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10 Steps for Signage Success

1. Recognize the Importance of Signage
Properties report as much as 70% of their traffic is generated by drive-by. Since signage is your only permanent advertising, usually used for 10 years or more, amortize its cost to an annual basis. Signage is a first impression for those who don’t know you, and a reinforcement of expectations for those who do.

2. Deal With Signs and Their Surroundings
A beautiful painting is enhanced by its frame, calling attention to the art and giving it a sense of place. Landscaping does the same to signage.

3. Signs Must Be Appropriate
Even the nicest design can look out of place if it doesn’t reflect the architectural flavor of the property. It is also obvious that signage must reflect the property’s marketing identity. Don’t overlook the viewing and site conditions which impact the appropriateness of every solution.

4. Keep Your Message Simple
The best sign displays only the property name and logo. If done properly, a descriptive word or tag line may be added. “Owned by” or “Managed by” messages should be designed as add-ons or separate signs to avoid obsolescence. Phone numbers, web addresses and street addresses add little, except visual clutter.

5. Realize Sign Ordinances Exist
Just because signs are on your property doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Ordinances will control the size, location and quantity of signs you can use. Get experts to help you understand these implications, and advise you how to seek creative interpretations and variances if necessary.

6. Use Fewer Signs
To be effective, signs must be noticed and read. This is often difficult if there is a proliferation of signs. A safe course is to “undersign” a property, and then add more only if a clear need arises.

7. Analyze Traffic Flow Implications
Identifying second, third and fourth entrances into properties is often unnecessary, drives up costs and can actually hurt the image of the property by encouraging “back door” arrivals.

8. Think Sign Systems
An assortment of shapes, colors, materials, typefaces, etc. creates a look of clutter and confusion. All signs must convey a consistent look to create a sense of value and control.

9. Don't Use Signs as "Hitching Posts"
Balloons, banners and notices, nailed or taped to signs, can damage or destroy your sign investment. Also, don’t allow groundskeepers to sit on signs or lean yard work tools against them.

10. Get Attention Properly
The intention of signage is not just to get noticed. Going to a black-tie dinner in overalls would assure you got noticed, but what would it do for your overall image?