Out of OfficeOut of Office Blog

What’s your sign?

John JantschJohn Jantsch

Signs have long been a part of the marketing mix. There was a time when signage may have been a retail business’ most important marketing and business asset.

But, signs are just about everywhere you look.

We use signs to find our way, for celebrations, to support causes, announce events, spread news, and show affiliation.

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For instance, a real estate agent uses signs to advertise an open house. A lawn service might use a sign to show they just fertilized a lawn. A homeowners association might use a sign to announce the annual block party. An attorney might use a sign to send a message about services. A plumber might use a sign to motivate you to call. An insurance agent might wrap their vehicle in a sign. You get the idea.  Signs are an important part of doing business.

Today signs come in many forms, shapes, materials and mediums, but the purpose of a sign is always the same – to communicate a message.

So, the question is, when you use a sign are you communicating the message you intended?

For example, a sign crudely made and hung in the office and out of view of customers might send the message that employees don’t need to be proud of where they work, while professional looking signs promoting the core values of an organization might help support a healthy culture.

Below are five tips for creating effective signs to successfully promote your business.

Seek out the professional

If you don’t make signs for a living, there’s a good chance you don’t know all the ways a sign can backfire or send the wrong message. Many signs are larger than your typical brochure and require special considerations in design and material. Find an experienced sign or print shop and ask them to consult with you on what makes for an effective sign.

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Guard the brand

If your logo is a specific color of red, use that color of red on your sign. Make sure that the materials, design and even the placement of the sign send the right message. Communicate the elements of your brand such as color, font and feel and insist on seeing proofs and mock-ups of any design in order to make sure your brand standards are kept intact.

 Understand how your sign will be seen

An effective sign is designed with environment and use in mind. A banner with paragraphs of copy probably won’t be very effective, even if all those words looked fine on the computer screen. Keep in mind how people will see your sign and for how long. I always marvel at billboards on the highway with giant QR codes on them. How is anyone going to scan that code at 70mph?

Know your purpose

Before you consider what your sign will say, consider what you want to convey and why. Signs that help people navigate around a large facility must have very specific intent, whereas product launch signs must have a single-minded call to action.

work signs

Have some fun

Signs are a great way to communicate emotion. They are often large and loud and can say a lot with just the right image and text. Signs can aid in communicating and building company culture while reinforcing a company’s mission and beliefs, so by all means have some fun!

Follow these tips and making an eye-catching and effective sign for your potential customers can be simple. And when you are in a bind, don’t forget, the professionals at FedEx Office are happy to help when it’s time to put your brand on display!

-John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network. His latest book, Duct Tape Selling – Think Like a Marketer, Sell Like a Superstar is available online and in bookstores May 15.

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author Duct Tape Marketing, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine. His blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast, a top ten marketing show on iTunes was called a “must listen” by Fast Company magazine.

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