy Kimmel Live! Ranges from $50,000 to $80,000 – for a mere 30 seconds!  That’s a plug many of these businesses could not have afforded.

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A Visual Tribute to the Luck of the Irish in America

March 16th, 2014

As a signage company, we are familiar with a lot of symbols and icons associated with various organizations, events, emotions, and even less tangible things like luck. As we look ahead to St. Patrick’s Day this year, we thought it would be fun to pay tribute to the Luck of the Irish in America, as creatively laid out in the following infographic by Aside from the obvious “lucky sign” that is the four-leaf clover, the infographic also mentions “snakes” as St. Patrick was once said to have stood on a hilltop with only a wooden staff by his side, and banished all of the snakes from Ireland. Another interesting fact is that the color blue was actually originally associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but over time green took over in popularity due to Ireland’s nickname as “The Emerald Isle,” the green in the Irish flag, and the clover used by St. Patrick in his teachings about Catholicism.

We hope you enjoyed this infographic as much as we did!

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Food, Gas, and Lodging: Signs Can Drive Local Tourism

February 28th, 2014

Pueblo Colorado sign paying tribute to the city’s four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: William J. Crawford – Army, WWII; Carl L. Sitter – Marines, Korea; Raymond G. “Jerry” Murphy – Marines, Korea; and Drew D. Dix – Army, Vietnam .

In a recent article, a Pueblo, Colorado businesswoman discussed the importance of signage on tourism.  It appears that despite the charm of the city, that its two major highways are just corridors for travelers to other parts of the state.  The problem, according to the author of the Pueblo Chieftain article “Signage needed to pull in tourists”, is just that, a lack of signage that can encourage people to stop and take a look at Pueblo.

The Riverwalk Historic District had billboards from one side of town to the next and an attractions sign at a key exit, to draw people to the district.  The effect was clear: people stopped and shopped – and brought much needed revenue to the city.  Then, the magic stopped, when three years ago the signs were removed.  As the signs came down, so did the foot traffic to the area, and the associated revenues and sales tax that had been such a boon to Pueblo’s economy.

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