Do you know what kind of sign you need?

What does signage even mean?

Signage is quite a general term and essentially means some kind of printed item that is communicating a message. For most of our clients, it is branded with their business logo and colours, and it is advertising something that they do or offer. This could be their core service, such as plumbing or products they sell, or it could be marketing a particular deal they have on.

Based on what it is you are trying to communicate and what your objective is, your needs for the signage are going to be very different. This means you need to consider the following questions:

1. Where will the sign go?

There are going to be some very different answers to this question that will immediately help to narrow down what you need. For example – indoors or outdoors. If your printed sign will be outdoors then clearly it needs to be weatherproof! It also needs to be robust and sturdy, resistant to wear and tear over a long period of time.

This question can also help you to consider what size sign you need. If you are in a rural location and based off the main road, think about a large sign to capture the attention of people as they go past, so they don’t miss you. Some businesses can get carried away and want to have their logo splashed everywhere on huge signs, but size doesn’t always help and having a sign that stands out for the wrong reasons can work against you.

2. How will your sign be mounted?

Depending on the mounting, you might want to consider the weight of the sign. If it is going to be on posts, then you don’t want to go for a material that is heavy unless the posts are strong and can take this. Perhaps it is going to be attached to a wall, and in this case you need to think about how far it will project, so a relatively thin board might be the best option that can be nailed in. If you don’t want it to be fixed for a long period of time or if you want to use it in different locations, then consider using cable ties so you can quickly snip it off before attaching it wherever you go to next!

It could even be that the signs are for your vehicle so then we need to start looking at whether you have a motorbike, car, van and the size of your vehicle. In this case, the design will have to be carefully considered to fit well and avoid any placement issues.

3. Who do you want to see the sign?

If you have a shop and want your sign to go on your front entrance, then it needs to stand out but not in a way that is so conspicuous it looks like you are yelling about your business. You could consider raised lettering, a fascia board or a hanging sign directly above the entrance or on a side wall. If your shop is small or slightly set back, then you might want hanging A boards to go on the pavement, helping to direct customers into the shop.

However, if you are an office and you don’t need regular footfall into your premises, you would only need a smaller sign to help clients find you for meetings or to just know where you are.

4. How long do you want to use the sign for?

Most signs we produce don’t have one off uses, so they need to be robust and not wear easily. This doesn’t go for all signs though – if you want banners to advertise an event, then you don’t need a ten-year guarantee for this! Another consideration is whether you want a sign to be multi-purpose so you get as much use out of it as possible. So if you do have an event and you require banners for it, but it is actually a recurring monthly event, then perhaps think carefully about the design, leaving a space for the date so you can simply change this with stickers.

Also, if you are looking for vehicle signs then do you want these to be permanent or do you need to use your car for your personal life at the weekend and don’t want to be advertising your business while you go around doing your chores? If so, then you could consider removable or magnetic graphics to give you that flexibility.

5. Are there any regulations or requirements?

If you are in a conservation area, then there may be particular rules about what you can and can’t do. For example, in a conservation area you may need planning permission if you are looking to have an illuminated sign. Even if you don’t have any particular rules, it is good to think about the environment you are in to consider if anyone will object to your sign as this could put people off and have the opposite desired effect.

If you are working on a building site, then there are also likely to be particular requirements for health and safety – the same goes for certain vehicles or even if you have large glass areas within your working space.

Hopefully this has been a helpful post to narrow down what it is you are looking for – don’t worry about knowing the answer to all of the questions or above – this is where we come in! We would use our professional experience to guide and advise you, but having in mind the key questions here will help us to deliver the signage that you need. Whatever type of signage you decide to go for, don’t forget that it will always have high-quality graphics and a professional finish.

About Sign Language

Sign Language produces signs for companies all over Essex, including Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Witham and Tiptree. We have been based in Essex for more than two decades and are always happy to help with any questions people may have about our services.


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