How to choose which sign is right for your business

Here’s our take on how to choose which sign is right for your business

It isn’t an easy thing to sum up succinctly, but knowing how to choose which sign is right for your business is essential if you want to find the right result for you! So here’s our take on how to make the right choice, or at least help navigate the process.

Where will your sign get used?  It’s important to at least narrow down your options before you go asking for ‘a sign’ to be produced, there are lots of options and not all of them will fit your budget, your site or any other specific criteria you may have.

What does the sign need to say?  The basics of who, what, why and when should always be applied to the initial stages – you need to know what is important and has to be included in your sign, as well as the lesser things that you might like to include if the item is to look like a sign and not an essay. Sometimes the old adage that less is more, really should be kept in mind.  If you only have one telephone number on your sign, then you really don’t need it to say ‘Telephone or Tel’ which takes up space and isn’t it obvious what a telephone number is.  You might also choose to omit ‘email’ for the same reasons.  But in the same way, don’t be tempted to exclude vital information for the sake of it.

What sort of sign do you think you need?  Is the sign replacing something that is already there? Or is it a completely new item that you want to introduce?  What does it need to convey, look like and where will it go? Is it big, or small, what colour have you got in your head, or do you need help in applying your brand?  Have you seen a particular kind of sign you aspire to, do you have a budget, are you on a schedule?  Is there anything that might impact on the location for the sign or building work that might prevent its installation.  Is the install likely to impact on any local services or building features that need to be taken in to consideration?  The site tends to determine sign that will work best, but from signs on walls, to walls on the floor, or up in the air, to temporary or illuminated there are lots of ‘kinds‘ of different signs available.

Is it a sign that you actually need? Do you just want the logo on your building, the name of the business on a fingerpost, a flag or banner to help people find your offices, something huge and brash to attract customers, or to compete with another similar business nearby, or just a tasteful brass plate by the front door.  There’s more to it than just picking a sign.

find some examples of simple catering signs here and retail window graphics
some more larger business signage here and on glazing here  and some exterior solutions here


choose which sign is right for your business if the sign is going INSIDE – is the sign you want going to go on a wall, be suspended, hung from the ceiling or be self-supporting.  Does it need to be a sign, or could the sign be in the form of a whole wallpaper?  How big do you think you would like it to be, do you know what it needs to say, contain and have you got a design in mind, or do you have artwork.  Do you have the right kind of graphic files that will allow your logo to be produced big enough for the sign you want?  If you have already got a logo or design idea, do you know the corporate colours used (ideally as PMS / Pantone references) as knowing this will make life easier when producing a good sign, and importantly help ensure you maintain consistency of your brand.

choose which sign is right for your business if the sign is going OUTSIDE – is it replacing an existing panel, does it need to be self supporting, or will it be fixed to the wall, hung from a bracket, or would a flag on a pole do a better job ?  If it’s a shopfront sign are there any local planning regulations you have to conform to or if there’s one there already how much ‘change’ do you actually need. Can a small change of text achieve what you need quicker or more cost effectively than wholesale change.  Does it need to be weatherproof or is your outside area protected from the elements or at least sheltered from the rain?  Do you want the sign to be temporary or permanent?  Does it need to be discreet, or bold and loud?  Is the sign encouraging clientele in to your business, or is it directing visitors somewhere or to you, or just informing that you are there?

choose which sign is right for your business if its Permanent or Temporary:  Does your sign need to be portable, temporarily moved in and out of the business like a two sided pavement sign that goes outside the front door during office hours? Or easily moved from one place to another like a pull roller banner?  If weight is not necessarily an issue, is the intention to use the sign in foreign parts, whether UK or abroad ?  Does it need to be transported in a car or on a plane, carried by one person or economic to ship to another country?

How big does it need to be?  There are a whole range of demountable signs which get used for exhibitions, seminars and events, some are perfect for interior situations and others are really NOT suitable outside and only a few of those will survive being exposed to the wind and rain.  Pull up banners now come in a wide range of heights and widths, they can link together and even have lights fitted, so the salesman on the move might want easy and quick, whilst the marketing director would want maximum impact.  But the street food vendor needs to be ready for any eventuality so their signage needs are very different. If it’s a shop or office wall sign affixed to the outside of a building will it be lit, how far away would you like it to be read from? Is it aimed at passers by who walk near it, or visible to drivers going past?  These factors will impact on the size of the content, be affected by the colour scheme, and the cost of production.

Knowing what your sign needs ‘to do’ is vital.  Is the aim to draw in traffic, direct people somewhere or build awareness for you business. Or are you advertising your location, your services AND your contact details. What other content is essential to make your sign work for you; does it need to also signpost departments, entrances, car parks, or floor level you are on – and is it really basic branding and so just needs to contain your name/logo.  Signage is an excellent way to help generate sales leads for your company but so many signs today are dull, ill-conceived poorly designed and can even be confusing.  There is a tendency to include too much, so be sparing with your content.  Questioning others in the business about the purpose of the sign is likely to generate ideas and possibly other questions that you hadn’t considered.

Choose which sign is right for your business

If you are trying to sign post a building, site or floor in an office block.  There are lots of off the shelf systems we can customise just for you. From small wall mounted single panels to stove-enamelled or expandable anodised metal frames that are modular and can accommodate hundreds of names, a few company logos or an endless mixture of shapes sizes and configurations.  There’s a real difference between a single one off shop sign and a complex signposting system, of the sort you might see on a business park.  But the principles used on both are essentially the same.  Clarity of content is important so you can  minimise confusion and allow the signage to work.  You can discuss your needs with us at any time and we’ll be only too delighted to help.

carbon colour can help advise on the best system or product to create your ‘sign’.  From a simple panel that is printed and mounted to exterior grade materials, that can slide into an existing frame, to cut vinyl lettering that can be applied to a wide range of coloured acrylics suitable for back lighting, or off the shelf projecting signs that can cope with the weather and offer you visibility from both directions of the street.  Our studio is able to create simple visuals so you can ‘see’ what your sign, board, panel of banner would look like in situ, so you can be sure the idea works in context.  There’s nothing worse than an idea which when executed is too small, too dull, too brash or too big when produced and installed on site.

So if this is all too much for you – why not ask us for some help.  We don’t charge anything for preliminary advice and we’ll even make the coffee.

find examples of simple catering signs here and retail window graphics
some more larger business signage here and on glazing here  and some exterior solutions here

or have a look round our case study section which shows some of the more recent work we have done here